Joe Clark (b. 1994) is completing his Master's in Wind Band Conducting at the University of Illinois under the direction of Dr. Steve Peterson. He recently graduated from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester, where he receieved degrees in music education, clarinet performance, and mathematics.
Joe began his musical studies on piano at the age of 6, studying classical piano with Kathy Davis for nine years and jazz piano with Mary Giacobbe for five years. He began playing masses for his local church in high school and has accompanied a number of choruses, as well as wind soloists on recitals and festival recordings. He has also played keyboard for several musicals, including "42nd Street" (playing the role of Oscar, the stage pianist) and "Fiddler on the Roof", and directed "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" from the keyboards.
Joe's clarinet experience began in his school band program in fourth grade. He has since studied under Donna Morse and Jason Bielik, and studied under Kenneth Grant at Eastman. While at Eastman, he performed with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Eastman Philharmonia, as well as in the new music group OSSIA and Eastman Opera Theater's production of Ned Rorem's "Our Town". He very much enjoys working with a variety of chamber ensembles, which have included a reed trio, clarinet quartet, wind quintet, and reed quintet. At the University of Illinois, Joe has continued to perform with a variety of chamber groups as well as the UI Wind Symphony. Joe also puts on regular solo recitals at school and home, on a wide variety of clarinets. He attended the Bay View Music Festival in 2015, where he studied with Dr. Cecilia Kang. Joe also teaches private clarinet lessons to students at all levels.
Joe also has a strong interest in composition. While his only formal instruction occurred in a Composition for Non-Majors course at Eastman under Gilad Rabinovitch, he has been composing for various ensembles since seventh grade. He has scored many pieces for a variety of ensembles, including his high school's marching band, concert band, and chorus, as well as for many smaller chamber groups and solo works. His works have been premiered at the Bay View Music Festival, the Eastman School of Music (by the Eastman saxophone project), and at the Midwest Clinic, among others. Recent projects have included sonatas for euphonium and Ab clarinet.
Most recently, Joe has become interested in conducting. At Eastman, he studied with Mark Davis Scatterday, Brad Lubman, Oliver Hagen, and Eric Laprade, ran a weekly reading orchestra, and was co-artistic director of the Eastman Clarinet Choir. At the University of Illinois, he directs the UI Clarinet Choir in addition to conducting pieces with all five concert bands and the Marching Illini. While at home, he frequently guest conducts his high school band. He also conducts a summer chamber wind group and clarinet choir for high school students. He has recently attended wind conducting workshops at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Illinois.
Joe is currently applying to become a high school band director. Inspired by his own band directors growing up, he frequently works with all aspects of his high school band program. In addition to work in the classroom, he writes and teaches drill for marching band and winter percussion ensembles. He has served as staff at the UMass Lowell Mary Jo Leahey Symphonic Band Camp for four years. He also hosts an annual summer chamber music recital to afford area students from middle school through college an opportunity to continue playing over the summer.