After witnessing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony live for the first time when he was twelve, Jacob Harrison knew he wanted to be a conductor. His initial efforts involved standing and waving his arms in front of a stereo system in the family living room using a chopstick from take-out Chinese food as a baton and a CD of Beethoven’s 9th stolen from his parents collection.
Since that fateful night, Jacob has conducted orchestras across the country, leading performances of the great symphonies, concertos, overtures, choral masterworks, opera, and ballet. He is also an ally of living composers through constant inclusion of their works in his programming along with commissioning and premiering new works for orchestra.
Jacob is the newly appointed director of orchestral activities and associate professor of conducting at Texas State University. At his previous institution, he received multiple awards for his teaching as the director of the orchestra program and professor of conducting at Iowa State University.
As an in-demand conductor and educator, Jacob maintains a busy schedule conducting professional orchestras, all-state and honor ensembles, and offering clinics around the country. Recent engagements include leading performances with the Arizona Ballet and The Phoenix Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, All-State Orchestras in Arizona, Iowa, and North Carolina, and clinics in Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Jacob and his wife and son make their home in Austin, Tx where the traffic is bad but the brisket and breakfast tacos are plentiful.