His music described as "Sophisticated, yet approachable," Joe Jaxson is an award-winning composer studying at James Madison University. Joe pursues versatility in writing within numerous styles and genres ranging from Contemporary Classical to Popular Music to Cinematic Screen Scoring. His music challenges the familiar and the predicability of the traditional western canon, providing something accessible, yet fresh and unique to all audiences.
"To bridge different communities together the same way my music bridges different styles together."
Joe was named an honorable mention in the Young Composers Competition – JMU 37th Contemporary Music Festival at the high school division in 2017 for his brass quartet, “Tranquil, Pulse, and Drive!”. 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 USC Student Symphony Orchestra 2020 Call for Scores as one of its winners for their 10th Anniversary season in Spring of 2021. 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 has been named an honorable mention for his piece, "Persevering" in the newEar 2020-2021 Composition Contest, chosen as a Finalist in the 2021 Press Start Inaugural Composer Competition as well as a Finalist in the 2021 Inaugural Jessie. S. Yee Memorial Commission Competition. Joe has been named an Honorable Mention for the ASCAP Foundation 2021 Morton Gould Young Composers Award. Joe's new work for string orchestra "Prologue" has been selected as the winner of the 2021 JMU New Music for Strings Competition and will be performed by the JMU Symphony Orchestra in April 2022.
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.