in the spotlight: jenn comishen

meet jenn comishen – a saxophonist (she also teaches!) and pianist, who occasionally dabbles in composition. music is a life-changing gift bestowed upon humanity. we were given music, and in return, we use this gift to give back to others. as a “music major stuck in a minor key”, jenn shares with us the role music plays in her life.

Jenn Comishen

“I feel like [this picture] shows my personality.”

How has music helped you in your personal life?

Music has made a significant impact in my life. My original plan in high school was to study to be a veterinarian. I decided (barely) to take grade nine music instead of drama, and wow. This decision changed my life. It was during this high school class I discovered that I had a natural talent for music. Music class became my home. The teacher was a second mother to me, and even now after graduating I still go and visit her. All of my best friends were met in that class, and essentially that’s where my career started. Music has shaped my life, goals, successes, and has greatly improved my happiness.

Name one song that has had a significant impact on your life.

One song that has had significant impact on my life has been “The Weight” by The Band. I first heard the song while watching the move, “Girl Interrupted”. At the time I was struggling with many stressful events during my life, and that song alongside the scene it was used in offered me a sense of relief. My friends and I began to use the song every time I was in a bad mood. The most significant event I can cherish with this song was a few years ago when I was hospitalised for mental health reasons. The hospital allowed zero electronics and music… despite this my friends snuck me in a recording of the song.

What would you say your spirit animal is?

My spirit animal would be the bear. Many of the bear’s prominent traits include compassion and helping others, and standing up for adversity. These are things I believe in, and feel I try to practise.

How would you describe your style/sound?

I wouldn’t consider myself to have any specific musical style. If I was marching my personality, it’d be very old soul and Neil Young/Lumineers folk. However, when it comes to playing I play every style. My main focuses are jazz, classical, soundtrack, and pop. While my heart always will love these genres, when it comes to composing I tend to follow the soundtrack style. Most of my.compositions are entirely instrumental, and theme based. In conclusion, I guess I could be described as “An Old Soul learning New Styles”.

What can you see yourself doing in 10 years?

I can barely imagine what I’m doing next year, but in ten years I can only hope to be doing what I dream of. I would love to be running a music studio, whether from my home or not. In this studio I would be hoping to teach, play, conduct community bands and what I feel is most important, I’d like to offer free outreach programs to youth in places like Youth Haven, and the Seasons Centre for Grieving Children.

“This piece is dedicated to Gabrielle Foss and her organization, North in Focus, who’s work with photography and mental health inspired the song.”
(the official website can be found here)

you can check out jenn’s other videos here
and give her facebook page a like here.