Jennifer read Music at the University of Edinburgh and continued her research there, gaining an MPhil in Composition in 1996. She was then appointed Composer in Residence at Stewart’s Melville College and The Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh, and teacher of Composition at the City of Edinburgh Music School, while also lecturing in the Animation Department of Edinburgh College of Art, in the Drama Department of Queen Margaret College and at the Music Faculty at the University of Edinburgh, where she taught both Composition and Music in the Community.
Jennifer has run creative education projects for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Scottish Ensemble, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Angus District Council, One Voice and the Aberdeen Bach Choir. In 2003 she was appointed Learning Manager for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, where she was responsible for devising and managing a wide range of educational initiatives, both in Scotland and internationally. She was part of the initial steering group that brought El Sistema to Scotland, spending time in Caracas, examining the teaching methodology and evaluating its potential. She went on to devise a programme of activity to connect the BBC SSO’s musicians to the young people and families of Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise initiative in Stirling, and regularly contributed to media coverage of the project.
Having returned to a freelance career, her wide experience of music education and training has led to several consultancy projects for some of Scotland’s leading arts organisations, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Ensemble, Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Aberdeen, and the Hebrides Ensemble.
Jennifer was a Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Arts Council and is currently a National Companies Assessor for the Scottish Government. She has served as a Director on the Boards of Lung Ha’s Theatre Company and Drake Music Scotland and is currently on the Board of the Hebrides Ensemble and ecat (Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust).
Jennifer remains active as a composer with recent works including Blethering (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama), Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis (St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow), Look in the Mirror for 4 choirs, orchestra and soprano soloist (Stewart’s Melville College and the Mary Erskine School), Seeing Sounds (New Edinburgh Orchestra), Hearing Pictures (New Edinburgh Orchestra, BBC SSO/Radio 3), Airborne for Mark O’Keeffe (principal trumpet BBC SSO), Moving Towards the Edge (The Edinburgh Quartet). Her work has been broadcast on BBC 2, BBC Radio 3 and 4 and Radio Scotland, and has been shown at Film Festivals around the world.