Jonathan Chenette

Professor of Music on the George Sherman Dickinson Chair
Jon Chenette wearing a white shirt, black jacket and light blue tie against a bookshelf background.

Jonathan Chenette’s compositions have received international recognition, including performances on the ISCM World Music Days in Amsterdam, at the World Harp Congress in Vienna, at the Bishop Auckland Early Music Festival in the U.K., and on an NPR national broadcast by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. His music appears in publications by Boosey & Hawkes, Theodore Presser, and Fish Creek Music and in recordings on the Innova, Riverrun, Fleur de Son Classics, Capstone, and Parma/Navona labels. Much of his music has involved collaborations with visual artists, writers, dancers, folk musicians, farmers, environmental advocates, and museums.

A graduate of the University of Chicago with a PhD in music composition and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Chenette also holds a master’s degree in music composition from Butler University. He became Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Music at Vassar College in 2008, served a semester as Acting President in 2013 and a year as Interim President in 2016-2017, and stepped down as Dean in 2019, becoming a regular member of the music faculty. Previously, he held an endowed professorship and appointment as Associate Dean at Grinnell College in Iowa. He is the recipient of grants or fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Iowa Arts Council, the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy.

BA, University of Chicago; MM, Butler University; PhD, University of Chicago
At Vassar since 2008


Skinner Hall
Box 29

Research and Academic Interests

Music Composition

Departments and Programs


MUSI 105 Music Theory I
MUSI 180 Orpheus and Eurydice in the Arts, from Ancient Greece to Hadestown


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