Thomas Joseph (b. 1988) holds a Master of Music in Music Composition from Shenandoah Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA). He studied composition under Andrey Kasparov, Associate Professor of Music at ODU, and Mark Chambers. Joseph has additional studies in piano and horn. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Old Dominion Community Music Program for Theory and Composition.
Joseph was awarded the Undergraduate Research Award at ODU to facilitate a recital which included an original work titled Quartet (2009-2010) for soprano saxophone, vibraphone, acoustic guitar, and harpsichord. This work also served as a teaching aid during the Undergraduate Research Symposium, in which he lectured on the creative and organizational process of music composition. Additionally, he spearheaded the execution of another grant which produced ODU's first composition group student recital.
In 2010, Thomas Joseph won the Young Artist Competition at ODU with Concert Music for Orchestra. He also received an award for Outstanding Graduating Student of the music department. Recent performances include those of Fanfare (2010), commissioned and performed by the Eastern Virginia Brass Quintet; Sonatina for Flute and Piano, performed by Bonnie Kim (flute) and Andrey Kasparov (piano) at the Hampton Roads Flute Faire; Dominion Fanfare (previously known as Fanfare 2013) by the ODU Wind Ensemble; and Trombone Beast Suite, premiered by Mike Hall (trombone) and Stephen Coxe (piano).
In addition to Quartet, works composed at ODU include Preludes and Fugue (2010), an antiphonal three prelude and fugue work for three separate quartets, respectively comprised of double reeds, clarinets, and strings; Music for Celesta, Harp, Piano, Percussion, and Strings (2010); Impromptu for Horn (2010); Distortions (2010) and Fortitude (2009) for orchestra; Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor (2010); Toccata No. 1 for Four Hands and Toccata No. 2 for solo piano (2010); and Fantasia for Piano (2009).
Joseph also composed An Hour of Rumination for Wind Ensemble (2012) and an Unaccompanied Solo for Violin (2012). Other recent compositions include many more wind ensemble works such as Legend, Pulse, Pentahedron Prisms, Autumn, Anthem, Shades of America, Farewell Celebration, Sentiments, and Joker. Additional solo and chamber pieces include Exultation: Concerto for Trumpet, Exultation for Percussion Ensemble, Suite for Six (Natural) Horns, Music for Clarinet and Piano, Waltz for Horn/Viola and Piano, and Piano Sonata No. 2 in C minor.
Joseph's Concerto Dystonia for solo horn and orchestra (as well as horn and piano) chronicles the composer's own battle with task-specific focal dystonia. Concerto Dystonia is meant to bring awareness to the neurological condition of focal dystonia, in which the brain short-circuits and the sufferer experiences muscle spasms with no apparent physical disabilities. Utilizing different playing techniques, the piece depicts a skillful performer's gradual decline in technical ability. However, hope for a future of recovery is also demonstrated to encourage fellow sufferers of focal dystonia.