Joe Jaxson is an award-winning student composer at James Madison University studying for his B.M. in Composition. Currently studying with professors Eric Guinivan and Jason Haney, Joe pursues versatility in writing in numerous styles and genres ranging from Contemporary Classical to Cinematic Screen Scoring. His music challenges the familiar and the predictability of the western canon, providing something accessible yet fresh and unique to all audiences. Following his B.M. Joe has accepted a fellowship to study at the University of Texas at Austin for his Master’s in Composition in the Fall 2022.
"To bridge different communities together the same way my music bridges different styles together."
In 2018, his wind ensemble piece, “Fanfare and Celebration” was selected for recognition at the VMEA (Virginia Music Educators Association) Composition Festival during its annual conference. Joe's piece, "Fanfare and Overture for Orchestra" was recently selected by the Concerto Chamber Orchestra 2020 Call for Scores as one of its winners for their upcoming season. During the summer of 2020 Joe has participated in NYU’s Film Scoring Workshop where he worked with successful Film and TV composers Mark Snow and Michael A. Levine. Joe was also selected as one of the ten composers for the modern chamber group “Five by Five's" 2020 Call for Scores and Ideas. For the summer of 2021 Joe has been accepted to attend the SPLICE Institute which features a variety of workshops focusing on music technology. Joe’s piece, “Persevering” has been performed by the Juventas Mew Music Ensemble in Boston and by the JMNew Music Ensemble in Harrisonburg, Virginia. “Persevering” was also named an honorable mention in the newEar 2020-2021 Composition Contest, chosen as a Finalist in the 2021 Press Start Inaugural Composer Competition as well as Finalist in the 2021 Inaugural Jessie S. Yee Memorial Commission Competition. Joe's new work for string orchestra "Prologue" has been selected as the winner of the 2021 JMU New Music for Strings Competition and was premiered by the JMU Symphony Orchestra in April 2022. Also in April, Joe’s new work for wind ensemble, “Safety, A Fluttered Heart” has been selected as the winner of the 2021 JMU New Music for Wind Ensemble Competition and was premiered by the JMU Symphonic Band.
Joe has composed original music for the Donald Heiter Community Center's 2021 Radio Dramas: "Natalie and the Chocolate Factory," streamed through their "Sweeten Your Spirit" podcast during their annual Chocolate Festival, and "Tarrstown Tales: Kris's Time-Traveling Lewisburg Adventure" for their annual Celebration of the Arts, and "Michael's Star" for the Heiter Center's "Rock and Read" Reading Marathon & Fundraiser Event. In addition to composing, Joe takes pleasure in arranging music. In August 2020, Joe arranged the instrumental for the newly released single, "Rooftop" by recording artist, Georgia Saunders.