A person of diverse artistic interests, Joseph Baldwin is a conductor whose primary work explores the integration of choral music, dynamic programming and presentation, the conductor as servant leader, and the transformative power of community engagement. He has a keen interest in non-profit leadership at the academic and professional levels.
In 2017, Joseph was appointed as Music Director of the Baroque Artists of Champaign Urbana (BACH), succeeding Chester L. Alwes. From 2012-2015, Joseph served on the faculty at Smith College (MA), where he was the Iva Dee Hiatt Distinguished Assistant Director of Choral Activities and taught full-time in the Department of Music. He has held key appointments with the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a Visiting Professor of Music, Berkshire Choral International as a Staff Conductor, the Grammy® Award-winning choral ensembles at the University of Michigan, and the choirs of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An active guest conductor and collaborator, he has enjoyed conducting engagements with SongFest at The Colburn School and the Five College New Music Festival (MA) as well as conducting fellowships with the Oregon Bach Festival (as a member of the renowned Master Class in Conducting) and the Yale School of Music -- Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Joseph is passionate about contemporary music and regularly partners with thriving composers, including Dominick DiOrio and Anne LeBaron. He has assisted in the preparation of choruses for performances with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Kent Tritle, and Nicholas Cleobury. A strong advocate for the choral arts at all levels, Joseph is an active guest clinician and adjudicator with ensembles in the professional/young artist, collegiate, secondary, and spiritual settings. From 2010 to 2012, he served as Founding Artistic Director & Conductor of the Community Chorus of Detroit, now a cultural force in the Detroit-area arts scene. A baritone, he sings as a professional member of some of the nation’s leading ensembles, including the Yale Choral Artists, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival Singers, and the University Musical Society Choral Union/Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Joseph's passion for non-profit leadership has led to a wide variety of service opportunities. He is currently a full-time member of the Admissions and Public Engagement team for the University of Illinois School of Music. He is also the Director of Development for Three Spinners, a local non-profit dedicated to welcoming and providing support for refugee and immigrant communities in the Champaign-Urbana community. He served as National Board Member (MA) for the National Collegiate Choral Organization from 2012-2015. While on the faculty at Smith College, Joseph was an active participant in departmental leadership and spearheaded a variety of innovative initiatives within the Department of Music and collaborations with other departments and institutions. In 2010, he co-founded the Community Chorus of Detroit, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and served on the Board of Directors. While at Northwestern University, Joseph was Chairman of the Student Advisory Board for the Bienen School of Music, where he significantly expanded participation, the organizational structure, overall impact, and outreach efforts.
Joseph is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the mentorship of Andrew Megill. He received the Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Jerry Blackstone. At Northwestern University, Joseph graduated with the Bachelor of Music (cum laude), with additional studies toward a Bachelor of Arts in the five-year double-degree program. He is also a dedicated student of yoga, currently practicing at Lois Steinberg's B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Institute of Champaign-Urbana.