Jaemi grew up in North Haven, CT, which is just north of New Haven. She began Suzuki violin lessons around the age of 3 and quickly began learning as many other instruments as possible, beginning with Horn at age 9 and extending through most orchestral instruments (with varying levels of proficiency) by age 14. Around that time, she completed the transition from violin to viola and never looked back. Her conducting debut was at age 15, when she premiered her own composition with the North Haven Middle School Band. That was, as they say, the beginning of the end and her musical career from that point on was always bent towards preparing for a life as a conductor. Though she continued performing on various instruments, especially viola, her main professional instrument turned out to be Horn. Jaemi’s work on the podium is deeply rooted in her varied experiences as a performer in bands, orchestras, choruses, and folk music ensembles. Her love of learning new musical skills extends far beyond her broad formal training and helps her to relate to and collaborate with a wide range of musicians.
As an undergraduate, Jaemi was assistant conductor of the Brown University Symphony Orchestra, the Brown University Wind Ensemble, and the Brown University Mainstage Theater. She graduated from Brown in May of 2003 with a B.A. in Music and Modern Culture Media (magna cum laude, with honors in music). From 2003 to 2007, Jaemi lived in North Carolina, where she earned an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the UNC-Greensboro School of Music, under the direction of Robert Gutter. While at UNC-G, she was Assistant Conductor of the UNC-Greensboro Symphony and the UNC-Greensboro Contemporary Chamber Players..She also played Horn in the Greensboro Philharmonia. Her last position in North Carolina was as the Associate Conductor and General Manager of the Durham Youth Orchestra in Durham, NC. She also held conducting positions with: the Raleigh Symphony, the UNC-Chapel Hill Symphony Orchestra, and the UNC-Chapel Hill Wind Ensemble.
In 2007, Jaemi immigrated to Texas to pursue a D.M.A. in Orchestral Conducting at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, under the direction of Franz Anton Krager, which she completed in May of 2011. Upon completion of her doctorate, Jaemi founded the innovative Houston Heights Orchestra, a neighborhood orchestra that is still thriving and bringing music to the whole community. Jaemi held a variety of positions during her time in Houston. Some of these included; Conductor in Residence of the Foundation for Modern Music, Music Director of the Congregation B’rith Shalom Choir, Music Director of the Lone Star College-Montgomery Symphonic Band, Assistant Director of the AURA Contemporary Music Ensemble, Assistant Conductor of the Moores School Orchestras, and Music Director of the Opera Vista Competition for New Opera. She also taught private brass lessons at Lone Star College-Montgomery and San Jacinto College and served as substitute trombone for the Best Little Klezmer Band in Texas. In 2012, Jaemi once again moved across the country to her most recent position at Centre College in Kentucky.
Jaemi is currently serving as a one-year term professor in Music at Grinnell College. She is serving as the Director of the Grinnell Symphony Orchestra, while also teaching various classes including Fundamentals of Music.
Outside of music, Jaemi’s interests include: science fiction (Star Trek, Dr. Who, and 20th-century futuristic novels), technology and gadgetry, pop culture history, British television and movies, painting, Law and Order, and cult films of various kinds. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband Craig and their 3 cats and 1 dog.