Lamont Faculty Profile: Jeremy Reynolds
by Angela Mitchell
“I am wired to be a task master. I don’t take no for an answer.”
These words by Jeremy Reynolds encapsulate the enthusiasm he brings to all areas of his musical life. From being a fierce advocate for new music, to recruiting the finest clarinet students from across the country, to advocating for a more diverse and inclusive environment at Lamont, Reynolds is well known around the Newman Center for his boundless energy.
When we spoke over Zoom in late January, Reynolds was in the final stages of preparation for his faculty recital. The program includes two staples of the Romantic period by Beethoven and Weber, as well as 20th century works by Zlatan Vauda and Joseph Horowitz. He has a busy summer ahead of him, including a featured performance at the International Clarinet Society conference and appearances in Bangkok, Thailand.
Originally from upstate New York, Reynolds began his journey in music on the piano, taking lessons from age 8 through high school. He briefly tried trombone, during which he described himself as “my band director’s worst nightmare,” and then switched to bass clarinet in 9th grade.
While an undergraduate student at Ithaca College, Reynolds attended the Aspen Music Festival. “It changed my life,” he says. “I was this little clarinet player from upstate New York, and here were all these people from Curtis, Juilliard, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the New England Conservatory. It was awesome to be surrounded by all these world class players.”
Reynolds would return to Colorado several times: back to Aspen while getting his Master of Music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, then to the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge while a doctoral student at the University of Southern California. He landed the job of principal clarinet of the Tucson Symphony in 2003. When the recession hit in 2008 and the symphony was forced to impose cuts to salary and benefits, he was faced with a difficult choice.
“I had previously taught at Northern Arizona University,” he says. “At this point, needing some measure of stability in my life, I started applying for academic jobs in earnest.”
Reynolds returned to Colorado permanently in 2010, joining the faculty at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music. Since then, he has maintained a very active performance schedule while growing his clarinet studio. He is the Associate Principal Clarinet of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and subs with the Colorado Symphony on a regular basis. Last year, he achieved the prestigious title of full professor, a rank that takes many years to attain.
He is passionate about working with living composers from many different backgrounds. In 2021 he recorded the complete works of David Maslanka and recently premiered works for two clarinets by Theresa Martin and Chia-Yu Hsu. This year, he’ll give the world premieres of works by Jenni Brandon and Paul Schoenfield.
As one of Lamont’s biggest cheerleaders, Reynolds was tasked this year with being the “faculty champion” for the McGoldrick Match. He acts as a liaison between the DU Advancement team and Lamont faculty, passing along ideas and leads, and even meeting with potential donors.
When asked what he dreams of for Lamont’s future, Reynolds responded, “It would be amazing if we were a fully endowed school where every student could come for free.” In the meantime, he emphasizes, “We are designed to be a smaller, more intimate school. The kind of education we can provide here is truly something special.”