Jay Walls, Composer Jay Walls, Composer
Biography Biography

Walls (b. 1963) speaks a musical language that reflects his broad exposure to classical, jazz and popular idioms. He is particularly interested the balance between compositional systems and musical intuition, as well as with the use of borrowed musical elements. In fact, some of his own works host melodic material derived from processes or preexistant works.

Walls received his earliest training in piano with composer Jane McFadden and voice with Carol Marty at Capital University's Conservatory Preparatory Division in his native Columbus, Ohio. He completed studies in vocal/choral music education at Harding University in Arkansas, where his pursuit of multiple disciplines in the humanities was already taking shape, as he received awards both in music and theatre. Subsequently, Walls received the Master of Music and Ph.D. degrees in composition from the University of North Texas.

Walls studied composition with Joseph Klein, Martin Mailman, Andrew May, and Cindy McTee. His teachers in electro-acoustic music have included Larry Austin, John Mallia, and Phillip Winsor. Walls’ works have been selected for performance by the Southern Methodist University String Quartet, presented on master classes with David Del Tredici and the New York-based string quartet ETHEL, and performed at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the University of North Texas, among other venues. His awards include: Outstanding Music Student Award at Harding; Outstanding Music Composition Studies Graduate Student Award, the Dean’s Camerata Scholarship, the Richard and Candace Faulk Scholarship, and the David M. Schimmel Memorial Scholarship at UNT; and a Lewisville Lake Symphony's Love and Immortality Project Competition award.

Vocal studies were completed with Kenneth Davis Jr., Neva White, Jeannine Crader, Heidi Dietrich Klein and Grant Williams. Other musical mentors have included Phil Wallace and Alan Berry in Ohio, and Henry Gibbons and Sally Schott in Texas. Between his years as a student, Walls has worked as an educator in Houston, Arkansas and Florence, Italy, which has included teaching a number of courses outside of music, including Italian language and literature. Walls currently teaches composition, theory and a variety of related courses at Harding.

Walls is a member of BMI, the American Composers Forum, and the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers. He has served as a judge of new compositions for the Texas Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association, South Central Division. He enjoys directing Harding's Arts and Life Performance Series and meeting some of the most talented performers from around the world. Apart from pursuits in music, Walls enjoys travel, gardening, history, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.