Joshua Shank’s works have been widely performed by educational and professional ensembles alike. His music has been called “jubilant…ethereal” (Santa Barbara News-Press) and “evocative and atmospheric” (Gramophone). The Boston Classical Review called his Magnificat for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo “powerful” and “emotionally charged.” He has been commissioned by ensembles such as Conspirare, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the American Choral Directors Association, The Esoterics, and the Lorelei Ensemble. From 2004 to 2014, he served as Composer-In-Residence for the Minneapolis-based professional choir, The Singers. During that time, he collaborated annually with fellow composers-in-residence Jocelyn Hagen and Abbie Betinis to expand and invigorate the repertoire for professional-caliber ensembles through innovative programming as well as new works written specifically for the choir.
In 2002, he became the youngest recipient ever of the Raymond W. Brock Composition Award by the American Choral Directors Association. The winning piece, “Musica animam tangens,” was premiered in Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center, and has since been performed and recorded from Los Angeles to South Africa. His music was recently featured in a documentary about the extensive choral tradition in the upper Midwest, Never Stop Singing, and his published works have sold over 150,000 copies worldwide.
Joshua received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Music Education from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where he studied conducting with Weston Noble and composition with John Morrison and Neil Flory. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in composition at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Dan Welcher, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Russell Pinkston, Donald Grantham, and the late opera composer Daniel Catán. A native of Minnesota, Joshua currently teaches music theory and composition as well as conducts the Men’s Chorus at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.
Learn more at www.joshuashank.com
1: (Easy) No divisi in voice parts, accompaniment doubles or supports vocal parts, diatonic, symmetrical phrases, textures mostly homophonic, simple rhythms, stepwise voice leading (conjunct), moderate ranges, no extended techniques, and limited sustained singing.
2: (Medium Easy) Limited divisi, voices somewhat independent from accompaniment, some chromatics, phrases may be longer or more fragmented, mostly homophonic, moderate rhythmic complexity, some difficult intervals (disjunct motion), moderate ranges, extended techniques are simple, limited sustained singing.
3. (Medium) Limited divisi, unaccompanied, or with independent accompaniment (voice parts not doubled), many chromatics, phrases of varying lengths, more contrapuntal textures, moderately complex rhythms, some difficult intervals (disjunct motion), moderately difficult/challenging ranges, extended techniques are potentially challenging, and some sustained singing.
4. (Medium Difficult) Abundant divisi, unaccompanied, or accompanying instruments are fully independent from voice parts, many chromatics and/or key changes, long and/or broken phrases, potentially little homophony, complex rhythms, many difficult intervals (disjunct motion), difficult/challenging ranges, potentially difficult extended techniques, and a demand for sustained singing.
5. (Difficult) Adundant divis, unaccompanied, or accompanying instruments are fully independent from voice parts, many chromatics and/or key changes, long and/or broken phrases, potentially little homophony, complex rhythms, extreme ranges, use of challenging or unusual extended vocal techniques, abundant sustained singing.