Carolyn Jennings is a Professor Emerita of Music at St. Olaf College where she taught for many years and also served in administrative roles, including being Chair of the Music Department and Associate Dean for the Fine Arts. She also recently retired as Music Coordinator and Director of the Senior Choir at St. John's Lutheran Church, Northfield, Minnesota, where she served as a church musician for over thirty years.
Carolyn Jennings is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music magna cum laude and the University of Michigan where she received her Master of Music degree as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
Over many years she has served on arts advisory panels, as a workshop presenter, and in leadership roles in several professional organizations. She has been active in promoting the use of inclusive language in texts for singing, and has worked to heighten awareness of how language shapes as well as expresses thought.
Her compositions and arrangements include works for voices, orchestra, and piano. She particularly enjoys composing for voices. Among her many commissioned works are children's musical, a choral song cycle, a composition for the Minnesota Aids Quilt Songbook, and many compositions for church, school and community choirs. She has received several major grants from the Composers Commissioning Program through the Minnesota Composers Forum. Choral compositions and arrangements by Carolyn Jennings are widely sung by church, community, college and school choirs. Her publications include over a hundred choral compositions and arrangements, a number of text translations, contributions to several hymnals, and articles for professional journals.
She is active in the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Teachers National Association, the Minnesota Composers Forum, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and as a guest conductor and workshop leader.