B.M. Wheaton College (IL)
M.M. Boston University
D.M.A. Boston University
Jessica Modaff, Assistant Professor of Music, is a collaborative pianist, music theorist, music director, and vocal/instrumental coach. Dr. Modaff has held professional collaborative pianist and coaching positions for numerous choirs and individual performers throughout the United States, England, France, Russia, Slovenia and Austria. She has been a collaborative pianist at contests and events for ACDA, NATS, IMEA, IHSA, MMEA and Stars at Symphony Hall, and has performed at Boston Symphony Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, United Nations Headquarters, and the U.S. Capitol Building. She is continually sought after for her versatility at the piano and offers this same multi-genre expertise in her coaching studio and in the classroom.
At Gordon College, Dr. Modaff has taught all levels of music theory, vocal diction, art song literature, twentieth century music history, applied piano, and chamber music. She previously served on the teaching faculties of the Children's Music Center (Jamaica Plain, MA) and the Wheaton Yamaha Music School (Wheaton, IL) where she received certification as a Yamaha Music Education instructor.
With a keen ear and extensive knowledge of music notation, Dr. Modaff also specializes in transcription and arranging. She teaches the entire undergraduate aural skills sequence at Gordon, and maintains a recreational YouTube channel where her theatre piano accompaniments are learned and performed by ear. These recordings have been used by professionals and amateurs across the globe. Jessica is an experienced and enthusiastic theatre musician. Gordon Music Director/conductor/pianist credits include: My Favorite Year, Titanic, She Loves Me, The Last Five Years, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Urinetown, and Godspell (sp ’24). Other theatre highlights: Into the Woods, West Side Story, Godspell (Warehouse Theatre Company), Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, Hello Dolly, Scrooge, Grease, Oklahoma, Shrek, and The Addams Family. Her pianist/director experience also extends into her calling as a church musician. Prior to her current position as Director of Worship Arts at Anchor Bay Church on Boston’s north shore, she served the Highrock network of churches where she consulted as a coach, worship leader, pianist, and choral arranger.
Jessica holds both Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in collaborative piano from the Boston University College of Fine Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers include Shiela Kibbe and Daniel Paul Horn. Dr. Modaff’s recent research has focused on the sociological contextualization of women’s issues in art song texts, as well as the impact of gender roles on 20th century American composers. As a performer, she specializes in playing duo and trio repertoire for both vocal and instrumental mediums. Dr. Modaff performs regularly in faculty recital settings at Gordon, collaborates with Theatre Arts and Chapel Office, and has acted as a music coach and pianist for hundreds of Gordon students and ensembles since joining the music faculty in 2008.