On Jan. 3, Ohio Wesleyan’s Jennifer Jolley was named a finalist in The American Prize in Composition – Choral competition, professional division, for Prisoner of Conscience.
Congratulations and good luck in the finals, Dr. Jolley!
Music with a Message
Ohio Wesleyan Professor Named Semi-Finalist for ‘American Prize in Composition’
DELAWARE, Ohio – Jennifer Jolley’s musical composition Prisoner of Conscience is filled with sound and fury signifying something noteworthy in Russian history and in the career of the Ohio Wesleyan University assistant professor of music.
Jolley’s creation has been named a semi-finalist in The American Prize in Composition – Choral competition, professional division. Winners are expected to be announced next month in the national contest that “recognizes and rewards the best composers in America of works for orchestra, chorus, concert band, chamber ensemble or theater music … that have been read or publicly performed.”
Jolley, D.M.A., who joined the Ohio Wesleyan faculty in 2012, created Prisoner of Conscience in collaboration with librettist (lyricist) Kendall A of Cincinnati.
Prisoner of Conscience, commissioned by the Chicago-based Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, was inspired by the Russian musicians Pussy Riot. The all-female band made headlines in 2012 when it performed inside a church, without permission, a song titled “Mother of God, Drive Putin Away.” Two of the band members later were imprisoned for two years, with Amnesty International calling them “prisoners of conscience.”
“I listened to a lot of The Clash, Pussy Riot, and Hildegard von Bingen,” Jolley has said about her inspirations for the choral composition. “I approached this as one of my mashup pieces, emulating some songs in a punk style and some in a chant or motet style.”
Quince first performed the piece in November 2015, Jolley said, and plans to record it professionally in May 2017. An Ohio Wesleyan Thomas E. Wenzlau (TEW) Grant will help to support the recording project. A video of the ensemble singing a portion of the work is available on YouTube.
Jolley earned both her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
She joined the Ohio Wesleyan faculty in 2012 and teaches music composition, theory, orchestration, and electronic music at the university.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.