Joseph Eunkwan Choi
Joseph Choi is director of music at Highland View Academy, a position he has held since 2013. He previously taught at Valley Grande Academy in Texas, a position he assumed in 2010.
Prior to these teaching appointments, he was associate conductor of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (Indiana) and Owensboro Symphony Orchestra (Kentucky), and principal conductor of their youth orchestras, as well as the Evansville Philharmonic chorus, positions he had held since 2005. He also served as an adjunct professor of music at the University of Southern Indiana, where he taught and conducted its Chamber Choir, and was Music Director at the Eastminster Presbyterian Church.
Born in South Korea in 1973 to Seventh-day Adventist parents, Choi, who is fluent in Korean, Portuguese, English, and Spanish, is now a U.S. citizen. He became interested in music watching his mother and then his sister accompany choirs for the churches his father pastored. A piano and trumpet player and a singer, he graduated from what is now Southern Adventist University in 1996. In 2009, he was honored as an Alumnus of the Year by SAU.
Choi completed a master's degree in orchestral conducting at Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford in Connecticut in 1998 and worked on a D.M.A. in choral conducting at the University of Maryland for three years. While at UM, he was a full-scholarship graduate assistant, teaching conducting classes and serving as assistant conductor of the UM chorus and chorale.
A partial listing of prior conducting posts includes the Asheville Symphony in North Carolina; and the Southern Adventist University Symphony Orchestra, of which he was assistant conductor; and the Maryland Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in 2000.
In 2001 Choi was invited by the Korean Conductors Association to compete in their first Conductor's Competition. In that same year he was one of eight finalists to compete in an international conductor's competition held in Portugal. More recently, he was a winner at an international conducting workshop in Macon, Georgia. As a result, he was invited to study with Yuri Temirkanov and guest conduct the St. Petersburg Philharmonic (Congress) Orchestra in Russia in 2005.
Choi has guest conducted the Phoenix and Scottsdale symphony orchestras in Arizona, the East Texas Symphony, the Prince Georges High School All-County Orchestra at Kennedy Center in 2001, and the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra in South Korea. The performance in South Korea was sold out and enthusiastically received by both the audience and music critics. Choi was also one of two finalists for a conducting position with the U.S. Army Field Band at Fort Meade in 2003.
His major conducting teachers have included Otto-Werner-Mueller, Harold Faberman, Orlo Gilbert, Toshima Francis Wada, Kirk Trevor, John Farrer, Daniel Lewis, Don Thulean, and Tsung Yeh. He was a fellow conductor with Faberman at the Conductors’ Institute in Hartford, Connecticut; California Conductor’s Institute, Le Domaine Forget International Festival in Canada; and Zlin's International Symphonic Workshop for Conductors in the Czech Republic.
Sources: Information provided by Joseph Eunkwan Choi, 2006, 2007, 19 May 2010, and 16 April 2013..