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Joel Puckett
August 30, 2009, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Composers




Joel Puckett

Born: 1977

Current Location: Baltimore MD



Joel Puckett is a composer who is dedicated to the belief that music can bring consolation, hope, and joy to all who need it. The Washington Post has hailed him as both “visionary” and “gifted” and the head critic for the Baltimore Sun, Tim Smith, hailed his piece, This Mourning, as “being of comparable expressive weight” to John Adams’ Pulitzer Prize winning work, On the Transmigration of Souls. 

 Born on the south side of Atlanta, Joel is the son of a Dixie land jazz musician and a classical tubist. He spent his childhood improvising with his father and learning the fundamentals of both concert and popular music. 

The Washington Chorus, recipient of the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance,  commissioned and premiered Joel’s work This Mourning, for chorus, orchestra, 40 wine glasses and tenor soloist, to rave reviews at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Of the third movement Baltimore Sun critic Tim Page said, “The final movement reaches profound heights. As the chorus intones Dickinson’s lines, ‘There must be guests in Eden, All the rooms are full,’ a cathartic, almost ecstatic rise of melody and emotion unfolds.” 

For the 2010-2012 seasons, Puckett has been named Composer-In-Residence for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.  As part of this residency, Puckett will compose six new works, one for each of the organization’s six ensembles.  

He has received numerous national awards including a B.M.I. Student Composer award and the first American Bandmasters Association/University of Florida Commission and has held fellowships from the Aspen Music Festival and the University of Michigan where he received DMA in 2004. 

This past summer Puckett joined composers Zhou Long, James Matheson, Mason Bates and Kevin Puts as the featured composers at the Westport Arts/ South Shore Music chamber music series entitled, “The Composer Project” where Antares premiered Colloquial Stanzas.

Joel has served as an adjudicator for national competitions for young composers, such as the SCI/ASCAP competition. He also frequently gives guest lectures and master classes. He most recently has lectured at City College in Harlem, NY; Indiana University in Bloomington; The University of Texas-Austin; Michigan State University, Western Washington University and the Crane School of Music. 

Upcoming commissions include a flute concerto for flutist Amy Porter and a consortium of university wind ensembles led by University of Michigan and Michael Haithcock.

This fall Joel will join the full time faculty of Peabody Conservatory after previously having served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at his alma mater Shenandoah Conservatory.

Photo credit: Gina Lathrum

All music and recordings: Joel Puckett Music

Podcast Copyright 2009

Theme Music composed by Sarah Horick

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