Joel Thompson (b.1988) is an Atlanta composer, pianist, conductor, and educator. His latest work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed for TTBB chorus,strings, and piano, was premiered November 2015 by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club under the direction of Dr. Eugene Rogers. Currently teaching at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta, Thompson also served as Director of Choral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at Andrew College from 2013-2015. Thompson is a proud Emory alum, graduating with a B.A. in Music in 2010, and an M.M. in Choral Conducting in 2013. His teachers include Eric Nelson, William Ransom, Laura Gordy, Richard Prior, John Anthony Lennon, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Scott Stewart.
Joel shared some thoughts about his time at Emory:
"I am so grateful for my time at Emory. Studying with Dr. Nelson and continuing to sing in his Atlanta Master Chorale have been life-changing experiences. Dr. Stewart took extra time out of his insanely hectic schedule to give me beginning conducting lessons "off the books" as a sophomore and I am forever grateful. I feel incredibly lucky to have even interacted with much less studied piano with Dr. Ransom and composition with Dr. Lennon and Dr. Prior and jazz with Gary Motley.
But Dr. Gordy, Dr. Cox, Ms. Thoreson Slover, Dr. Wendland, Dr. Yayoi Everett, Dr. Bertrand - these women are the unsung heroes of my time at Emory. Dr. Gordy stripped down my horrible self-taught piano technique and built it up again and gave me a deep appreciation for prickly, new, contemporary classical music. Dr. Cox made music theory even more exciting for a theory nerd and was really my first composition teacher in theory lab. Ms. Thoreson Slover taught the unspoken nuances and magical arts of musical collaboration. Dr. Wendland tried her hardest to make her students truly value and get excited about the music we made and she succeeded. Dr. Everett - my love for her [Theory 4 class and her Form and Analysis class] knows no bounds. And Dr. Bertrand wrote textbooks for all of her classes and is one of the most intelligent and most kind people at Emory. They are not the ones in the press releases or on the concert posters or in the Emory publications. But they are the ones attending almost every student concert, holding extra office hours, and supporting and inspiring one Emory student at a time. I can't thank them enough for their patience and guidance."