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.
In 2018, at age 21, Chambers moved to Los Angeles with the intention of earning a graduate certificate in film scoring from UCLA. Before beginning her coursework in January 2019, Chambers maintained a full-time position on Netflix's third season of Designated Survivor as a post-production assistant. She continued her full-time work as a post-PA in the midst of her studies, eventually working on the Netflix YA drama Grand Army. Despite her full-time job and certificate studies, Chambers sought opportunities to compose music. She scored temporary music for both Netflix programs, and collaborated with executive producers Neal Baer, Josh Donen, writer Dawn DeNoon, and editors Damien Smith, Bryan Darling, and Joanne Yarrow. In October 2019, Chambers was hired to score feature documentary Mama Gloria, which highlights the life of black trans elder Gloria Allen. She collaborated with critically-acclaimed director Luchina Fisher.
In January 2020, Chambers made the courageous decision to commit to full-time composition. Despite the industry-wide shutdown that accompanied COVID-19, Chambers continued to receive composition and performance opportunities. In June, she completed the short documentary In Favor of Fetus, which details the experiences of women affected by the Cocaine Mom law of Wisconsin. Over the summer, she began scoring advertisement music for production houses including Found Objects and West Channel. She has demoed original music for Dell and had her work pitched to Google. Her work has been programmed for the Kansas City Orchestra, Arizona State University Orchestra, and Columbus State University Choir. She is currently writing a commissioned choir work for Illinois’ Reavis High School.
Chambers has adopted the title “Composer-creative” to encompass her many extra-musical endeavors. In her book, The Era of Mixed Feelings, she has used her skills as a writer to encourage young people and vocalize her passion for social justice. Through her online magazine, Majesty Mag, she has used her photography to highlight the beauty of women of color and bring multitudes of communities together. Through her podcast, The I Am Loved Podcast, she has advocated self-healing and growth for women who have experienced heartbreak. Her latest venture, Sweets by Jocelyn, revives traditional family recipes for the modern world. In everything she pursues, Chambers intends to show her love for people and her dedication to their representation. She is determined to shake up the Hollywood film industry, and ensure it reflects the diversity of the world we live in, so she, and other creatives of color, do not feel alone.