Welcome to my world of music. My name is Jennifer Garrett and I am the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Bakersfield College. I conduct two choirs (Chamber Singers & College Choir), teach two Music Appreciation courses, and am the director of the Applied Music program where I get to work with all of the vocal and instrumental music majors.
My love for music began at a young age. My earliest memories are of my younger sister and I dancing in our living room as my father played some of the most amazing compositions on the piano (often Scott Joplin). He also taught all levels of band and I marveled as he played just about every instrument invented. My father's love for music instilled in me a passion for music that has carried through the best and most challenging times of life. Much like my father I began teaching piano at the young age of 14 and as a high school senior I had the fortune of filling in for our choir director. At that moment I found my calling.
In 2000, I completed a bachelors degree in Choral Music Education at Brigham Young University. After graduation I accepted the Director of Choral Activities position at Wasatch High in Heber City, Utah. I loved the students so much and wanted to give them the very best. I then knew I wanted to continue my education and enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Nebraska. I assisted with the Concert Choir and earned a Masters degree in Choral Conducting. I then completed doctoral work in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University where I taught conducting, assisted with many choirs and for two years served as the Women's Chorus director. During my time with Women's Chorus I was fortunate to collaborate with the Phoenix Symphony and Ballet Arizona. We also did the American premiere of a Stephen Hatfield piece entitled, "Ripple Effect."
Outside of education I have also devoted a great deal of time to working with church choirs of all ages. Recently I directed a choir featuring women from all over Bakersfield for a church Women's Conference. I also enjoy working with community choirs and directed the Arizona Deseret Chorale in Mesa, Arizona for two years. Much of my time has also been well spent, accompanying for voice lessons on the college level. I have been fortunate to work closely with acclaimed teachers and performers such as tenor, David Britton out of Arizona State University. From these talented teachers and students I gained great knowledge about the voice on an individual level and constantly aspire to implement that knowledge into my choral rehearsals. I also decided to purchase a harp and began taking lessons in the summer of 2014. I have already had opportunities to play for fundraising events, church, and the Bakersfield College Orchestra. Starting over on an instrument reminds me of how many of my students feel while at BC.
In 2010, my family relocated to Bakersfield where I taught classes at both Cal State Bakersfield and Bakersfield College. My husband, Dr. Matthew Garrett, teaches history at BC. In 2013 I accepted the Choral Director position at Bakersfield College and intend for the program to continue its tradition of excellence. The Chamber Singers recently returned from a performance tour of Italy where they performed in Rome, Florence, and Venice, Italy. They performed and acted like professionals and I cannot wait until our next tour in 2018 which will be in Australia! We sing in the Sydney Opera House on July 17, 2018! I expect the best from my students as I do myself--I give them everything I've got.
My family means the world to me and I am so proud of my beautiful, crazy, sweet little girls. I am also married to the most supportive, kind, funny and hardworking man I know. I am the luckiest college choral director in the world.