Jennifer Blackwell is a Canadian music educator, saxophonist, and music researcher. In music scholarship, Jennifer serves as the editor of the North American Saxophone Alliance’s scholarly publication, The Saxophone Symposium. She is a frequent presenter at regional, national, and international conferences on a variety of topics in performance, education, new music, and musicology. She has presented research-based and practitioners sessions at the College Music Society Great Lakes Chapter Conference, the Canadian New Music Network Forum, the Michigan Music Conference, the Ontario Music Educators’ Association Conference, the Canadian Conference for Music Education, the Association for Popular Music Education National Conference, and the NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference, among others. She has published research and practitioner articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Music Performance, The Saxophone Symposium, Gender, Education, Music and Society, and Canadian Music Educator.
As an active performer and advocate for new music, Ms. Blackwell has premiered numerous new works for saxophone, frequently collaborating with emerging and established composers. She has been selected to perform at several North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conferences, including the Region V Conference in March 2013 at Bowling Green State University (premiering works by Andrew Cote and Mike Romaniak) and the Region IV Conference in February 2015 at the University of Oklahoma (performing the premiere of Mike Romaniak‘s nobody on my side for soprano saxophone and fixed media). In March 2014, she premiered Andrew Cote’s Sonata for Prepared Alto Saxophone at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in March 2016 Jay Batzner’s Abstain Red Hells for soprano saxophone and electronics at Texas Tech University. She served as director of CMU’s New Music Ensemble from 2012-2014, and founded the highly successful Composers Project with this group. Jennifer has worked extensively as a woodwind studio teacher and ensemble director in both Canada and the United States, working with students aged 10-85 in a variety of settings including middle school, high school, community ensembles, and universities.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 2011, earning a bachelors degree in music education with distinction. She then began graduate work on a full fellowship at Central Michigan University, earning masters degrees in both saxophone performance and music education. She also served as a graduate assistant for the performance, music education, music appreciation, and theory departments while at CMU. She received a Jacobs School of Music Doctoral Fellowship to pursue her PhD at Indiana University, beginning in Fall 2014. Her teachers include Barry Usher, Bobbi Thompson, Ryan Fraser, Marie Johnson (clarinet), John Nichol, Tom Walsh, and Otis Murphy.