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Campbellsville University’s Tinnell has new role in School of Music

Campbellsville University’s Tinnell has new role in School of Music
Jennifer Tinnell

By Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Jennifer Tinnell is starting a new chapter in her life at Campbellsville University – something new with the School of Music.

In addition to serving as instructor of music, Tinnell will be the School of Music’s recruiting and public relations coordinator beginning at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

“I am excited for the opportunity to use my creativity as I direct my focus to promote and reach more students for Campbellsville University and the School of Music,” Tinnell said.

Tinnell has been employed in the School of Music 20 years as of the 2020-21 academic year having come to CU in the summer of 2001.

“I want to take a moment to express my appreciation for Jennifer’s dedication to Campbellsville University School of Music. She has impacted the lives of hundreds of students since the beginning of her tenure at CU. We are thankful for Jennifer’s dedicated years of service and loyalty,” Dr. Tony Cunha, dean of the School of Music (SOM), said.

“I look forward to her new role as recruiting and public relations coordinator for the SOM. Undoubtedly, Jennifer will continue to work with our students; however, her reach is extended to potential prospective undergraduate and graduate CU music students.”

“There are so many things I enjoy about working at CU that it is too challenging to name them all, but if I had to single out the one thing I enjoy the most, it would be working with the students,” Tinnell said.

Tinnell has served in many roles in the Campbellsville University School of Music including as director of bands from 2008 until 2021, director of the Tiger Marching Band from 2005 to 2018 and assistant director of bands from 2001 until 2008. Prior to coming to CU, she was director of bands for the Marion County School System from 1993 until 2001.

“Whether through band rehearsals, teaching classes, advising, private lessons or other interactions, the opportunity to build supportive and encouraging relationships with my students using the gift of music has been the biggest blessing for me while working at Campbellsville University,” she said.

Much of the work she did at Marion County, where she got her first job after graduating from Campbellsville University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Music Education, is similar to what she has done at the university.

She worked with the Marion County High School marching, concert, jazz and pep bands. She had many successful experiences there including, leading the band to two consecutive appearances in Kentucky State Marching Finals and winning the State Championship in 1999. Her concert band was also invited to perform at the Kentucky Music Educators Association conference in 2021.

Tinnell said that while there are many similarities in high school and college band directing, there are also some differences. “There are many more occasions for which college ensembles can perform compared to that of high school bands,” Tinnell said.

“Whether it’s a small group, a large group or somewhere in between, college students and their directors are never lacking for opportunities to provide music for campus events or the public.”

Tinnell, who received her Master of Music Education from Campbellsville University in 2001, said “Competitions for marching band at the high school level are frequent, however, there are no competitions for college marching bands.”

Tinnell also added that while recruiting is a key to success with both high school and college band directing, there is no work required with financial aid and scholarships at the high school level.

She said when she shifted to working on the college level, there are no longer band parents who assist with critical tasks such as fund raising uniform organization/distribution, equipment logistics, meal and travel planning and other tasks.

“It is amazing how college students see these needs and are excited to step into leadership positions and take on many of the organizational responsibilities,” she said.

“Overall, my experiences as a band director at both of these places have been extraordinary. The memories and relationships I have formed with so many students are more incredible than words can describe.”

Tinnell received the Campbellsville University’s Non-tenured Faculty Award in 2006. She was 4th District Band Director’s Association College Teacher of the Year for 2002, 2008 and 2013.

As director of the Tiger Marching Band at Campbellsville University, Tinnell arranged over 20 musical selections and was co-writer/designer of the shows for the Tiger Marching Band from 2001 until 2018.

She was selected as Kentucky’s Up and Coming Young Band Director in the Teaching Music Journal published by the National Association for Music Education in 2001.

She belongs to the following organizations: Kentucky Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, Phi Beta Mu and College Band Directors National Association.

Tinnell is a 1987 graduate of Metcalfe County High School and is the daughter of the late David and Catherine Tinnell. She has a brother, David Tinnell, who graduated in 1989 from Campbellsville University and who is married to Joan Tinnell, a 1991 Campbellsville University graduate. Her nephew, Mitchell Tinnell, is the middle school and assistant high school band director at LaRue County Schools.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is