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Joseph Jennings Biography

Joseph Jennings

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Born: 1954. Living in: United States

Joseph Jennings is widely regarded as one of the choral world's top conductors and music directors, clinicians and arrangers. He joined the renowned a capella group, Chanticleer, in 1983 as a countertenor, and shortly thereafter assumed position as Music Director. Under his direction, Chanticleer achieved international renown, releasing 23 critically acclaimed recordings in works ranging from Gregorian chant to Renaissance masterworks to jazz. Many of the recordings, for Teldec and for Chanticleer's own label, became Billboard best sellers, including the GRAMMY-Award-winners Colors of Love, Magnificat and, most recently, the World-premiere of Sir John Tavener's double GRAMMY-Award winning Lamentations and Praises.

Mr. Jennings has performed at the most prestigious festivals and concert halls throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. These performances have included appearances at the Salzburg Festival, the International Josquin Symposium, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival and the Holland Voices Festival and at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In the U.S., Mr. Jennings has appeared at Jones Hall in Houston, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Jordan Hall and Symphony Hall in Boston, Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has also been a frequent visitor to prominent local and national ratio programs including WGBH (Boston), WNYC (New York), Minnesota Public Radio, and National Public Radio.

A native of Augusta, Georgia, Mr. Jennings earned his masters degree in conducting from Colorado State University at Fort Collins, and his bachelors degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. As a prolific composer and arranger, Mr. Jennings has provided Chanticleer with some of its most popular repertoire, most notably spirituals, gospel music and jazz standards. He has also composed for such ensembles as The Palo Alto High School Chorus, The San Francisco Girls Chorus, Phillip Brunelle'sPlymouth Music Series, The GALA V Festival Chorus, The New York City Gay Men's Chorus, The Dale Warland Singers, The Phoenix Bach Choir, Los Angeles Vocal and Instrumental Ensemble and Chanticleer. Jennings recently completed a multi-year composition project, When Nights Were Dark (70 minutes total length) for the Japanese Dance Duo Eiko and Koma, which had performances in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and at The Brooklyn Academy of Music. His compositions and arrangements are published by Oxford University Press, Hinshaw Music Company of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Yelton Rhodes Music, Los Angeles.

Mr. Jennings' versatility has earned him many types of positions: lead singer/pianist with jazz ensembles; music director and pianist for churches, theater, children's theater and opera productions; guest conductor; professor; and director of clinic demonstrations and workshops. He has taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California as Instructor in Choir, Musical Theater, Piano, Rhythm and Movement for Children, Vocal Jazz and Voice. He has served as adjunct Professor of Music directing the University Chorus at the University of California at Berkeley, guest conductor for the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and Minister of Music of Third Baptist Church, San Francisco. Most recently he served as guest conductor for performances of the Estonia Philharmonic Chamber Choir.

Joseph Jennings holds the honor of being listed as a distinguished alumnus of Colorado State University, Department of Fine and Performing Arts.

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