Jay C. Batzner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches theory, composition, and technology courses as well as coordinates the composition program. He holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kansas.

Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music.

Jay is a sci-fi geek, an amateur banjoist, a home brewer, and juggler.

What I like about teaching

I really enjoy teaching composition lessons. I don't see my role as being the overlord of style. Instead, I turn into "Idea Man." I comment about my students' works and then shotgun them with various ideas of how to proceed. The discussion leads us down all sorts of paths and it always keeps my brain active. I never did well with teachers would would look at my work and say "Yeah, this is good. Keep going." That dialog and discourse is one of the things that keeps me going.

Lessons also stimulate ideas for what I should write next. Unlike many of you, I am not burdened with excessive amounts of commissions telling me what I have to write. Most of my precompositional work these days has been in ensemble selection. I'm trying to make tactically important ensemble decisions. They usually cut against the grain of the music I want to write, but I'm looking to correct that.

I'm a little starved for performances right now. Most recent performances of my music have been without me present or with me as the performer. I really get off on hearing my music as an audience member. It is the illustrious high which I seek. Red wine is good, but now that red wine is this super-health food it kind of diminishes the decadence factor. And bourbon has gotten expensive now that I'm no longer working in a liquor store.

Hmmm. My entry goes almost directly from comp lessons into drinking. Reminds me of my doctoral program...