NYU Composition Faculty
Dr. Joseph Church is a conductor, composer, arranger, and teacher of music completed his doctorate in music composition in the Steinhardt School's Department of Music and Performing Arts at NYU. Among his many talents, he has established a major career as Broadway music director. From 1996 through early 2005, Dr. Church was music director of The Lion King on Broadway, and was the music supervisor for the New York, London, Tokyo, Osaka, Toronto, and Los Angeles productions. He was music director of Randy Newman's Faust, at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 1996 and the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in 1995. From 1993-1995 and while completing his doctoral degree in music composition in The Steinhardt School, Dr. Church served as musical supervisor, conductor, and vocal arranger of The Who's Tommy on Broadway. He was the music director of the original production at La Jolla Playhouse, for which he won the Los Angeles Drama-Logue award for musical direction, and was the musical supervisor for the London, Toronto, Germany, and national touring companies of the show. Dr. Church was the conductor and music director for the Grammy-winning cast albums of The Lion King and Tommy. Other credits as music director and conductor include Julie Taymor’s Green Bird, Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular, the New York, national tour, and Boston companies of Little Shop Of Horrors, and many others.
Dr. Church is a prolific composer and has been composer-in-residence at New York's Riverside Shakespeare Company and Manhattan Repertory Theatre, and in all has written incidental music for over thirty plays, including Richard III, As You Like It, The Tempest, Antigone, Anna Christie, and The Rainmaker. He has contributed arrangements and orchestrations to, among others, Randy Newman, Lauryn Hill, The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm on Broadway, Steven Lutvak’s Almost September , Major Barbara at Alaska Repertory, Theatreworks USA's We The People, and the Off-Broadway show, Catch Me If I Fall.
Dr. Church's concert music compositions include Three Romances for mixed chorus, Sonata for Two Pianos (winner of the 1993 NYU Student Composition Award), Vibrachrome (Honeyrock Publishing) for solo vibraphone, Mock Opera, an avant-garde instrumental operetta, Soggiorno for piano, violin, and violoncello, Duo for Violin and Viola, and Reel and Rondo from “As You Like It,” premiered on New Year’s Eve 2000 by the Long Island Philharmonic.
Dr. Church’s current projects include arranging and orchestrating the music of the eminent Russian composer Vladimir Shainskiy to a Broadway musical version of the Academy Award-nominated film, The Thief, and adapting Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers to a modern style, under a commission from the Roundabout Theater. Dr. Church is the music director of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s upcoming musical, Mask. He is also currently collaborating with legendary librettist Sheldon Harnick on a setting of Jean de la Fontaine's Les Fables for chorus and orchestra.
Dr. Church teaches composition and music theatre in our department.