Jennifer Jolley’s latest musical composition is intended to transport listeners to Vermont’s Lake Champlain, inspired by a sonic stream of ferry boats conveying passengers back and forth across the water.
Jolley, Ohio Wesleyan University assistant professor of music, was commissioned to create the 11-minute piece by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, which will debut “The Ferry Crossing” on Sept. 25 when it premieres its 2015 “Made in Vermont” statewide tour.
“I lived and worked in Vermont for four years, discovering snow and seasons and the wonderful people that make it a lovable and stalwart state, and I took many ferry rides during my stay there,” said Jolley, who grew up in California. “This piece is my arrival and departure from the Green Mountain State, with the horns guiding you along the way. Even though my stay there was short-lived, I miss Vermont. I miss it terribly.”
Jolley’s composition was written for two flutes, two oboes, two horns in F, and strings. As a composer, she said she is inspired by “urban geographical environments, city sounds, and nostalgia,” and she seeks to write music that “punctuates and enhances the beauty of simple forms.”
In addition to the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Jolley’s work has been commissioned and performed by soloists and ensembles throughout the United States and Europe, including Kelley O’Connor and the Bard Orchestra, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Xavier University, Midwest Composers Symposium and Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble.
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, Jolley teaches music composition, theory, orchestration and electronic music.
She is the co-founder of North American New Opera Workshop (NANOWorks Opera), a chamber opera company devoted to developing and staging short contemporary operas by emerging North American composers, and also authors “Why Compose When You Can Blog?,” a web log about contemporary composing.