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The Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania is excited to announce Dr. Joshua Harper as its new Artistic Director. Dr. Harper assumes his responsibilities on July 1st but is already feeling a part of our Choral Society family following his great work with us this past spring as a guest conductor. Be sure to check back regularly across the summer as we begin to announce Dr. Harper’s plans for 2024-2025 and the start of our second quarter-century of service as “your regional voice for the choral art.”

 Dr. Harper is the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. At Wilkes, Harper conducts the Chamber Singers and University Chorale. He also teaches music theory, private voice, and serves as the musical director for all musical productions, including this season’s productions of Carousel and Fun Home. He moved to Wilkes from Prescott, Arizona where he served as the Director of Choral Activities at Yavapai College from 2019-2023. At Yavapai, he conducted four choirs, taught music theory courses, and music-directed multiple musical productions including Phantom Of The Opera, Hello, Dolly (starring Toni Tennille), Chicago, and Jane Eyre. Harper’s 22-23 season began as a featured soloist at “Jazz at Lincoln Center” with the Austin Artists Project in New York City. He returned to NYC in March ‘23, leading the Yavapai College choruses to Carnegie Hall for a performance of Verdi’s Requiem to a soldout house. Praised for his “inspired” conducting (The Daily Courier), Harper is thrilled to be returning to the Arizona Philharmonic podium for his fourth season with the esteemed ensemble. Harper is the founder of the Quartz Ensemble, a fully professional chamber choir drawing singers from across the country of international renown. They have performed multiple concerts including Brahms’ Requiem (2022) and Mendelssohn’s Elijah (2023). 

His scholarly research focuses on composer Caroline Shaw and her Pulitzer Prize-winning work Partita for 8 Voices. His most recent article on her work was published in the Fall 2020 issue of The Choral Scholar & American Choral Review. Harper can be found on Parma Recordings’ 2019 release “Preach, Sister, Preach” featuring soprano Katherine Jolly, where he conducted the premiere recording of Katherine Bodor’s Absent an Adjustment. In January 2016, he made his Canadian debut as one of the five conductors in North America invited to participate in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s “Emerging Conductor Symposium” where he conducted the Grammy-nominated Elora Festival Singers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Joshua was selected as a Conducting Fellow at the Yale University Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in 2015 studying with Simon Carrington, where he also sang as a tenor. He has performed under the batons of many of the world’s leading conductors including Franz Welser-Möst, Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin, Giancarlo Guerrero, John Butt, and Simon Carrington. A native of Huntsville, Alabama, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and Music Composition from Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN), the Master of Music degree in choral conducting from UMass Amherst and the Doctor of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University with a minor in Music History and Literature. 

Joshua loves Chelsea Football Club, Indian food, Top Chef, and the color green. He lives in Dunmore with his wife and two dogs.