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Jodie Blackshaw

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.

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