Known for her compelling delivery and connection with audiences, soprano Jennifer Swanson has performed art song, opera, and oratorio repertoire in a wide range of settings. From an intimate concert in an abandoned quarry on Pelee Island, to opera programs for thousands of young people in Florida, to recitals and collaborations with ensembles in Ontario, Minnesota, and Iowa. Her repertoire ranges from Handel, Larsen, and Purcell, to Poulenc, Harbison, and Strauss. Special projects include the premier and subsequent performances of "Nattsanger," a group of seven Norwegian songs composed for Jennifer by American composer Abbie Betinis.
“I love discovering layers of possibilities in the music,” Jennifer says, “exchanging ideas with other musicians, and finding myself in the process.” No matter what the program or setting, her aim is to connect with her audience so that together they can share the experience of transforming text and sound into meaning.
Discovery is also at the heart of her teaching. In the private studio, Jennifer helps students discover their authentic sound, a force that is wholly unique to each individual. In the classroom, she’s created Teaching Labs for her Vocal Pedagogy classes, so that vocal and instrumental majors can teach each other, discovering strengths they didn’t realize they had.
Jennifer has taught voice as well as courses in pedagogy, diction, music appreciation, and music history. Formerly on the faculty at Bemidji State University in Minnesota and then Loras College in Iowa, Jennifer joined the faculty at the University of Windsor in Ontario in 2016. She holds degrees in vocal performance from the University of Illinois, New England Conservatory, and the University of Minnesota.
“The collective, shared experience with an audience reminds me that we’re all in this together.”