Jennifer Bellor Composer, Performer, and Visiting Lecturer in Composition at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Praised as “creating her own world of music with symbolisms, imagery, and poetry all fused together to form a creative synergy that is distinctly hers” (No Depression) and having the ability to “maintain a highly individual identity without needing to take refuge in pre-post-genre musical silos” (Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBox), composer Jennifer Bellor writes music that is inspired by personal experiences, text, and imagery, and has been hailed as “gorgeously ethereal” (City Paper), “haunting” (JazzCorner) and “erotic” (fanfare magazine). Bellor’s music draws on a variety of influences, evidenced in her debut album Stay, which is a melting pot of different music styles largely based on poetry. Stay was featured on NewMusicBox’s 2016 Staff picks, and her composition Chase the Stars has received critical acclaim not only for its “dazzling eclecticism” combining opera, hip hop and jazz, but also for her singing. No Depression’s Stacey Zering proclaimed: “Bellor’s gorgeously haunting vocals hypnotizes in Chase the Stars like a seemingly innocent mermaid who will later capture you with no intentions of bringing you back.”   Bellor’s works have been commissioned and performed by professional and college orchestras, ensembles, and soloists throughout the world, including the Las Vegas, Lviv, and Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic; American Composers Orchestra; Henderson Symphony; Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus; Millersville University Orchestra; Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra; UNLV and Eastman New Jazz Ensembles; UNLV Wind Orchestra; Eastman, Adams State, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Central Connecticut State, CSU East Bay, and SFA university, Nazareth college wind ensemble/symphonies; Elevate Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Sirocco Flutes, Eastman Saxophone Project, Ritsos Project, A/Tonal, ShoutHouse, Cuon Vu Trio; UNLV Chamber Chorale; and many others. Her music as been heard at concert halls including the Kennedy Center, and at festivals including Festival des Anches d’Azur, Missouri State University Composition Festival, Neon Museum Artist Residency, Aspen, June in Buffalo, Florida State University Festival of New Music, Hildegard Festival, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, Composers Now Festival, Rochester Fringe Festival, and Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, which her opera Duffy’s Cut and was praised as showing a “flair for full-bodied, operatic sound” (Washington Post), and for “using contrasting rhythms and clever harmonies to an intriguing effect” (Huffington Post).   Bordello Nights commissioned by the UNLV Wind Orchestra received its France premiere at the Festival des Anches d’Azur in La Croix Valmer featuring jazz saxophonists Eric Marienthal and Colin Gordon, pianist Mitch Forman, bassist Kevin Axt, and drummer Bernie Dresel. It was recorded by Klavier Records and praised as being a “terrific piece of big band jazz.” (Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine) and “evoking smoky erotic haunts in New Orleans” (Huntley Dent, Fanfare Magazine). Bellor’s new album titled Songs in the Dark released June 2017 fuses contemporary art song with pop and alternative rock. Recorded with pianist Christina Wright-Ivanova, Jason Corpuz (synth), and Summer Kodama (electric bass), it is a musical exploration into the dark, haunting and evocative poems by Emily Brontë and John Donne. She is currently working on new songs and original lyrics for her next album titled “To Sleep,” a concept album inspired by the poem “To Sleep” by John Keats.   Born and raised in Northern NY, Bellor earned a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. The 2016 winner of The American Prize for her composition Chase the Stars, Bellor also has received awards by Elevate Ensemble for Moments Shared, Moments Lost, IAWM Judith Lang Zaimont prize for Skylark Lullaby, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra Composition prize for Noir, and a Downbeat Award for Midnight Swim. Her primary composition teachers included David Liptak, Bob Morris, Andrew Waggoner, Sally Lamb-McCune, and Steven Stucky. She is currently Visiting Lecturer at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches courses in music composition and theory. Her music is available on ITunes, Amazon, Spotify, SoundCloud and Youtube.


For more information, please visit:
Facebook Page:
Video of Noir performed by Grace Kelly and Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra:
Video of Seattle Skies conducted by Bellor and performed by UNLV Jazz
Video of opera Christabel:


Stay (2016) for clarinet, vibraphone, and piano

PDF score

Stay (2016) was premiered by clarinetist Cory Tiffin and premiered at the UNLV Nextet concert March 14, 2016. It was recorded for my debut album STAY released August 21, 2016. Additional performances include a Chicago premiere by Cory at the New Music at the Green Mill Series in Chicago, IL June 19, and performance by the A/Tonal Ensemble July 13, 2016.

Chase the Stars (2015) for voice, rapper, flute, bass clarinet, string quartet, percussion, piano, percussion, electric guitar,

PDF score

Chase the Stars was commissioned by ShoutHouse for premiere in December 2015. It was recorded for my debut album STAY featuring Las Vegas-based rapper, Rasar Amani.

Skylark Lullaby (2014) for saxophone choir

PDF score

Skylark Lullaby was commissioned by the Eastman Saxophone Project under the direction of Chien-Kwan Lin, and premiered at the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Conference at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It received additional performances at Eastman, and was selected for performance by the FSU SaxoChoir at the 2015 Florida State University Festival of New Music. This is a recording by the Eastman Saxophone Project.

Moments Shared, Moments Lost (2016) for clarinet and electric organ

PDF score

Moments Shared, Moments Lost (2016) was recorded for Bellor's debut album Stay released August 21, 2016. It was the winner of Elevate Ensemble's Call for Scores and performed March 4, 2017 on their concert After Dark in San Francisco.