January 19, 2024

MSM Spotlight: Meet Jacob Eddy, a featured composer in the JAN 24 MSM Composers’ Concert

Jacob Eddy (BM ’27) is a Freshman composition major from San Antonio, Texas and currently studies with Mark Stambaugh at MSM. We spoke with Jacob about his piece featured in the upcoming MSM Composers’ Concert, his freshman year so far, and his advice for prospective composition students.


Jacob Eddy is a multi-instrumentalist, conductor, theorist, and classical composer. Jacob started playing the violin when he was 10. Later in high school, he picked up all the string instruments, along with piano. He also began to study Music Theory and his fascination with theory led him to develop the Eddy Theory, a branch of music theory related to transformational and Neo-Riemannian theory outlining modal transformations in pitch space. His research was presented at the 45th annual Texas Society for Music Theory conference as the first high school student to ever be accepted.

Aside from his love for music theory, Jacob developed a passion for conducting and composition. He has studied under multiple professors of both theory and composition, as well as conductors from the University of Texas at San Antonio during his high school years. Jacob’s passion for composing lies in Late Classical, Romantic, and Early 20th Century music. His music molds his own modal transformation theory with the styles of composers from the previously listed eras. Jacob primarily writes traditional classical music. He plans on getting his Masters of Music in Conducting and his PhD in Music Theory.

When Jacob is not composing and stuyding music theory, he enjoys shopping, exploring the city, and spending time with friends.

MSM Composers Concert

JAN 24 | WED
7:30 PM

Free, tickets required 

Ades Performance Space 

How has freshman year been so far? What’s been your most memorable experience so far?

Jacob: Freshman year has been amazing. It’s both everything I expected and everything I wasn’t expecting at the same time, in the best way possible. The people I’ve met at MSM are some of the most interesting and special people I’ve ever met. My most memorable experience so far has to be getting together with friends and going ice-skating in Bryant Park and then looking at all the window displays along Fifth Avenue. The city is so magical during the holiday season and it’s so rewarding to be with friends in a wonderful city after a semester full of hard work.

You’re featured in the Jan 24 Composers’ Concert! Tell us about your piece being presented in this concert!

Jacob: Being featured in the January 24th Composer’s Concert is so special to me because it will be my debut at MSM. I chose to write for a small ensemble and draw inspiration from all eras of music. I wrote a three movement Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano that is roughly 7 minutes long. I thoroughly enjoy writing for the piano and having the opportunity to have my fellow classmates play one of my pieces at a concert specifically for composers fills me with so much gratitude. The Trio is written in classic sonata form with Neo-Romantic, Riemannian, and a few contemporary influences. Writing in the classical style is very important to me, but as I am a contemporary composer, the piece naturally has contemporary influences.

Why did you choose to study Composition at MSM?

Jacob: I chose to study Composition at MSM because the caliber of professors and the location of the school are fantastic. Every professor I’ve met so far, whether they were part of the Composition department or other departments, has been extraordinary. They are so passionate about music and their individual fields of expertise. MSM being in New York City was also a major factor in why I chose to study here. There are so many opportunities to make connections in the music community across the entire world in New York City, and going to MSM means I can take full advantage of those opportunities.

Being from San Antonio, Texas, how was the move to Manhattan? What was the biggest adjustment?

Jacob: I have to say the biggest adjustment was definitely the culture. Everything is so fast paced in Manhattan and no one on the street bats an eye at you. Southern hospitality is definitely a thing in Texas that took me a while to adjust to. Also, the public transport is amazing. Back in San Antonio, you have to drive everywhere, and it can take an hour just to get home from work or school because of traffic. New York city is quite small and very accessible. The subway system is easy to use, and that which is not accessible by subway is walkable.

What advice do you have for anyone doing the Composition interview during audition week at MSM?

Jacob: Know your portfolio inside and out! I often find myself in a situation where I’m asked “Why” I composed something, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why I wrote what I wrote. During the Composition interview, you’ll be asked about your portfolio and it’s important to give meaningful answers that don’t just scratch the surface. Most importantly, show your passion for composition and music; demonstrate how you will contribute excellence to and beyond MSM.

During the Composition interview, you’ll be asked about your portfolio and it’s important to give meaningful answers that don’t just scratch the surface. Most importantly, show your passion for composition and music; demonstrate how you will contribute excellence to and beyond MSM. 

What are you listening to right now?

Jacob: This is always such a hard question to answer. Lately, I’ve been listening to Debussy’s La Mer and Prelude a l‘apres-midi d’un Faune. The late Romantic Impressionist movement is one of my favorites, so a lot of Debussy and Ravel. I’ve also been listening to a lot of the great symphonies of Beethoven, Dvorak, Brahms, Bruckner, and Mahler. Aside from that, Mitski and Lana del Rey are always on my playlist no matter the day.

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