Composer Jonathan B. McNair’s career has embraced the creation and performance of new music, community outreach, academic teaching, publishing, and church music.
He earned the Bachelor of Music, with honors, at Appalachian State University; the Master of Music at Southern Methodist University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts at The Cleveland Institute of Music. Dr. McNair studied composition with Donald Erb, Sydney Hodkinson, and Scott R. Meister, and has participated in master-classes with internationally known composers including Jennifer Higdon, Nils Vigeland, Earle Brown, George Crumb, Richard Felciano, David Felder, Lukas Foss, Karel Husa, Philippe Manoury, and Bernard Rands.
Dr. McNair’s music has been performed by members of the Cleveland Orchestra, Sirius Ensemble, Myriad Ensemble, Epicycle Ensemble, the Wichita New Music Ensemble, soloists and ensembles at June In Buffalo, Spivey Hall Children’s Choir, the Smoky Mountain Chorale, and ensembles at universities, colleges, and churches around the country. He has also had performances in Ireland, Germany, and Switzerland. His music was featured at the festival “A Little Now Music” at Brevard College, and he had two new works premiered at the gala opening festivities of the 21st Century Waterfront in Chattanooga. He has also had music broadcast via radio, represented on CD by Capstone Records, and published by Pilgrim Press.
He has won affirmation from audiences and performers, and from critics in Fanfare magazine, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Buffalo News, the Chattanooga Free Press, and in the journals Worship and The Hymn. Organizations awarding him commissions and prizes include the American Composers Forum, Chattanooga Downtown Partnership, Chattanooga Clarinet Choir, Choral Arts of Chattanooga, Spivey Hall and the YWCO, Allied Arts of Chattanooga, Ballet Tennessee, Chattanooga Symphony core players, the Percussive Arts Society.
McNair was twice chosen as composer-in-residence for the Viva Voce! Choral Camp, and was a composer in the Faith Partners residency program of the American Composers Forum. He was chosen in 2004 and 2005 as a resident artist by I-Park Artist’s Enclave (East Haddam, Connecticut). He has also served as resident composer for Ballet Tennessee, who commissioned, choreographed, and premiered five new works by him in their Millenium Nutcracker production, December 2000 (repeated 2001). He is actively involved in organizing performances of contemporary music in academic and community settings through the biennial Contemporary Music Symposium at UTC.
Dr. McNair is currently U. C. Foundation Associate Professor at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he serves as Coordinator of Music Theory and artistic director of the biennial Contemporary Music Symposium.