It was a combination of the old clarinet in the closet, listening to the vinyl records of classical music purchased with S&H Greenstamps, and the beautifully illustrated art history book on the shelf that captured Jeffrey Hoover’s imagination as a child that began pulling him into a life in the arts.
Growing up in Northern Indiana, he started playing the clarinet in fourth grade and began the saxophone when he entered high school. The saxophone ultimately became important to his career, allowing him to travel and to perform a variety of classical, jazz, and popular music.
He entered Ball State University as a music education major, with saxophone as his principal instrument. A master's degree in music composition and musicology and an interdisciplinary doctorate in music and the arts professionalized his education. He established a career as a music teacher in public and private schools, and a university professor in music and the arts. His book The Arts and Society: Making New Worlds (reflective of his rich and diverse experience in the arts) is published by Kendall Hunt Publishing.
One unique aspect of Hoover’s work is when he combines his composition with his painting, creating synergetic works that intrigue and captivate audiences and performers alike. His work is seen in exhibitions and in concerts where his paintings are projected while musicians perform his music. Whether making interdisciplinary works, or traditional stand-alone sonic or visual art, Hoover shapes his work through inner vision and experience. His interdisciplinary works also incorporate poetry and theatrical elements.
His passion as composer has its roots in courses he took as an undergraduate, where his professors would assign composition projects to teach aspects of music theory. Over his career, his body of compositions – ranging from music for vocal soloist to symphony orchestra – has received recognition through the prestigious Trieste prize, the Russolo competition, awards from Mu Phi Epsilon, the Lancaster Fine Arts Festival, grants, publications, fellowships and more than 25 commissions. He is a member of the ACME roster of Mu Phi Epsilon, recognized for distinguished achievement in composition. His music has been performed by Rachel Barton Pine, Ronald L. Caravan, Carter Enyeart, Yusheng Li, Judith Saxton, Dennis Najoom, Rebecca Jeffreys, Michael Hull, Esther Lamneck, Keith Bohm, Vanessa Porter and Marina Roznitovsky Oster (Musette), Ensemble for These Times (E4TT), The Merling Trio, The Fort Wayne Philharmonic, The Concordia String Trio, The TazWood Dance Company, and numerous others.
Born on September 11, 1959, in Anderson, Indiana, Jeffrey Hoover holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts (Music Composition and Interdisciplinary Fine Arts) from Texas Tech University, as well as a M.M. in Composition and Musicology and Bch.Sc. in Music Education from Ball State University. He studied composition with Mary Jean van Appledorn, David Foley, Ernesto Pellegrini, and electronic studio techniques with Cleve Scott and Steven Paxton. His conducting studies were with Leonard Atherton, Joseph Scagnoli, Douglas Amman, and James Sudduth. Hoover’s visual art studies include formal training and personal investigation, as well as arts criticism with Gene A. Mittler.