Calvin Jones (composer)

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Calvin P. Jones
Calvin Jones Full.jpg
Calvin Jones in 2013
Photo: Precords21/ Wikimedia Commons
Background information
Born (1966-05-03) May 3, 1966 (age 53)
Eureka, South Dakota
GenresFilm soundtrack, orchestral
Occupation(s)Record producer, composer, songwriter, pianist
Years active1988–present

Calvin P. Jones (born May 3, 1966) is an American musician, record producer, composer, songwriter, and pianist. He composed the hit song "Whitewater Chopped Sticks"[1][2] popular in talent shows, recitals and pageants. "Whitewater Chopped Sticks" was edited by Jones and performed by Miss Nebraska,[3] Teresa Scanlan[4] to win the 2011 Miss America[5][6][7][8] Pageant with over 14 million viewers watching on ABC TV.[9] Jones has composed music for many soundtracks, including the hit documentary[10] 2016: Obama's America.[11][12] Produced by Gerald R. Molen (Schindler's List, Jurassic Park), 2016[13][14] was a major theatrical release, grossing over $33.45 million[15] at the box office, making it the second highest domestic-grossing political documentary[16] in the United States since 1982. Jones has worked with Producer Jerry Marcellino[17][18][19] (Michael Jackson, Diana Ross),[20] Kerry Livgren of the group Kansas ("Dust in the Wind", "Carry On Wayward Son") and director Jim Hanon[21] (End of the Spear) among others.[22]

Early life[edit]

Jones was born in Eureka, South Dakota, to parents Norman and Lena Jones. Shortly thereafter the family relocated to Sutton, Nebraska, where his father was pastor of the Hope Reformed Church. As with many artists, Jones' first exposure to music was in the church.[23] He began piano lessons at the age of 6 and began composing at about age 10. The son of a minister, Jones had many opportunities to use his talents and found early on that piano was his instrument and he realized his aptitude for improvisation. His classical training was a great foundation but he approached the pieces with energy and emotion uniquely his own.[23] At age 9 the family moved to Pierre, South Dakota. Throughout his high school and college experience, Jones was involved in the typical opportunities such as swing choir, stage band and musicals and an occasional talent show.[23] Attending college on a musical scholarship, Jones continued to study composition.[23] He ended his college classes with a B.S. in Economics from Hillsdale College in 1988 which has proved invaluable in the development of his musical career.[23] Jones has started his own record company called Personal Records and managed to sign with City of Peace Records/Sony Music for distribution worldwide.[24]


  • 1987: Jones released his first album Through High Places[25][26][27][28] at the age of 21. It was then Jones connected with art director Jim Hanon who created the original water color for this release. Later, Hanon would ask Jones for soundtracks for radio, TV and short films that he directed. Jones began doing concerts in college and university venues.
  • 1990: On the heels of his first release, Calvin Jones finished his second album "Coming Home" which features some traditional Christmas classics as well as newly penned compositions.[23] Much of the album draws its musical inspiration from the music of Handel, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Bach and other Baroque composers.[23]
  • 1993: Jones' released third album "Uncharted Waters" which spans the entire dynamic range and limitations of the piano, an acoustic tour de force picturing the great forces at work on the ocean.[23] Popular with college age audiences Jones eventually showcased at different NACAconferences including the national NACA conference in Boston in 1994 after which he toured extensively throughout the United States. In the early 90s Jones was approached by R. J. Miller to transcribe "Whitewater Chopped Sticks".[29] It quickly sold out of its initial printing and became an underground sensation at recitals, talent shows and pageants.
  • 2000: Jones' multi-instrumental release "Acoustic Passion"[30] is truly a paradigm shift in Calvin's music. Producer Jerry Marcellino (Michael Jackson, Diana Ross) and Kerry Livgren of Kansas fame ("Dust in the Wind") take Calvin's piano melodies to new heights.
  • 2010: A turning point in Jones career occurred when director Jim Hanon invited Calvin to contribute scores[31] and do additional production for the documentary Little Town of Bethlehem.[32] Later that year Jones was invited to edit "Whitewater Chopped Sticks" and mentor[33] Teresa Scanlan (Miss Nebraska 2010)[22] in performing the edited pageant version of "Whitewater Chopped Sticks".[34]
  • 2011: On January 15, Teresa Scanlan won the Miss America 2011 title performing Calvin's song "Whitewater Chopped Sticks". Earlier that week she had won the Thursday Night Miss America Preliminary Talent award. Her success winning the crown led to the eventual studio recording "Dueling Pianos"[35] featuring Calvin and Teresa and released through Sony/Provident Records.[36]
  • 2012: Jones' earlier work with Little Town of Bethlehem[37] led to the invitation in 2012 to score the soundtrack for the documentary 2016: Obama's America. Jones' trailer music can be heard on the 2016 YouTube trailer,[38] currently in excess of 1 million views.
  • 2013 – 2015: Calvin Jones has since entered a new level in concerts moving from solo piano to performing with orchestras[39] worldwide.[40][41] Jones is currently producing a new album of his orchestral works.


  • 1987: Through High Places (solo)
  • 1990: Coming Home (solo)
  • 1993: Uncharted Waters (solo)
  • 2000: Acoustic Passion (solo – producer Jerry Marcellino, guitars by Kerry Livgren)
  • 2012: Dueling Pianos (Calvin Jones,Teresa Scanlan)


  1. ^ Calvin, Jones,. "Calvin Jones "Whitewater Chopped Sticks" Sheet Music (Piano Solo) in C Major - Download & Print". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Review: Music For Life: Meditations On Piano - Calvin Jones - Cross Rhythms". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "Former Miss Nebraskas". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  4. ^ Calvin Jones (May 26, 2011). "Miss Nebraska wins night 3 of Miss America Prelim with Whitewater Chopped Sticks". Retrieved July 30, 2018 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Miss America: 2011 Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ News, New. "Nebraska Girl Teresa Scanlan Win Miss America 2011". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  7. ^ "Here she is... 17-year-old Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan is crowned 2011 Miss America in Las Vegas pageant". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "She's just 17! Nebraskan wins Miss America pageant". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  9. ^ "Chris Harrison hosting Miss America". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "Movie Reviews". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "2016 Obama's America: Film Review". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  12. ^ "2016: Obama's America". August 24, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2018 – via
  13. ^ "Documentary film '2016: Obama's America' takes approach". Washington Post. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "2016: Obama's America - Cinemark Valley View / LockKeepers". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  15. ^ "2016 Obama's America (2012) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  16. ^ "Documentary Movies at the Box Office - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  17. ^ "CITY OF PEACE MEDIA RELEASES CITY OF PEACE INSTRUMENTALS II - HM Magazine". March 21, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  18. ^ "Various - City Of Peace Instrumentals II (Peace That Surpasses All Understanding)". Discogs. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  19. ^ "City Of Peace Instrumentals II. Description". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  20. ^ Jordan Elias Spreads Word About Upcoming Music Project At NRB 2012
  21. ^ "Minus Red - Uncommon Stories, Common Threads". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Miss America, Teresa Scanlan, Wins Title Performing Calvin Jones' 'Whitewater Chopped Sticks' - Christian Newswire". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h "Calvin Jones composer producer and pianist, creator of Whitewater Chopped Sticks-History and Discography". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  24. ^ Biography of Calvin Jones by biomaster Archived June 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Through High Places by Calvin Jones". May 7, 1996. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  26. ^ Top Albums by Calvin Jones
  27. ^ "Find Calvin Jones's songs, tracks, and other music -". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  28. ^ "Personal Records Trust Music - Calvin Jones". Archived from the original on June 22, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  29. ^ Calvin Jones (September 22, 2010). "Calvin Jones Whitewater Chopped Sticks - Best version ever!". Retrieved July 30, 2018 – via YouTube.
  30. ^ "Calvin Jones: Acoustic Passion". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  31. ^ "South Dakotan contributes music to Dinesh D'Souza's 2016: Obama's America". July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  32. ^ 405EGM (March 26, 2010). "Little Town Of Bethlehem: Official Film Trailer". Retrieved July 30, 2018 – via YouTube.
  33. ^ "Grant Tribune". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  34. ^ Calvin Jones (May 27, 2011). "Miss Nebraska performs Whitewater Chopped Sticks becomes Miss America 2011". Retrieved July 30, 2018 – via YouTube.
  35. ^ Miss America 2011 Promotes New CD, Dueling Pianos, At NRB
  36. ^ PLAY.TOJSIAB. "Download link Youtube mp3: Dueling Pianos - Calvin Jones with Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan". PLAY.TOJSIAB. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  37. ^ "Global Effort Behind EGM's Just-Released Little Town of Bethlehem Soundtrack" (PDF). Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  38. ^ Dinesh D'Souza (May 10, 2012). ""2016: Obama's America" The Movie: Trailer 3". Retrieved July 30, 2018 – via YouTube.
  39. ^ Calvin Jones (April 29, 2015). ""Celtic Joy" by Calvin Jones with the Lviv Virtuosos". Retrieved July 30, 2018 – via YouTube.
  40. ^ "Calvin Jones - фортепиано". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  41. ^ " - Calvin Jones". Retrieved July 30, 2018.

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