Director of Choral Activities & Associate Dean of Arts & Humanities
What I Do at SSU
As the conductor of the Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus, SonoVoce, and Concert Choir, I provide students the opportunity to experience our rich and diverse music history through performance of choral works that span the ages. Building upon a shared love of vocal performance, our community of singers further enriches its choral education through the development of musicianship skills and performance techniques.
In addition, I am passionate about teaching all levels of Musicianship (Takadimi and solfege are power!). SSU’s robust Music Education program also grants me the amazing opportunity to teach and develop the skills of our next generation of choral music educators via Choral Conducting and Choral Methods and Repertoire. Nothing brings me more joy than watching my Choral Music Education students ascend the podium and conduct his/her/their first choral performance for an audience.
Recipient of the 2019 CMEA Bay Section Outstanding Choral Educator Award, Dr. Jenny Bent is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Sonoma State University, Choral Director for the Santa Rosa Symphony, and Manager of Chanticleer in Sonoma. She is a graduate of Boston University (BM in Voice Performance, MM in Choral Conducting, MM in Voice Performance) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (DMA in Choral Conducting and Choral Literature). Her teachers include Ann Howard Jones, Fred Stoltzfus, Susan Ormont, and Jerold Siena.
Dr. Bent’s choirs have earned unanimous superior ratings and command performances at choral festivals throughout the Bay Area and beyond and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Concert reviews by the San Francisco Classical Voice include the following:
- “the choir – Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus- was superb. Located within the orchestra instead of in the choir loft, the choristers were fully integrated into the sonic texture, aided in no small part by their excellent diction and well-controlled dynamics.”
- “In the “Agnus Dei,” the choir showed off its precise articulation, enunciating “qui tollis peccata mundi” with clarion fervor.”
- “They [SSU Symphonic Chorus] soared above the mighty orchestral forces assembled below and stole the show.”
Dr. Bent has ten years’ experience as a high school choral music educator, most recently as the Director of Vocal Music at the Marin School of the Arts. She was also on the voice faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, which is part of the Tanglewood Music Center, the summer home of the Boston Symphony.
In addition to her academic work, Dr. Bent frequently adjudicates festivals and presents at conferences for such organizations as the California Music Educators Association, the American Choral Directors Association, and Golden State, and she clinics choirs throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Dr. Bent served as Area I Representative on the CMEA board, and she is currently Treasurer of the California Choral Directors Association. From 2007-2014, Dr. Bent could be heard hosting the radio show The Choir Loft on KRCB-FM, the Sonoma County NPR affiliate.