Short Bio

Dr. Jeremi W. Edwards, a Louisiana native, is renowned for his extensive expertise in music education and composition. He embarked on his academic journey by earning a bachelor's degree in music education from McNeese State University, followed by a Master of Music in Theory and Composition at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he refined his skills under the mentorship of Dr. Quincy Hilliard. Continuing his pursuit of excellence, Dr. Edwards attained a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition from Louisiana State University, guided by Dr. Mara Gibson. His doctoral dissertation, titled "A Synthesis of Contemporary Music Composition Pedagogy Practices for the Undergraduate and Graduate Level Sequences, and An Exploration of Time, Sound, and Space: An Aleatoric Event Score in Collaboration with the LSU Museum of Art" (2022), reflects his profound comprehension of contemporary music composition.

Presently, Dr. Jeremi W. Edwards holds the esteemed position of Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at McNeese State University, where he also serves as the Coordinator of Music Theory. Through his dedicated teaching and mentorship, Dr. Edwards molds the next generation of musicians and composers, offering a comprehensive curriculum that spans from fundamental music principles to advanced music theory and composition.

In addition to his accomplishments in traditional music education and composition, Dr. Edwards actively explores the nexus of technology and music. He has participated in numerous Computer Music Symposiums dedicated to integrating technology into music composition and attended Film Scoring workshops, including a prestigious Master Class with renowned film composer Hans Zimmer. During his tenure at LSU, Dr. Edwards engaged in extensive collaboration with the LSU New Music Ensemble and the EMDM Electronic and Digital Music Department on various innovative projects, showcasing his versatility and creativity in musical expression. Recently, his fervor for integrating technology into music education led him to secure a grant to establish a New Laptop Ensemble at McNeese, providing his composition students with a novel platform to explore new dimensions of musical creation, with technology as the central instrument. Through these initiatives, Dr. Edwards continually pushes the boundaries of musical innovation and education, enriching the experiences of his students and the wider musical community.

Beyond his academic and compositional achievements, Dr. Edwards actively contributes to his community and music education. He serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Lake Charles Community Band, the New Music on the Bayou Summer Festival in Monroe, LA, and the Cultural Noir Performing Arts Theater Company in San Diego, CA. Additionally, he plays an active role in the Louisiana Music Educators Association (LMEA) and the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and was recently appointed to the Board of the MCI, Millennium, Composers Initiative.

Long Bio

Dr. Jeremi W. Edwards, a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was born on July 29, 1993. From an early age, his profound passion for music became evident. His mother, Elena, recalls fondly how he would immerse himself in the enchanting worlds of films like Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, watching them repeatedly. Inspired by his grandmother's own musical pursuits, he joined the school's band program, where he decided to play the flute.

In 2007-20011, attending Lagrange Senior High School, Dr. Edwards became an active participant in various musical ensembles, including the marching band, concert band, and jazz band, under the guidance of James Hearne. Dr. Edwards exceptional talent and dedication earned him the position of Drum Major for the Lagrange Gator Marching Band during his senior year. Under his leadership, the band achieved several Superior Ratings during the 2010 fall marching season.

In addition to his musical endeavors, Dr. Edwards demonstrated his leadership skills and passion for education through his involvement in the Boy Scouts of America. He attained the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout in 2008 and was bestowed the honor of Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow in 2012.

After graduating from Lagrange Senior High School, Dr. Edwards's unwavering passion for music and his involvement in the arts within Calcasieu Parish propelled him to pursue a degree in Music Education at McNeese State University. In the fall of 2011, Dr. Edwards embarked on his academic journey under the guidance of Dr. Judy Hand in her  Flute Studio, as well as Dr. Jeffery Lemkey in Music Education.

Simultaneously, he actively participated in the renowned Pride of McNeese Marching Band and The McNeese State University Wind Ensemble, led by the Dr. Jay Jacobs. During his time at McNeese, Dr. Edwards's dedication and musical prowess earned him membership in the esteemed Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Service Fraternity in the spring of 2012. Furthermore, he was initiated into the prestigious Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia in the fall of the same year. As he approached the culmination of his undergraduate studies, Mr. Edwards sought to expand his horizons and embarked on private composition lessons with Dr. Machel Buckles.

This endeavor aimed to develop a robust Music Composition portfolio, crucial for his graduate school applications. In the spring of 2017, Dr. Edwards proudly graduated from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, earning a bachelor's degree in Music Education with a concentration in instrumental grades K-12.

After completing his undergraduate studies, Dr. Edwards embarked on a journey of advanced education in the fall of 2017. He enrolled at the esteemed University of Louisiana at Lafayette to pursue a Master of Music in Theory and Composition, seeking to further refine his skills and knowledge in the field. During his time at the university, Dr. Edwards had the privilege of studying under distinguished faculty members, including Dr. Wesley Branford for Music Theory, Dr. Garth Alper for Film Scoring, and Dr. Quincy Hilliard for Music Composition. 

Throughout four semesters at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Dr. Edwards showcased his musical talents as a member of the university's Wind Ensemble, serving in the flute section under the expert guidance of Dr. William J. Hochkeppel. In addition to his performance engagements, Dr. Edwards held notable positions as a Graduate Assistant. He contributed his expertise as a Graduate Assistant for the Pride of Arcadian Marching Band, led by either Dr. Jason Missal or Dr. Brett Landry. Furthermore, he lent his support to the Theory department within the School of Music, serving as a Graduate Assistant under the direction of Dr. Wesley Bradford. Lastly, he worked as a Graduate Assistant in Dr. Hilliard's Composition Studio, assisting with various aspects of the program.

During his tenure at the university, Dr. Edwards had the privilege of having his compositions performed by instrumental studios and chamber ensembles. Notably, he received a commission from the flute studio for the Experimental Chamber Recital, where he creatively utilized a unique graphic score and incorporated a fish tank into the performance. Additionally, he expanded his artistic horizons by composing scores for short films and creating music cues for video games in collaboration with the computer and visual design departments. Upon the completion of his degree, Dr. Edwards published his master's thesis, "Dream Sequence: A Rhapsody for Double Quintet" in 2019, showcasing his remarkable compositional abilities.

Simultaneously, he was honored to be accepted as a composer for the Mostly Modern Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York, during the summer of 2019. His composition, "Dream Sequence," received its world premiere by the esteemed American Modern Ensemble during the festival, further solidifying Dr. Edwards's reputation as a talented and accomplished composer.

Following his post-graduation, Dr. Edwards pursued his doctoral studies at Louisiana State University, commencing in the fall of 2019. His focus was on obtaining a PhD in Music Composition, guided by the esteemed Dr. Mara Gibson. During his time at LSU, Dr. Edwards assumed the role of Graduate Assistant for the School of Music, specifically within the Music Theory department under the expert direction of Dr. Inessa Bazayev, Jeffery Perry, and Oliva Lucks.

Additionally, Dr. Edwards served as the Teacher on Record for Aural Skills 1-4, showcasing his aptitude for instruction and guidance. Dr. Edwards's talents were recognized during his tenure at LSU when he was selected as a finalist for the LSU Symphonic Winds Call for Scores in spring 2020. The chosen compositions from this esteemed competition will be premiered in the upcoming fall of 2020. Recently, Dr. Edwards has achieved significant milestones in his composition career, completing several noteworthy works for orchestra and string quartet.

Additionally, Dr. Edwards composed a captivating six-movement song cycle for soprano, baritone, piano, and woodwind quintet. The song cycle features poems inspired by his mother's childhood and had its highly anticipated premiere at LSU during the past spring semester of 2021, garnering critical acclaim.

During Dr. Edwards's tenure at LSU, he proudly presented several world premieres, showcasing his exceptional compositional abilities. Notably, his composition "Duet for Tuba and Percussion," which vividly portrays the vibrant atmosphere of Jackson Square in New Orleans, captivated audiences with its artistic merit. In the summer of 2021, Dr. Edwards's talent was recognized once again when he was accepted into the prestigious Collaborative Piano Institute as a composer for the esteemed Four Corners Ensemble. This renowned summer program, held at the LSU School of Music, offers a unique platform for collaborative pianists to cultivate an intensive and enriching experience. Dr. Edwards had the privilege of premiering two compositions during this program: one for the Emerging Artists Recital, a vocal piece accompanied by strings and piano, and another for the Four Corners Ensemble. 

During his second year at LSU, Dr. Edwards's exceptional skills were acknowledged when he became a finalist for the Constantinides New Music Ensemble (CNME) call for scores in spring 2021. The selected compositions were premiered as part of the prestigious CNME concert held at Carnegie Hall in New York City in the spring of 2022. This significant achievement further solidified Dr. Edwards's reputation as a talented and accomplished composer.During the final year of his Ph.D. program, Dr. Edwards dedicated his efforts to his comprehensive Composition pedagogy Dissertation.

As part of this endeavor, he conducted in-depth interviews with esteemed professors from various institutions across North America. Simultaneously, Dr. Edwards diligently worked on his final projects at LSU, demonstrating his commitment to academic and artistic excellence. The latter portion of his dissertation centered around a remarkable aleatoric experimental event score composition designed for a chamber orchestra. This innovative piece delved into the realms of sound, space, and time, pushing boundaries and exploring new artistic dimensions. The premiere of this composition took place at the Louisiana State University's Museum of Art, located in downtown Baton Rouge at the renowned Shaw Center for the Arts, during the spring of 2022. The event was met with critical acclaim and showcased Dr. Edwards's profound artistic vision.

In the spring of 2022, Dr. Edwards achieved a significant milestone in his academic journey, graduating from LSU with a Ph.D. in Music Composition. Additionally, he earned a Graduate minor in Music Theory, further highlighting his comprehensive understanding of the field. This noteworthy accomplishment solidified Dr. Edwards's position as a distinguished scholar and composer.

Following his graduation, Dr. Edwards embarked on a search for faculty positions across the country, driven by his unwavering passion for music education and composition. His efforts bore fruit when he was selected as the Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the esteemed W.A. and Dorthay Hanna Department of Performing Arts within McNeese State University, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

 In his current role, Dr. Edwards demonstrates his expertise by teaching various undergraduate music theory courses, including MUSC 100: Fundamentals of Music, MUSC 113: Principles of Music I, MUSC 213: Principles of Music II, MUSC 214: Principles of Music III, MUSC 313: Principles of Music IV and MUSC 415: Music in the 20th Century, MUSC 408: Orchestration and Instrumental Arranging, and Private Composition Lessons. Furthermore, he has assumed the responsibility of Director for the newly established New Music Theory Mentorship Program. Through this program, a dedicated team of senior students will provide mentorship and tutoring services to fellow students within the music department, under Dr. Edwards's guidance.

 As an accomplished composer, Dr. Edwards eagerly anticipates the premieres of several new wind ensemble and band pieces during the fall of 2024 and spring of 2025. Dr. Edwards will be attending the New Music on the Bayou Festival in the summer of 2023 where his new double quartet for strings and woodwinds will be premiered. Tittled "connecting the Dots" based on A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte which was painted from 1884 to 1886 and is Georges Seurat's most famous work. A leading example of pointillist technique, executed on a large canvas, it is a founding work of the neo-impressionist movement. These highly anticipated performances will showcase his exceptional musical compositions and artistic vision.