Jackson is always busy with a variety of scholarly projects. In addition to his formal writings, his role as concert programmer, and his travels to concerts around the world, here are some other musical projects in which Jackson is currently involved.
Applying to Graduate School
Jackson plans to attend graduate school in musicology in fall 2016. Applications are due soon, so preparations are underway! In the meantime, Jackson will also be returning to take several additional classes at Northwestern State University in spring 2016. These will focus on a wide variety of musical topics to supplement his bachelor's degree in preparation for formal graduate studies in musicology.
Learning to Sing Gregorian Chant
In September 2015, Jackson began singing with the St. Martin Catholic Church Latin Choir. This select group of singers led by John De Chiaro and based in Lecompte, Louisiana has in a short period of time learned the art of singing Gregorian chant. Among the music Jackson has learned while a member of the choir is the Latin Requiem Mass. As the only choir in the region capable of chanting the full propers of the Latin Requiem, the St. Martin Choir has been asked to perform this service not only at its own parish but elsewhere across the Alexandria-Pineville area as well.
Tracing Music History Through CD Purchases
Every few months, Jackson purchases a selection of CDs with a specific era and theme in mind. Since December 2009, Jackson's CD orders have followed a continuous outline of music history from the Ancient Greeks to the present day. Six years and thirty-five units later, Jackson has arrived at his second to last CD unit in this sequence, "Contemporary Voices, Part I: Europe" – a unit which focuses on the New Symphonic School, Complexities (Old and New), Post-Spectral composers like Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg, and European Minimalists like Louis Andriessen. "Contemporary Voices, Part II" will focus on the United States.
Music History Texts Read and Reading
Jackson's not just listening though – he's also reading! Currently Jackson is working his way through both Modern Music and After by Paul Griffiths and The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia – definitive texts on their respective topics. Music texts Jackson has read in the past include Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond by Michael Nyman, Twentieth-Century Music: An Introduction by Eric Salzman, Such Freedom, If Only Musical: Unofficial Soviet Music during the Thaw by Peter J. Schmelz, and A Schnittke Reader which includes essays written by the composer and edited by Alexander Ivashkin. Each of these texts has helped shape the way Jackson thinks about music.