Jennie Dorris is a writer, percussionist, and interdisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh. In 2017 she was named "Who's Next" as a musician defining the new Pittsburgh sound.
She has pioneered a Musical Storytelling performance technique that she has performed across the country and is now used in schools, cancer centers, and nonprofits. In 2016, she received a Best of the Creative Industries Award for the top Art + Technology project for Musical Storytelling.
Her multimodal Telling Stories program, developed in 2008 for the Denver School of the Arts, was recently featured on “From the Top." Her podcast series, Telling Stories, which mixed music and personal stories from students at The Neighborhood Academy, was named a finalist for the 2017 Media and Entertainment project of the year.
She is a Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon University studying music's effect on the aging brain. She has started a marimba program at the University of Pittsburgh's BRiTE program, where artists and scientists work together to create effective programming for those with changes in their cognition.
Jennie is on faculty with Carnegie Mellon University’s Preparatory School as its percussion instructor and teaches courses in Creative Expression, Community Engagement, and Percussion Ensemble. She was a teaching artist through the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Meet the Maestro program, where she has performed and taught interdisciplinary programs that weave music into the environment, the solar system, and film.
She is one of the founding members of the Steeltown Songbirds, a classical-folk trio comprised of marimba, violin, and bass. She performs with Pittsburgh's Hip Hop Orchestra and is teaching at its inaugural summer academy. She also performs with Resonance Works, Alia Musica, Guardians of Sound, the Seraphic Singers, and Shelter Music Boston. She has also performed with Boston Landmarks Orchestra's Notes in the Neighborhood, New England Philharmonic, Mercury Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, Colorado Music Festival, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Fort Collins, Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, and Greeley Philharmonic, as well as the Boulder Brass, The Brass Roots, Crusic Percussion, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, and the Colorado Chamber Orchestra. An active national recitalist, she created an interdisciplinary program with flutist Nicole Riner titled “Backstage,” featuring original writing read live during the chamber recital, as well as a program with saxophonist Scott Turpen mixing chamber music with creative nonfiction and film.
She has written for Boston Magazine, Real Simple, Entrepreneur, Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Consumers Digest, Mountain Sports +Living, Rocky Mountain News, Field & Stream Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, 5280 Magazine, Colorado Biz Magazine, Draft Magazine, Women’s Magazine, Natural Solutions Magazine, Delicious Living, Daily Camera, dirt, and Boulder County Business Report. She wrote a daily blog for 5280 Magazine about living an affordable, sustainable life.
Her feature "The Audition" for Boston Magazine was a finalist for a City and Regional Magazine Association feature writing award and featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Her co-written package "The Newcomer's Guide to Pittsburgh" was a finalist for a City and Regional Magazine Association service award. She is working on her first book, a work of nonfiction exploring the lives of orchestral musicians.
She has taught at the University of Colorado-Boulder, developed coursework for the University of Denver, and held teaching positions at Red Rocks Community College and the Community College of Denver. She was named a 2010 Westword Mastermind. She has been featured as an artist in Symphony Magazine, Quincy’s Patriot Ledger, 5280 Magazine, Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post, Daily Camera, Colorado Daily, Westword, Colorado View, and Music from Colorado.