The third finalist in the 2020 Walter Hussey Composition Competition that we would like to introduce you to is Jake Huntley from the USA.

Jake Huntley (b.1996)

Entry title:  New life, new love
Text from Henry Lawson (1867-1922)

Jake Huntley is an American composer and conductor of classical music, with a primary emphasis on choral music.  Praised for his melody-driven writing style coupled with contemporary harmonies, Jake’s music is a favourite for ensembles of all levels.  His award-winning pieces have been performed throughout the USA by high school and collegiate ensembles, including the Wartburg Choir Ritterchor and Festeburg.  Jake received a B.M. (Music Education) from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.  He currently teaches elementary music and secondary choir in Iowa where he lives with his wife, Andrea, and their puppy, Coda. 

About the Walter Hussey Composition Competition, Jake said:

‘I always jump at the opportunity to create new music, and finding this competition was no different.  Learning about Walter Hussey and his passion for choral music was so inspiring to me, and the theme of “New Horizons” pushed me to create a piece that lives not only in the present, but also for the future.  The Reading Phoenix Choir’s mission of connecting composers, conductors, choir members, and listeners is such a crucial mission for today’s climate, and I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to create music in support of this message.’

What our judges said about Jake’s entry:

  • Well crafted, many lovely magic moments
  • Very good. Echoes of Arnesen
  • He understands the Poem
  • The music fits the text chosen
  • A good climactic section
  • This is a piece that slowly builds in intensity leading us to a thrilling climax. It is constructed of lots of small phrases, with each one building from simple harmonic beginnings to often luscious juicy harmonies.  There is interest in every voice part and would be satisfying to sing and to listen to.

To find out more about Jake Huntley:
Facebook page: 
YouTube page:

Next time:  Blake R Mitchell