Jocelyn Hagen (b.1980), a native of Valley City, North Dakota, composes music that has been described as “dramatic and deeply moving” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul). Her first forays into composition were via songwriting, and this is very evident in her work. Her music is melodically driven, boldly beautiful, and intricately crafted. Since her graduation from St. Olaf College in 2003, she has received over 30 commissions, 40 premieres, and 90 performances.
Hagen holds degrees in Theory, Composition, and Vocal Music Education from St. Olaf College, as well as a Masters degree in Composition from the University of Minnesota. Her training also includes summer study at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, where she studied with Philip Lasser of the Juilliard School. Other teachers include Judith Lang Zaimont, Peter Hamlin, David Maslanka, Mary Ellen Childs, and Timothy Mahr.
As a performer, she began piano lessons at the age of three and became a professional accompanist by the age of 15. In 2000 she won first place in the Klatzkin Contempory Keyboard Competition at Arizona State University (Alexina Louie, Music for Piano) and in 2003 soloed with St. Olaf Orchestra (Francis Poulenc, Piano Concerto. For several years she specialized in the performance of 20th and 21st century art song, performing and touring with soprano Jennifer Kult as the Linden Duo. Currently, she sings alto in The Singers—Minnesota Choral Artists, a group for whom she is also Composer-in-Residence.
Hagen has been an active teacher for much of her life. She has maintained a private piano and composition studio for over 10 years. In 2003-2004, she was chosen for a Composer-in-the-Schools residency through the American Composers Forum and taught weekly composition to a group of high school students. She holds an adjunct faculty position at the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, Minnesota, teaching orchestration. She was Composer-in-Residence at Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, beginning in 2008.
She is a new music advocate and performer. She was the former president of St. Olaf College’s new music society, Muziko Nova, overseeing their annual New Music Festival. In 2004 she founded Graphite Publishing along with fellow composer, Timothy C. Takach. This on-line music publishing company focuses on presenting emerging composers and their works to the music industry by offering score sales on-line.
She has received grants and awards from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, Minnesota Music Educators Association, VocalEssence, the Yale Glee Club, the Lotte Lehman Foundation, the University of Minnesota, and the San Francisco Song Festival. Her commissions include the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota, the North Dakota Music Teacher’s Association, Cantus, the St. Olaf Band, NDSU Gold Star Band, and the Copper Street Brass. Her work is published by Graphite Publishing and Boosey and Hawkes.