Composer and pianist Jocelyn Hagen’s most recent, notable project was the premiere of her choral piece entitled Gloria, composed for The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists. She has been composer-in-residence and a singer with this renowned choir for four years.
Her husband, singer and composer Timothy Takach (pronounced tih-cash’), is a member of Cantus, a full time professional male vocal ensemble. Cantus just got back into town after singing 13 holiday concerts with the Boston Pops on the east coast.
This Camden couple’s busy, rewarding life in music began on much simpler notes. Jocelyn started off as a singer/songwriter in a band she formed with friends at age 14. When she was a senior in high school, her high school choir performed one of her compositions – and the hook was set. “It’s addicting,” she said. “Once you have something performed you want to do it all the time.”
Jocelyn went on to get her degree in composition, theory and vocal music education from St. Olaf College – and right after graduating received a commission to compose a piece for the St. Olaf Band. Word of her talent spread quickly among colleagues, listeners, and a network of artists and friends, and she has made her living primarily as a composer ever since.
Timothy’s interest in music was solidified in the 4th grade when he skipped school for a day (his mother was in on the deal) and attended a special youth choir concert. “I turned to my mom that day and said, ‘I want to be a part of this.’ ” A year later Tim was singing in that same youth choir and pursuing his love of music with unmitigated enthusiasm. He eventually received a degree in theory and composition (and design) from St. Olaf College where he also began his career with Cantus.
Today, Timothy and Jocelyn are on exciting musical paths and they have the extra-added gift of being married to each other which, they say, brings out the best musician in both. “We inspire each other,” says Jocelyn, “and it’s been interesting to see how our music has changed since we met.” Timothy adds, “I don’t think I’d be composing as much or as well if it weren’t for Jocelyn … We both think about music differently, but we both want the same results. We are both trying to create good music and have it heard.”
Their advice for aspiring young musicians? Jocelyn says, “Make lots of friends with kids who like music. I got so much out of making music with people my age.” Tim encourages young music lovers to “get as much of it as you can. And don’t let anyone tell you that ‘you shouldn’t’ or ‘you can’t,’ or ‘that’s not what kids your age do.’ If you like music and have a good time with it, your efforts are absolutely worthwhile.”
He added, “And if you’re practicing your instrument this summer, keep your windows open so people can hear you. We had a French horn student practicing down the block from us last summer and we loved it.”
To listen to compositions, get schedules for upcoming performances and learn about this musical Camden couple visit www.jocelynhagen.com, www.timothyctakach.com , www.cantusonline.org or www.singersmca.org