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Unorchestrated is a podcast of Conversation, Music, Musicians and the Communities they serve produced by the Akron Symphony Orchestra. The podcast is co-hosted by Music Director Christopher Wilkins and Director of Marketing Thomas Moore.

Aug 23, 2021

In the sixth episode of Deep River: The Legacy of the Spirituals, we speak with Jennifer Mekel Jones, who served for a decade as Choirmaster of the ASO’s Gospel Meets Symphony. She is a composer, singer, songwriter, recording artist, ordained minister, and a central figure in the musical life of the region. 

In this episode, Jennifer tells stories about her deeply musical family, beginning with the formative years learning from her mother, Esterline Jones, who played a pivotal role in the earliest years of Gospel Meets Symphony. She also gets us up to speed on the musical activities of her two children, Joshua and Jazmin, and on her professional life and ministry since she passed on the responsibilities of leading the GMS Choir to Jonathon Turner. 

Musical excerpts include a performance of In Bright Mansions Above from the Gospel Meets Symphony performance in 2018, Pass Me Not; an original song from Jennifer’s album, Destiny; and a surprise private solo track made while Jennifer was a student at Akron’s Buchtel High School, Nick Nack Paddy Wack.