Musician Profiles

Jennifer Godfrey

A native of Clearwater, Florida, Jennifer first fell in love with the sound of the double bass at age 8 during a Curtis Elementary School field trip to a Florida Orchestra concert and, when she later asked to learn to play the bass, was told she could only play violin due to her diminutive size. Meanwhile, she competed in golf, the pinnacle of which was placing second in the annual statewide Jaycee junior golf championship at Walt Disney in Orlando, FL in her final year, 1991. Three thousand copies of Jennifer's Florida Panther poster were distributed throughout Pinellas County, FL to help educate and protect the indigenous endangered panthers as part of winning a county-wide endangered species visual art competition. She greatly enjoyed the magnet programs offered in Pinellas County public schools (MEGSSS, IMAST) and the summer college classes in computer programming, chemistry, and math. She has many fond memories of these programs and feels lucky to have grown up closely surrounded by so many wonderful wildlife 100% rescue/rehabilitation/educational sanctuaries such as Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, Moccasin Lake Nature Park, and Mote Marine Science Center. The sound of the bass never left her mind and, after 6 years of violin study, she seized the opportunity immediately to switch to bass when a vacancy opened up in the school orchestra.

Her continuous professional career as a bassist began at age 15 while successfully earning an International Baccalaureate Diploma and performing as principal bass in the Saint Petersburg High School Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Pinellas Youth Symphony, Tampa Bay Symphony, and Florida Allstate Orchestra and Wind Ensemble while becoming vegetarian. Jennifer won awards in several all-instrument solo competitions, including First Prize in 1994 and Grand prize in 1996 in the Florida Orchestra's Young Artists' Competition which collectively resulted in six solo performances with the orchestra in 1995 and 1997; placing second in Ruth Eckerd Hall's scholarship solo competition in 1994; and performing Saint-Saens Carnival of Animals "The Elephant" as a solo as part of a Florida tour in 1994 which included performances with the Spacecoast Symphony. She is forever grateful to the Florida Orchestra bass section and the Florida bass community for all their truly amazing support and encouragement in their every interaction with her.

In the summers she has attended Kinhaven, Aspen Music Festival, Domaine Forget, Verbier Festival with the Curtis Orchestra as the resident orchestra, Colorado Music Festival, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. While studying with Paul Ellison at Rice University on a full music/academic scholarship, Jennifer was a substitute bassist for the Naples Philharmonic and Galveston Symphony Orchestra. During her senior year at the Curtis Institute of Music studying with Harold Robinson, she was Principal Bass of New York String Seminar in December, 1998, and won her second orchestral audition: a highly competitive, blind Seattle Symphony Orchestra bass audition in June, 1999. Her Seattle chamber music performances include the Silk Road with Yo-Yo Ma as well as Seattle Chamber Players. She enjoys playing in NWchoir's A Festival of Lessons & Carols. Jennifer spends a great deal of time serving on volunteer SSOPO musicians' committees.

Jennifer has also volunteered locally for Pigs' Peace Sanctuary in Stanwood, Pasado's Safe Haven, and the Washington Native Plant Society; she contributes to several animal rescue and rehabilitation sanctuaries including Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Big Cat Rescue, Pigs' Peace Sanctuary, Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, and Farm Sanctuary. She feels strongly about protecting our environment, likes comedic movies, the beach, dolphins, porpoises, brown pelicans, manatees, marine life in general, yoga; she loves sampling/growing all manner of native/heirloom/organic foods from the plant kingdom, farmer's markets, organic stores, and the great organic vegetarian restaurants in Seattle. Jennifer also loves cooking, hiking, learning, and most recently read China Study, Thrive Fitness, and Dawn Clark's Blackheart. She feels lucky to have been able to adopt and care for abandoned animals.

Jennifer has participated in educational outreach programs in several local public schools including Ingraham and Garfield High.

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