A proud Oregonian at heart, Jenna left the Pacific Northwest to begin her musical studies at St. Olaf College, in Minnesota, under the instruction of Herbert Winslow, Associate Principal of the Minnesota Orchestra. While there, she participated in international band and orchestra tours to Mexico and Norway, performed as a soloist with the Roseville String Ensemble and St. Olaf Orchestra, and also played with the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2007, she completed her Bachelor of Music degree, graduating magna cum laude with departmental distinction in Horn Performance. Her continued eastward migration carried her to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she commenced her masters studies with Randy Gardner and Duane Dugger at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During her tenure at CCM, she participated in the Opera Music and Theatre Festival of Lucca, Italy, and the International Orchestra Camp of Lüchow, Germany, and was a featured soloist with the CCM Chamber Winds, graduating with her Master of Music degree in 2009. During the spring of 2009, she studied with Elizabeth Freimuth, Principal of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. From 2009-2014 Jenna studied privately with Tom Sherwood, Associate Principal of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. McBride-Harris returned to higher education in 2014 to begin her doctoral studies in horn performance with Bruce Henniss at The Ohio State University, graduating with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2017.
In the summer of 2017, McBride-Harris joined the horn faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp where she taught private lessons, a brass performance skills class, coached chamber ensembles, and performed in faculty recitals. Following her experience there, she joined the MMEA All-State Band Camp faculty as a horn section coach before relocating to the Twin Cities to teach, perform, and present masterclasses and clinics. Jenna has also been Instructor of Horn at the International Orchestra Camp of Lüchow in Germany since 2008 and is looking forward to the next camp planned for summer 2022.
Her thesis, Interdisciplinary Transfer and Cultivation: How Vocal, Writing, and Visual Arts Can Inform Horn Practice and Performance introduces an approach that seeks to find connectivity among the arts and to deepen musical connection and understanding within the context of horn pedagogy by engagement with vocal, writing, and visual art techniques. Using this Interdisciplinary Transfer and Cultivation [ITC] approach, Jenna developed an Institutional Review Board [IRB] approved workshop designed to test the efficacy of these activities with undergraduate horn majors. The results of that workshop, along with the artwork and responses of participants are presented in the thesis.
Jenna is interested in continuing to collect data through IRB studies, develop more workshop activities, and present the ITC approach to private students and in workshops, clinics, and masterclasses. ITC is potentially limitless in its scope–the areas of voice, writing, and visual art are only a stepping-off point. Any artistic area such as dance, drama, plastic arts, performance art, film, etc., has the potential to change the perspective of and lend new solutions to the hornist specifically and to the musician generally. Ultimately, McBride-Harris is interested in developing an ITC workbook with a variety of activities, prompts and exercises that will help hornists engage more deeply with their music and practice routines.
After eight wonderful seasons, Jenna retired as second horn of the Canton Symphony Orchestra upon relocating to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Apart from her position with that orchestra, Jenna has also enjoyed a wealth of opportunities to perform with other symphonic ensembles, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, and many other regional ensembles.
McBride-Harris’ orchestral experiences both at home and abroad have been eclectic, from performing for Norwegian Royalty, to playing under the batons of famous jazz trumpeter Doc Severinsen, and the master of movie scores, John Williams. From performing operas & concerts in the hometown of Puccini, in some of Europe’s oldest Cathedrals, and in the Rainforest villages of Mexico, each unique event has informed her musicianship.
Jenna has enjoyed concertizing as both a soloist and Chamber musician. She has performed as soloist with the Roseville String Ensemble and St. Olaf Orchestra in Minnesota, as well as with the CCM Chamber Winds Ensemble. She was cofounder of two chamber ensembles, the J plays H duo (2010-2015) which featured harpist James Predovich, and the Ohio River Brass Quintet. Her tenure with the Ohio River Brass Quintet (2008-2014) also included a series of recitals, masterclasses and was regularly featured as part of the Classical Revolution series at the Northside Tavern in Cincinnati, OH. While COVID-19 has cancelled performances for the foreseeable future, Jenna looks forward to reuniting with her current chamber ensemble, SixtyThreeFeet, a horn trio with hornists Allison Akins and Mike Alexander.
Jenna has been teaching privately since 2007, and has been engaged in collegiate instruction since 2011. Dubbed “Dr. McB” by her students she loves teaching at St. Olaf College and CSB/SJU as well as investing in her private students through JHM Horn Studio.