Joel Puckett (b. 27 June 1977, Atlanta, Ga.) is an American composer.
Joel is the son of a Dixieland jazz musician and a classical tubist. He spent his childhood improvising with his father and learning the fundamentals of both concert and popular music. He has held fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and at the University of Michigan where Joel received a D.M.A. in composition studying with William Bolcom and Michael Daugherty. Formerly a cantor at St. John's Episcopal Church in Detroit, he has also been an active performer of both contemporary and cabaret works.
The Washington Chorus, recipient of the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance, commissioned and premiered Joel's new 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."
Puckett's music for wind band has enjoyed great success. His work Ping, Pang, Pong, which was written for Michael Haithcock and the University of Michigan Symphony Band, has been performed by some of the best college and professional ensembles in the country including "The President's Own" Marine Band. Written just three years ago, this piece has now seen over 40 performances with many more scheduled for this season.
Puckett is the recipient of the first American Bandmasters Association/University of Florida Commission. The award, which was funded by a generous grant from the University of Florida band program, includes a major commission to create an artistic work for wind band. This commission resulted in it perched for Vespers nine.
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. Just completed for consortium of 10 universities is Southern Comforts, an extended work for violin soloist and chamber winds and percussion. This work was premiered by Baylor University at the College Band Directors National Association conference in Austin, TX in March 2009.
This 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 and Western Washington University.
Joel is on the faculty of Peabody Conservatory after previously having served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at his alma mater, Shenandoah Conservatory.
Works for Winds
- Asimov's Aviary (2012)
- Avelynn's Lullaby (2011)
- Blink! (2006)
- Emory's Barcarolle (2015)
- Fanfares for Friends (2019)
- 15th Night of the Moon (2014)
- it perched for Vespers nine (2008)
- Knells for Bonnie (2016)
- My Eyes Are Full of Shadow (2016)
- Piece for Solo Flute and Chamber Winds (2015)
- Ping, Pang, Pong
- The Shadow of Sirius (2009)
- Ship of Theseus (2015)
- Short Stories (2012)
- Southern Comforts (2008)
- that secret from the river (2016)
- Cook, Daniel. "that secret from the river." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 1081-1096. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
- Golemo, Michael. "Avelynn's Lullaby." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 483-489. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
- Joel Puckett website
- Joel Puckett- myspace site (audio clips available)
- Schroeder, Angela L. "Emory's Barcarolle for Band." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 542-548. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.