Press Release, Faculty

OWU Professor’s Composition to be Performed at Ross Art Museum

February 6, 2017 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Photo caption: Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble will present a free performance Feb. 21 of Ohio Wesleyan University music professor Jennifer Jolley’s ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ at the Ross Art Museum. The composition was inspired by the all-female Russian band Pussy Riot. (Photo by Aleksandr Karjaka-Karjaka Studios)

Vocal Group Quince to Present Jennifer Jolley’s ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ Feb. 21

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University professor Jennifer Jolley’s musical composition “Prisoner of Conscience,” currently a finalist for a national American Prize in Composition award, will be performed Feb. 21 at the Richard M. Ross Art Museum.

“I am thrilled that a piece I wrote will be performed at Ohio Wesleyan University,” said Jolley, D.M.A., an OWU assistant professor of music. “My works aren’t normally performed on campus, and after years of my colleagues and students asking if I have any upcoming performances nearby, I can finally tell them I have one.”

The composition was inspired by the Russian band Pussy Riot. The all-female group made headlines in 2012 when it performed inside a church, without permission, a song titled “Mother of God, Drive Putin Away.” Two band members later were imprisoned for two years, with Amnesty International calling the women “prisoners of conscience.”

“Prisoner of Conscience” was commissioned by Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, a Chicago-based quartet. The group will perform the piece from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. The performance, which is free, includes explicit language and adult subject matter.

“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.”

Jolley’s creation is a finalist in The American Prize in Composition – Choral competition, professional division. The 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, who joined the Ohio Wesleyan faculty in 2012, created “Prisoner of Conscience” in collaboration with librettist (lyricist) Kendall A of Cincinnati.

The composition was first performed by Quince in 2015. The ensemble specializes in experimental repertoire and has been described by critics as “a new force of vocal excellence and innovation.” The quartet is comprised of vocalists Elizabeth Pearse (soprano), Kayleigh Butcher (mezzo soprano), Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (soprano), and Carrie Henneman Shaw (soprano). Learn more at

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. At Ohio Wesleyan, she teaches music composition, theory, orchestration, and electronic music.

Learn more about Jolley at, more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Music at, and more about the Ross Art Museum at

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