Jim Puckett

Jim in Huntington Beach, California

Jim is a career church musician and Pastor of Worship Arts and member of the music faculty at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He has composed and arranged for a variety of settings including chamber works, accompaniment orchestrations, orchestral and vocal works. Jim has received recognition in 2011 and 2010 from the National Academy of Music and awarded performances at the 2014 CFAMC National Conference, 2013 Contemporary Piano Residency and SCL Festivals, The SCI 2013 Region V Conference, SCI 2012 Region VI Conference, 2010 National Conference, New Music Festival IX & XII (Univ. of Nebraska, Kearney), the 2010 SCL, and the SCI 2010 Region VI Conference. Other recent works include Fantasia for Bass Clarinet and Concert Band, In the Gardens (Piano), Meditation on “Evening” (Soprano/Piano), Danse de Cirque (Trombone/Piano), Somethin’s Gone Wrong Deep Within, (Trumpet/Piano), Countdown for 7 instruments; and Nocturne (Tenor Sax/Piano). Jim is a member of the Society of Composers. Inc., the Southeastern Composer’s League, and The Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers. Jim has studied with Frank Wiley, Peter Fischer, Leslie Dutton, and Richard Meek. He pursues a PhD in Theory/Composition from Kent State University, and holds degrees from Texas Tech University and Mount Vernon Nazarene University.


Three 4 Hand Drums
THREE 4 HAND DRUMS The three-movement percussion quartet explores the primary and secondary sounds of various hand drums individually and together with an emphasis on African and Cuban influenced rhythmic patterns. The emphasis of the first movement is driving interplay between the drums with multi-meter twists. The second movement features slow rhythms and metallic sounds and effects combined with the drums. The final movement features a powerful driving force that moves back and forth through canonic layering and unisons.
In The Gardens
In November of 2010, we began to rent a home in the beautiful Schnormeier Gardens (Gambier, Ohio). I purposed early, possibly my first day in the home, that I would try to capture some of this beauty in music. As I walked and experienced all 9 garden areas, I quickly realized that each and every day could be a new experience of peace and inspiration by seeing and living among some of the most beautiful scenes created together by God and man. WINTER Our first WINTER in The Gardens was a particularly harsh one. The scenes of this movement vary from the quiet stillness across a deep, deep snow, to the turbulent blizzard type days and nights, to the ice so thick that the ponds were frozen over and the tree limbs cracking like gun shots. Eventually, the winter slowly melted away. SPRING Our first SPRING in The Gardens was a thrilling thing to experience. Each walk revealed something new: new buds, new colors, new flowers. We couldn’t wait to walk the gardens again to see what had come out since the last time! Without hesitation, my favorite was to walk and sit along the Stream Garden, hearing the water flowing from the waterfall, down the rocky stream to the lake. SUMMER The quiet sunrises and early morning strolls during the SUMMER revealed fog over the water, and animal friends in the forest. The flowers became a circus of color, while the bees, raccoons, squirrels and birds made a new adventure of each day. Dinner on the deck looking out over the woods was something to look forward to each day. Summer is never long enough… AUTUMN If there were ever a picture of majesty in full color, it is my view overlooking the Meadow Garden during the AUTUMN. Much like spring, every few days revealed another change of color. The walks through the forest sounded “crunchier” as the trees lost their leaves and The Gardens became dormant preparing for another winter.
Somethin’s Gone Wrong Deep Within
This commissioned work begins with the sound of the American "spiritual" and depicts the internal tension of the apostle Paul as stated in Romans 7:14-20. The duality is expressed through the instrumentation, motivic material, and tonality. The trumpet uses full range of the instrument, mutes, minor extended techniques, and expressive tone production. A short cadenza allows prime opportunity for the artist to give dramatic interpretation to this internal struggle through varied technique, use of range and optional improvisation. Written for Jeffrey Crabtree at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, this piece was previewed on April 9, 2011 as part of the Phi Mu Alpha American Music Concert, and then premiered at his senior recital on April 28, 2011. Following the inaugural performance Mr. Crabtree reported, “The audience reaction was amazing. Many people commented on how powerful the work is and that they were brought to tears.” "I can anticipate the response that is coming: 'I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience?' Yes. I'm full of myself after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary. But I need something more! For I know the law but still can't keep it, and the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes, I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time." Romans 7:14-20 (The Message)
NOCTURNE for Tenor Sax and Piano
Named “Finalist of the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition 2010” by the National Academy of Music and selected for performance at New Music Festival IX (Univ of Nebraska, Kearney), the 2010 Southeastern Composer’s League Conference, and 2010 Society of Composers, Inc. Region VI and National Conferences, this jazz influenced duet experiments with chord extensions and textures in the upper and lower range of the tenor saxophone. The simple melody produces memorable lines providing a platform for various chordal colors and intriguing voicing between the two instruments.