Jon Nelson
Piano/Composition/Jazz Studies
Jon D. Nelson is a composer and pianist from Sun Prairie, WI and a graduate of Ball State University, where he received a bachelor degree in music composition studying closely with Dr. Jody Nagel, and Dr. Michael Pounds. His music has been selected for performances by various ensembles throughout the United States, including performances by the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and several collegiate ensembles.
During his studies at Ball State, Jon was active in composing music for short films in addition to writing for other forms of media, including mobile applications, commercial advertisements and documentaries. His keyboard playing can be heard on numerous studio recordings for artists and ensembles spanning a wide range of styles from pop music and jazz quartets, to film music and classical piano recordings.
Alongside his work as a composer, Jon has spent five years writing and performing as a member of award winning band, Trackless, with colleagues Jordan West, Jeremy Jones, and William Smith, who together gained success through a loyal fan base in the Midwest, as well as throughout the Los Angeles area. In 2016, he founded Resonance; a program dedicated to mentoring high school music students with passion for creating new music, and presenting concerts of entirely original concert music. As of late, he continues to take on new composition projects, collaborating with artists throughout the communities that he has grown close to.
With regards to teaching and composing, Jon says, “I feel that life is made beautiful by the vast range and variety of emotions we are capable of feeling. As a composer I strive to celebrate all flavors of emotion with the music I create and this celebration comes with me to the classroom as well as the stage. My teaching is structured according to the belief that anyone of any skill level can feel dynamic emotions through music and convey them to others!
“During any music lesson, I work toward building a diverse toolbox of musical understandings unique to each student; I aim to develop instrumental technique that facilitates the flow of expressive ideas; and most importantly, I hope to encourage and ignite sparks of curiosity that lead to fulfilling pursuits in music.”
Outside of his musical pursuits, Jon deeply appreciates nature and is fascinated with science, especially geology. He enjoys getting outdoors, hiking through the mountains out west, and taking long drives to think in solidarity for extended stretches of time. Though his goal is to develop sincere appreciation for many different kinds of music, some of his favorite composers and artists include Maurice Ravel, John Williams, Thomas Newman, Chris Thile, Bill Evans, Snarky Puppy, Jacob Collier, Kimbra, Paramore, Earth Wind & Fire, and many others.