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B i o g r a p h y

Derek M. Jenkins (b. 1986, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) is an American composer, whose music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada by ensembles and performers including the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra; the Fountain City Brass Band; the Dresdner Bläserphilharmonie; the Czech National Concert Band; the Seattle Wind Symphony; the U.S. Army Materiel Command Band; university bands and wind ensembles in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin; the Youth Symphony of Kansas City Symphony Orchestra; Free State Brass Band; Diamond Brass Band; Mid America Freedom Band; the Carinthia, Joseph Wytko, and Saxophilia Saxophone Quartets; Ensemble for These Times; Songeaters; Washington Square Winds; saxophonists Randall Hall, Gilbert Sabitzer, Michael Shults, and Joseph Wytko; trombonist Bruce Faske; and honor bands and orchestras around the country.

In 2022, Jenkins won first prize in the Dresdner Bläserphilharmonie's Winds Composition Contest Saxony I Edition  with his composition, We Seven, and his piece, Rock Bottom, won first place in the 3rd Annual International WASBE Composition Contest. We Seven also won the 2016 American Prize in Composition and in 2012, Eosphorus: The Morning Star, was selected as a winner of the National Band Association's Young Composer Mentor Project. Jenkins has received additional recognition from MMTA/MTNA, the Missouri State University Composition Festival, Petrichor Records, Red Note New Music Festival, MACRO, the UMKC Conservatory, the UMKC School of Graduate Studies, ASCAP, the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation, and at conferences and festivals across the U.S. and abroad, including the Midwest Clinic, the WASBE International Conference, Brass in Concert, the International Trombone Festival, CBDNA Divisional Conferences, SCI National and Regional Conferences, the USF New-Music Festival and Symposium, the LGBA National Conference, the NASA Biennial National Conference, the Florida State University Biennial Festival of Music, the Ball State University Festival of New Music, and CMS Regional Conferences. Recent commissions have come from a consortium including bands at Wichita State University, Arizona State University, Arkansas State University, Case Western Reserve University, and University of Tennessee at Martin; the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra; the National Youth Brass Band of America; the Arkansas State University Concert Choir; trombonist Bruce Faske; and trumpeter Nairam Simoes among others.

In addition to his work as a composer, Jenkins is actively researching the history and literature of the wind band and the history of orchestration. Currently, he is continuing his investigation of the 1921 Iowa Band Law (H.F. 479) and its enduring use in supporting municipal bands in Iowa today. He was selected to present his research at the 24th International IGEB Conference at the Instituto di alta formazione musicale “Conservatorio Claudio Monteverdi” in Bolzano, Italy in the summer of 2022. Jenkins's MM Musicology thesis, on the same topic, earned the University of Missouri-Kansas City's 2017 Distinguished Master's Thesis Award.

Jenkins serves as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition at Arkansas State University, is currently the Coordinator of the South Central Division and Arkansas MTNA Composition Competitions, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Jonesboro-based Diamond Brass Band. He has given masterclass presentations at the Sveučilište U Zagrebu Muzička Akademja, the University of Salford, and several universities and high schools around the country. Jenkins holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (DMA Composition, MM Musicology, 2017; BM Composition, BM Theory, 2010) and Rice University (MM Composition, 2013). Additionally, he has received further instruction at the Kärntner Landes-konservatorium (now the Gustav Mahler Privatuniversität für Musik) and the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt. Beyond music, he was a Preparing Future Faculty Fellow at UMKC where he earned a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching and Career Preparation, and he briefly studied mathematics at Loras College.

His mentors have included James Mobberley, S. Andrew Granade, Joseph Parisi, Karim Al-Zand, Chen Yi, Steven D. Davis, William Everett, Pierre Jalbert, Richard Lavenda, Paul Rudy, and Zhou Long. He has also studied with Amy Dunker, Peter Graham, and Alfred Stingl.

Jenkins is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society; the National Band Association; the College Music Society; the American Musicological Society; the Society for American Music; the Society of Composers, Inc.; and ASCAP. His music can be heard on the ABLAZE Records, Mark Custom Records, and World of Brass labels, and is available through BrookWright MusicMurphy Music PressVeritas Musica Publishing, and under his own imprint, Mühltal Musikpresse.​

In his spare time, Jenkins is an amateur scuba diver and baker, and he daydreams of becoming an astronaut.

"sumptuous and fraught...decidedly current."
- San Francisco Classical Voice
"a talented, young composer with an ear and skill for writing for wind band. His music strikes the balance between approachable and innovative..."
- Lee Hartman, Mid America Freedom Band Director
"[a] gifted composer with a talent for evocative, nuanced large-ensemble writing"
- KCMetropolis
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