jessica hunt

Boontling Community Fellow


“Trying to draw a straight line through my past to trace my development as a composer quickly becomes an exercise in futility; the line would be more accurate if it were allowed to be dotted and dashed, with unanticipated S-bends and at least a few chaotic scribbles… I believe that new music at its best is about lifting each musician up (composers, performers, and listeners alike), sharing our worlds with each other and fostering creative and cultural development through truth-telling and productive, courageous, vulnerability.”

— Jessica Hunt

Jessica A. Hunt - Headshot.jpg

Ms. Hunt’s music has been broadcast on FM radio and PBS television, recorded on the Pro Organo label, and played in concert by some of today’s finest ensembles and soloists, including the Gaudete Brass Quintet, Fulcrum Point, Ensemble 20+ (Michael Lewanski), the Fear No Music Ensemble, Palomar, Oliver Brewer, Richard Hoskins, Jonathan Ryan, and R. Benjamin Dobey, and in readings by the DePaul Symphony Orchestra conducted by Cliff Colnot and by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble and Dal Niente, among others.

In addition to serving as the Young Composer in Residence for the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings for the current season (2017-2018), Ms. Hunt’s other honors include a Ragdale Fellowship Nomination, a Regents Fellowship at the University of Michigan, the Alumni Talent Scholarship at Illinois Wesleyan University, an honorable mention in the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA) Recognition and Talent Search, and the William Russo Scholarship for Excellence in Music for four concurrent semesters at Columbia College Chicago; numerous festival appearances including the Chicago Ear Taxi Festival, the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and the Bay View Music Festival; and commissions including three brass fanfares for the Michigan Lighthouse Landmark Legacy project (forthcoming); Colloquy (2016), Dragon Call for brass quintet and narrator (2014), Brass Chorales on Advent Themes for brass quintet (2013), anti[syn]thesis for double antiphonal brass quintet (2012), Three Impromptus For Organ and Brass Quintet (2010) (released on the CD “Conversations In Time” on the Pro Organo label), Christmas Suite (2010) and Three Movements for Brass (2008) all commissioned by the Gaudete Brass Quintet; Celebration Columbia for string quartet and jazz ensemble (2009) commissioned by Columbia College Chicago for the 2009 Commencement Ceremonies; and song cycle Songs of Autumn (2007) commissioned by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for a celebration of the poet Robinson Jeffers. Theater composition credits include The Breakfast Club Musical (pH Productions), The Mystery of Madam Pearl (CCC), Stafford & Hunt’s Cinderella (CYT Chicago), and Lucid (Diamante Productions).

Ms. Hunt’s primary goal as a composer is to seek emotional resonance in the rhetorical dialogue between herself, the audience, and the performer by creating eclectic works that explore the aural and syntactical intersections between theatre, narrative, sound, truth and fiction. As such, she has a particular focus on works engaging with the interpretation of text. Her current large-scale work in progress is Thurso’s Landing, an opera in two acts based on the epic narrative poem of the same title by Robinson Jeffers.

Ms. Hunt earned her BM (’09) in composition and piano performance from Colombia College Chicago (Ilya Levinson, Sebastian Huydts), and her MM (’16) in composition from DePaul University (Kurt Westerberg, Christopher Wendell Jones, Seung-Won Oh). In the fall of 2016 Ms. Hunt was awarded a Regents Fellowship to pursue her doctoral studies at the University of Michigan, where she currently studies with Erik Santos and Kristen Kuster.

Ms. Hunt is a member of both ASCAP and the American Composers Forum.