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 Hunt (she/her/hers) has been commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra (Climb, upcoming 2019-20 season), the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (The Eagle Tree), the Gaudete Brass Quintet (seven works), Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, The Michigan Lighthouse Landmark Legacy Project, Access Contemporary Music, and many others. In addition to serving as the 2018 Boontling Community Fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music and as the 2017-18 Young Composer in Residence with the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Hunt was awarded a Regents Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she studied with Erik Santos, Kristin Kuster, and Evan Chambers.

Hunt is equally at home in orchestral, chamber, vocal, and dramatic settings, and her music has been performed in concert by esteemed ensembles and performers such as the Chiara Quartet, Front Porch, CCM Chorale, Axiom Brass, the Calidore Quartet, Elise Eden, Kathryn Goodson, and R. Benjamin Dobey; recorded on the Pro Organo label (Three Impromptus for Organ and Brass Quintet); and broadcast on NPR’s nationally syndicated program Pipedreams hosted by Michael Barone, who characterized Hunt’s music as “quite engaging” and “joy-filled.” Her music for comedy and theater has been reviewed as “smart and fun” by TimeOut Chicago, and the Chicago Reader lauds that her “songs are creative crowd-pleasers.” Her current large-scale work in progress is Thurso’s Landing, a dramatic opera in two acts on a libretto Hunt adapted from the poetry of Robinson Jeffers.

Hunt holds degrees from Columbia College Chicago (BM ‘09), DePaul University (MM ‘16), and the University of Michigan (DMA ’19).  Her research interests include the phonetic and articulatory phenomena of sung text, harmonic vocabulary and phrase-based syntax in musical theater, and championing the works of under-represented composers through creative analysis. Hunt taught aural skills for music majors and musical theater majors at the University of Michigan from 2017-2019. She is currently a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Music Theory at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore.

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