Jodie Blackshaw grew up in the Riverina, NSW and after completing high school, studied a Bachelor of Music in Composition with Professor Larry Sitsky at the Australian National University School of Music. Since then, she has worked in several different settings, from remote country centres to the inner city, teaching music to students of all ages and conducting a variety of ensembles.
Through her teaching, conducting and composing, Blackshaw has passionately searched for a new compositional approach to band that offers directors a product that centres on musical elements other than melody and harmony. In 2001 Jodie completed her Graduate Diploma in Education and during this time she discovered the Orff-‐Schulwerk methodology. Since then this approach has influenced her teaching practice and compositions for beginning and developing musicians.
In 2006 Jodie won the inaugural Frank Ticheli Composition Contest that earned publication of her Grade 1 piece Whirlwind with Manhattan Beach Music (MBM). This piece now appears on several state band lists including the Texas UIL prescribed music list. A second work, Terpsichorean Dances was awarded 2nd place in ‘Category 2’ of the same competition and is also published with MBM. Whirlwind was premièred at the Midwest clinic in 2006.
In April 2009 Blackshaw travelled to the University of North Texas (UNT) to work with the UNT Symphonic Wind Band under the baton of Professor Dennis Fisher. This experience culminated in the world première of her emotionally compelling high grade work, Soulström.
In 2012 the Australian Band and Orchestra Director’s Association, Queensland commissioned two works for the Australian National Band and Orchestra Conference. Due to the short lead-‐time, Jodie agreed to a post-‐commission of her freshly completed, foundational ‘Project Piece’ entitled Belah Sun Woman. Twist, a work for high school band was also commissioned and both were premiered at the conference in July 2012. Twist was significantly revised in early 2013 for Grade 5 symphonic wind band and is published by Brolga Music (Australia).
In December 2012 Jodie presented the clinic ‘Get off the Podium’ alongside Dr. Mark Fonder of Ithaca College and esteemed conductor Professor Craig Kirchhoff at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. In 2013 Jodie completed her Grade 3 piece ‘Into the Sun’ for the Western Sydney Combined Schools Concert Band. This ensemble premièred the work at the annual ‘Pulse’ concert held at the Sydney Opera House. In 2014 Jodie commenced her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Australian composer Carl Vine. In May 2014 she travels to Minnesota to realise her new work ‘Letter from Sado’ as part of the BandQuest series. Jodie is the only composer outside of North America to be commissioned by the American Composer’s Forum for this prestigious series.
Blackshaw is fanatical about producing quality, meaningful works for band and appears as a guest clinician and adjudicator for band festivals throughout Australia. She desires that her music not just be "another piece, but an educational and spiritual journey for both the players and the director".
Jodie resides in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia with her husband David and daughter Matilda and works full-‐time as a composer, post-‐graduate student and clinician. To find out more about Jodie and her works go to: www.jodieblackshaw.com.