Jenni Brandon

Composer and Conductor



Contemporary chamber music inspired by adventures in the
natural wonders and urban centers of California.

Music for Winds and Piano
Jenni's new CD



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Purchase these scores through your sheet music dealer:

5 Frogs



5 Frogs
(Windependence Chamber Ensemble, Master Level (Grade 4)). For Woodwind Ensemble. Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48018979)

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The Dark Hills


The Dark Hills(Yale Glee Club New Classic Choral Series).  For Choral (SATB). Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48019338)

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Earth Grown Old look inside


Earth Grown Old(CME Conductor's Choice).  For Choral (SATB, Piano). Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48019742)

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Make Music Sweet look inside


Make Music Sweet(CME Conductor's Choice). For Choral (SATB, Piano). Conductor's Choice.  Boosey & Hawkes #M051480005.

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A Universal Dream look inside


A Universal Dream. For SSAA choir, piano, Djembe. Published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing (SB.SBMP-1058)

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"Dog Tales" for soprano, flute, clarinet, and piano PDF Print E-mail

Dog Tales -

for soprano, flute, clarinet, & pianoMan's Best Friend

Dog Tales was commissioned by the Cincinnati new music ensemble Conundrum (soprano, flute, clarinet, piano) and was premiered by them in November 2009.  They are all avid dog lovers and wanted a piece that told the stories about their various dogs. 

In setting out to write this work, the members of Conundrum provided me with stories, pictures, and anecdotes about their four-legged friends.  I then passed these wonderful collections onto my poet/writer friend Bobbi Jo Nicotera who then created the amazing text that I set for this piece.  What I think is remarkable about the text is that Bobbi Jo not only captures these dogs in prose, but also creates a text that speaks to a more universal theme of relationships and our interaction with the world around us.  Often sweet and funny, these touching pieces are a testament to the love for man’s best friend and how these relationships truly affect us each day. 

I. We Live to Run
II. Thirteen Ways of Looking at Mona - Part I
III. Dig
IV. Thirteen Ways of Looking at Mona - Part II
V. This is a Good Place
VI. Ode to a Golden Retriever

Dog Tales is now published by Graphite Publishing!

Conundrum is:
Mary Elizabeth Southworth - Soprano
Danielle Hundley - Flute
Marianne Breneman - Clarinet
Philip Amalong - Piano

Below are recorded excerpts and score examples from the premiere on November 5, 2009 at the Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Poetry by Bobbi Jo Nicotera

(The text in BOLD is the text you will here in the recorded excerpt)

1. We Live to Run
I. We Live to Run
We rise, she and I, early
When the mist is still hanging like a low net
Over the roses and dahlias in the park

We’ll run 15 miles today, then rest
Next week we’ll go further, push harder

I gallop beside her
My four legs canter to the
Steady pound of her two

She urges me on when we finally reach Edwards Road
The slow climb south to Grandin

I am tired, but happy
I am not distracted by anything today
Not the traffic or squirrels or an errant tennis ball

I am only focused on her
She needs me

As much as I need to run
As much as I need her

We live to run

III. Dig (Chloe):
Dig Dig Dig Dig

You may not understand my reasons.
But I know why.

Dig Dig Dig Dig

It’s because I miss you when you’re gone.
And so I need a reminder.

Dig Dig Dig.

This looks like the perfect place.
A space for me

Dig Dig Dig

To keep mementos of you.

Dig Dig

I’ll keep them safe while you’re at work.

Dig Dig

And I’ll wait for your return.


IV. Thirteen Ways of Looking at Mona - Part II
Oh music man of Cincinnati
Why do you adore the piano?
Do you not see how the dog
Waits patiently at your feet
As they pump the pedals?

I know noble rhapsodies
And a classical experiment
But I know, too
That Mona is a part
Of all I know.

When Mona left us forever,
She closed the breach
In one of many circles.

At the sight of Mona
Playing in the Ohio snow,
Even the smallest of creatures
Would sing out in joy.

He rode over Cincinnati
On a mountain bike.
Once, a fear shook him,
That he’d lost Mona.
But her shadow met him
At the next turn.

The sun is shining
Mona must be smiling.

It was cold all afternoon
It was snowing
And would keep snowing
Mona sat at the door
Waiting patiently for a walk.

V. This is a Good Place
Someone dropped me here.

Maybe they knew he was here, too.
Maybe they saw the gas lamp-lined streets
From I-75 or Ludlow Ave
And just knew

Maybe it was a UC student who really wanted me
But was smart enough to know
That a dorm isn’t for me

Maybe weeks before
They took a long walk in Ault Park and thought
This is a good place

Saw the trails and roses
Saw the green grass and dahlias
And thought

This is a good place

Whoever it was must’ve known
Must’ve known you were here,
Must’ve known I’d land on my feet

All four of them

VI. Ode to a Golden Retriever
Oh muse of liquid brown eyes,
Of golden, clogging fur,
How I have loved you.

The thumping wake up calls,
The choking vet bills
Oh how I have loved you..

You guardian
You counselor
My closest confidant
You, breaker-of-hearts.

I love you all.

A marriage like any other
Through illness and health.
What retriever rescue hath joined.
Let no man put asunder.

Oh golden muse,
I will bestow upon thee beef snacks
And surrender my half of the bed.

Here, rest your head upon my lap
As we watch the sun set.