Jaemi Blair Loeb conducts orchestral, choral, wind band, chamber, and opera ensembles, advocating for new music and collaborating with composers at every opportunity. She is currently Director of Instrumental Ensembles and Assistant Professor of Music at Centre College, where she is Music Director of the Centre College Orchestra and Centre College Wind Ensemble. She also teaches courses in music and Humanities, directs the Centre Pep Band, and organizes various music department events. In 2011, Jaemi founded the innovative Neighborhood Orchestra, the Houston Heights Orchestra, which continues to thrive and enrich the Heights community.
Jaemi is a confident musical leader, equally at home with standard, 20th century, and brand new repertoire. Her technical knowledge extends from the particulars of orchestral instruments to the inner workings of synthesizers and social media. She is dedicated to using this knowledge to integrate orchestral performance into the lives of players and listeners.
Before coming to Kentucky in 2012, Jaemi held a variety of positions in Houston. Some of these included; Conductor in Residence of the Foundation for Modern Music, Music Director of the Congregation Brith Shalom Choire, Music Director of the Lone Star College-Montgomery Symphonic Band, Assistant Director of the AURA Contemporary Music Ensemble, Assistant Conductor of the Moores School Orchestras, and Music Director of the Opera Vista Competition for New Opera. Jaemi is also an active guest conductor and made her Lincoln Center debut in March 2012 with the HaZamir International Festival Choir. She also taught private brass lessons at Lone Star College-Montgomery and San Jacinto College and served as substitute trombone for the Best Little Klezmer Band in Texas.
Jaemi grew up in North Haven, CT, which is just north of New Haven. She began Suzuki violin lessons around the age of 3 and quickly began learning as many other instruments as possible, beginning with Horn at age 9 and extending through most orchestral instruments (with varying levels of proficiency) by age 14. Around that time, she completed the transition from violin to viola and never looked back. Her conducting debut was at age 15, when she premiered her own composition with the North Haven Middle School Band. That was, as they say, the beginning of the end and her musical career from that point on was always bent towards preparing for a life as a conductor. Though she continued performing on various instruments, especially viola, her main professional instrument turned out to be Horn. Her career as a Horn player and private teacher was brief and always secondary to conducting, but she learned valuable lessons about the world of professional music. Jaemi's work on the podium is deeply rooted in her varied experiences as a performer in bands, orchestras, choruses, and folk music ensembles. Her love of learning new musical skills extends far beyond her broad formal training and helps her to relate to and collaborate with a wide range of musicians.
As an undergraduate, Jaemi was assistant conductor of the Brown University Symphony Orchestra, the Brown University Wind Ensemble, and the Brown University Mainstage Theater. She graduated from Brown in May of 2003 with a B.A. in Music and Modern Culture Media (magna cum laude, with honors in music). From 2003 to 2007, Jaemi lived in North Carolina, where she earned an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the UNC-Greensboro School of Music, under the direction of Robert Gutter. Her last position in North Carolina was as the Associate Conductor and General Manager of the Durham Youth Orchestra in Durham, NC. She also held conducting positions with: the Raleigh Symphony, the UNC-Chapel Hill Symphony Orchestra, the UNC-Chapel Hill Wind Ensemble, the UNC-Greensboro Symphony, and the UNC-Greensboro Contemporary Chamber Players. Jaemi then immigrated to Texas in 2007 to pursue a D.M.A. in Orchestral Conducting at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, under the direction of Franz Anton Krager, which she completed in May of 2011.