Hey, I’m Jessica — mathematician, musician, and artist. [Among other things].
Welcome to my site.
If you were looking for an early-career artist with bold ideas, an unrelenting commitment to innovation, integrity, and social justice, and an abounding sense of optimism for the future, I’m glad we’ve found each other.
Like those of most of the influential people in my life, my story is full of twists and turns, strung together only by their mutual unpredictability. I hope to share with you both the intentional and the incomprehensible: the chance encounters and experiences that have all led me to where I am today.
If you wish, you may subscribe to this site at the bottom of the page, which also includes links to my social media channels. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, as I love to connect with fellow artists, academics, students, collaborators, and humans!
It’s a privilege to do creative work & to have the opportunity to share it with you. Enjoy!
My artistic work is oriented around and guided by a few core objectives and beliefs.
First and foremost, I believe in the necessity of dismantling systematic inequities in society as they manifest in arts and culture. To that end, I am committed to amplifying underrepresented voices in the music industry. From programming to production, my artistic decisions are grounded in the effort of reshaping contemporary understandings of who can and should be heard to better reflect the diverse society of today.
Second, I believe that some of the most extraordinary of outcomes can emerge from everyday artistic collaborations given a shared willingness to be vulnerable, to experiment, and to try new things. Hence I savor the process of art-making as much as, if not more than, its product.
And finally, I believe in the power of the arts to strengthen the social fabric of our local communities, to embolden us to think critically about the world, to nourish and reinforce inborn human creativity, to elicit a disciplined empathy, and to bring out the best we have to offer.
[Last updated: August 2019]
Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jessica Shand currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Mathematics and Music with a secondary field in Computer Science at Harvard University and an M.M. in flute performance at the New England Conservatory.
Jessica is a versatile musician with experience producing, arranging, composing, conducting, and teaching, but she primarily finds herself performing onstage as a flutist. In her summers, she has performed at a number of music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2018 and the National Youth Orchestra of the USA in 2016 and 2017. She has been featured as a solo artist on NPR’s From the Top and Colorado Public Radio and with such ensembles as the Pikes Peak Philharmonic, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, and Colorado Springs Youth Symphony. As an orchestral player, she has performed principal roles under the batons of Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, Marin Alsop, Ludovic Morlot, and others. In the summer of 2019, she will join the teams at New Amsterdam Records and the International Contemporary Ensemble in Brooklyn, NY to identify and support up-and-coming, post-genre young artists as a Davison Fellow of the Harvard University Department of Music.
Jessica was the youngest semifinalist in the 2018 National Flute Association Young Artist Competition after winning its High School Soloist Competition and the Deveau Scholarship for the Best Performance of a Newly Commissioned Work in 2017. She is a member of the 2019-2020 artist roster for the Young Musicians Foundation of Colorado, a 2018 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition semifinalist, a 2017 National YoungArts week finalist, and the winner of the 2016 Music Teachers National Association Senior Woodwinds competition.
Outside of performing, Jessica currently serves as Vice President of Management, producer, and principal flutist for the Harvard College Opera, one of the only opera groups in the U.S. to boast an entirely undergraduate cast and production team. In 2019, she received a grant award from Harvard University’s Office for the Arts to pursue the project Nineteen Hertz, which promotes the curation of innovative, independent music performances on college campuses and the involvement of performers in the vision, planning, and production of a concert.
As a hybrid music-mathematics student, Jessica has conducted research in the realm of control theory on behalf of the Harvard University Department of Physics. Her other academic interests include probability theory and dynamical systems. She is a member of Harvard’s ClusteR Engaging Womxn and the Harvard Scientista Foundation, has worked for the Bureau of Study Counsel, and regularly attends the Harvard University Math Department’s Open Neighborhood Seminars. She is an outspoken advocate for women’s education and enjoys privately tutoring younger students in math and science.
Jessica currently studies with international flute soloist Paula Robison. Other major influences include Claire Chase and Brook Ferguson.
Jessica is a Wm. S. Haynes Co. Young Artist.