Bio

Joshua Harper enjoys a multifaceted career as a Conductor, Baritone, and Educator. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music degree in Choral Conducting at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, where he studies with Betsy Burleigh, Dominick DiOrio, Walter Huff, and Carolann Buff. He serves as an Associate Instructor at the University where the 2018-2019 season sees him conducting the University Chorale and All Campus Chorus. Harper will serve as Associate Chorus Master for the 2018 production of Mason Bates' "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs" which was commissioned by IU and Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Harper will also assist in collaborating with the Cleveland Orchestra and Maestro Franz Welser-Möst in a performance of Mahler's Second Symphony. He teaches classes to beginning undergraduate students in conducting. Previously at IU Joshua assisted in preparing the 170 member Oratorio Chorus for Krzysztof Penderecki's "St. Luke Passion" which was attended by the composer. Harper as well as was the Associate Conductor for NOTUS: Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, one of the nation's leading ensembles for new choral works during the 2017-2018 season. Harper regularly premiers student compositions at Indiana University and is in high demand as a collaborator.  He is currently the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Bedford, Indiana.

In January 2016, he made his Canadian debut as one of the five conductors in North America invited to participate in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's "Emerging Conductor Symposium" where he conducted the Grammy nominated Elora Festival Singers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, studying under Noel Edison. Joshua was selected as a Conducting Fellow at the Yale University Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in 2015 studying with Simon Carrington, where he also sang as a tenor. He previously sang with the ensemble the summer before in 2014, being awarded an Ellen Battell-Stoeckel Fellowship.

Before coming to Jacobs, he was Director of Choirs at the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts where he held the George E. Gregory and Catherine B. Gregory Instructorship. At Williston, Joshua doubled the size of the choral program in just three years, overseeing five choirs of 140 students. He brought in ensembles ranging from Roomful of Teeth to The Whiffenpoofs. He is currently on the faculty of The Putney School's Summer Arts Program where he conducts the Vocal Ensemble and teaches songwriting and composition. 

In May 2013 Joshua completed his Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting on a full scholarship under Tony Thornton at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. At UMass, Joshua nearly doubled the size of the Women's Choir over his first year thanks to innovative programming, exciting concert experiences, and collaborative rehearsal techniques. He also conducted the Recital Choir and University Chorale. Joshua led the UMass Lab Orchestra in Spring 2013 and in the same semester was selected to be the Assistant Conductor for the University Opera program under Maestra Teresa Cheung and Professor Amy Johnson. 

Trained first as a singer, Joshua has sung an extensive range of vocal literature and appeared as a soloist with NOTUS, Lipscomb A Cappella Singers and the UMass Chamber Choir. Previously, he sang with the Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble based in the Pioneer Valley and Novi Cantori of Greater Springfield. Joshua sang with the Grammy award-winning Nashville Symphony Chorus for three seasons and has been featured as a soloist with the ensemble. He has sung under conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Hollingworth, Eamonn Dougan, Giancarlo Guerrero, and George Mabry.

As a composer, his pieces have been performed by the Williston Male Concert Choir, Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts Chorale, Lipscomb A Cappella Singers, the Lipscomb Chamber Choir, the Lipscomb New Music Ensemble, Hartsbrook High School A Cappella, as well as the TGSFTA Faculty Artists. His scholarly edition of Franz Schubert's "Die Ensiedelei" is published by Colla Voce Music, LLC and was featured on the company's reading session at the 2015 National ACDA Conference in Salt Lake City.

A powerful advocate for new music, Joshua commissioned and premiered works of new composers for both orchestra and chorus while at UMass and continues to commission and program new music in each of his concerts. He premiered an original work by 2017 American Prize Winner Matthew Recio on his first Doctoral Recital in September 2017, along with regional premiers of five other works in the 2017-2018 season. He has presented at MMEA State Conference, both in 2014, 2015, and 2016, leading the conference's High School Choral Reading Session. 

Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Joshua completed his Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude) with a double major in Vocal Performance and Music Composition/Theory at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he held the Irma Lee Batey Voice Scholarship all four years. He studied with Jerome Reed, Gary Wilson, and Patricia Roberts.


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