ME (AT A GLANCE)
Jocelyn C Chambers is a Composer-creative passionate about using her gifts to diversify musical arts. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Chambers found herself profoundly resonating with music and film as early as 7 years old. She began studying piano at age 7, but discovered the magic of composition at age 13. She honed her writing skills by reworking existing film scores and arranging popular songs by ear using the free online notation software Noteflight. After learning to properly notate music, she began studying composition with Dr. Rachel McInturff at the Armstrong Community Music School. Within one year of her composition studies, Chambers entered the Texas Young Composers Competition with her first orchestral piece “My Heart”. She won the competition along with 9 other composers and received the honor of having her work performed by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Chambers was the first woman and black composer to win the competition. She went on to win the competition once more with her piece "Paradise (So This is Love, My Dear)".
At 16, Chambers studied composition at the American Festival of the Arts in Houston, Texas, and wrote the string quartet "Enigma for the Night" in collaboration with the Houston Ballet. At age 17, she went on to study composition at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music. Seeing the lack of representation for female composers of color, Chambers created a platform to bring diversity to musical arts. She rescored sections of Oscar Micheaux’s groundbreaking 1920 silent film Within Our Gates, and wrote a Negro spiritual honoring the unarmed black people murdered via police brutality. For her senior recital, Chambers produced a threefold work with original music, poetry, and film to document her experiences as an American black woman. The work, The Gospel According to Jocelyn, was produced in collaboration with The Cohen New Works Festival. In 2017, at age 20, Chambers graduated with her bachelor's degree. She was honored by the College of Fine Arts for her advocacy and activism. Read more...
WHAT I'M UP TO
Chambers' first feature-length documentary, Mama Gloria, virtually premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival and screened from October 14-25. Mama Gloria centers on the life of black trans elder Gloria Allen, and Chambers collaborated with critically acclaimed director Luchina Fisher to bring the score to life. After its tenure at CIFF, Mama Gloria screened at the virtual 2020 CineOdyssey Film Festival and received the honor of winning Best Film! Mama Gloria is now screening through the Human Rights Campaign and will be available through the 2020 Teaneck International Film Festival on November 21.
This December, Chambers will be featured as a contributing writer in the Society of Composers and Lyricists' quarterly publication Score Magazine. Her article focuses on the genre bias perpetuated against Black film composers and she offers valuable resources for White composers to advocate for their colleagues of color.
In addition to composing, Chambers has relaunched her baking business, Sweets by Jocelyn. The small bakery was originally founded in Austin, Texas in 2006, when Chambers was just 9-years old. Almost 15 years later, it is making its Los Angeles debut with cakes and pies homemade with love. You can view and order from Sweets by Jocelyn here.
MUSIC (AT A GLANCE)