Joshua Chism (b. 1987) is a native of Southwest, MO. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Bachelor of Music Composition degree from Missouri State University in Springfield, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2010. It was there that he studied conducting under Dr. Guy B. Webb. He also holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri–Columbia, graduating in 2019. At MU, he served as a teaching/rehearsal assistant for Dr. Brandon Boyd, assistant conductor for the MU Men’s Chorale and Concert Chorale, conductor of the MU Outreach Choir, and director of the Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble. There he studied conducting under Dr. R. Paul Crabb. Additionally, he holds a Kodály Level I, II, and III certification.
From 2010–2017, Joshua taught in the Missouri public school system. During these seven years, he taught a wide variety of music courses and led numerous ensembles ranging from kindergarten to high school, both choral and instrumental. During this time, he led community choirs in various capacities and locations. Joshua has also served as guest clinician/conductor for various regional and district honor choirs at both the elementary and secondary levels.
Joshua is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Oklahoma pursuing a PhD in Choral Pedagogy and Conducting under the advisement of Dr. Melissa Baughman (Spring 2022–expected date of graduation). In addition to his academic and musical endeavors at OU, Joshua is a teaching assistant for the music department and the Experiencing Music curriculum coordinator and instructor. At OU he has studied conducting with Dr. Richard Zielinksi and Dr. David Howard. He is also the Conducting Intern for the Norman Singers. His research interests include the effects of conducting gesture on the vocal mechanism as well as vocal pedagogy course content and design. He research has recently presented his research at the Collegiate Musicological Society, NAfME, ACDA, and SMTE conferences. Joshua performs as a Choral Artist with Schola Cantorum Oklahoma, a semi-professional vocal ensemble based in Norman and Prometheus, a professional vocal consort based in Columbia, MO.
Joshua currently serves as the Director of Youth and Children's Choirs at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, OK. There he directs the K-5 children's choir program, 6-12 youth choir, and two of the church's six handbell ensembles. He has served as director and minister of music in churches since Fall 2012. During his music ministry career Joshua has directed handbell ensembles, vocal ensembles at all levels, and contemporary worship bands in addition to serving as congregational song leader and worship minister. Currently, Joshua performs with the renowned Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma.
In his spare time, Joshua likes to compose, travel, garden, eat sushi, and play board games. Joshua, his wife Natalie, and their young son Jacob reside in Norman, OK.
Philosophy of Music Education
My philosophy of music education hinges on five major tenets.
1.) I believe that music is three-fold, consisting of the musical doer (musicer), the music making process (musicing), and the final musical product. No component can exist without the other two. Music does not exist without the music maker.
2.) I believe that while the musical product is important and necessary, the music making process and the experiences of the music makers themselves are much more meaningful. The music serves the music makers, not the other way around.
3.) Musical beauty is contextual can be found anywhere. The goal of choral music and music making in general should be to widen our definition of beauty to include the myriad of contexts, cultures, and perspectives different from our own. The rehearsal process must be socially aware and culturally responsive.
4.) Sound and music are both legitimate and undervalued sources of knowledge. The way we frame knowledge itself impacts the way we view our world and must include sound. We must acknowledge the epistemological diversity that music provides and capitalize on it in the educational process.
5.) Music’s ability to defy strict and clear-cut definition allows it to serve as both a source for unification and diversity, humanly and heavenly. Music serves, for some, as source for extreme intellectual investigation, for others, technical (even athletic) challenge. Further still, music is a means to explore subjective and deeply spiritual ideologies. Music's uncanny ability to serve humanity in this multitude of manners must be acknowledged in both the classroom and rehearsal environment.
It is from these five key tenets that I hang all my methodology and pedagogy.
The fact that children can make beautiful music is less significant than the fact that music can make beautiful children.”
–Kodály–Level 1 Certification–Evangel University, Springfield, MO–Summer 2016
–Kodály–Level 2 Certification–Missouri State University, Springfield, MO–Summer 2018
–Kodály–Level 3 Certification–University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK–Summer 2021
–The Choral Warm-Up: Pedagogy and Science with James Jordan–Rider University–Summer 2018
–The Norman Singers–Conducting Intern–Norman, OK–Fall 2019 to present
–Ars Nova Singers Conductor/Director–University of Missouri–Columbia–Spring 2019
–Kodály of the Ozarks–Elementary Honor Choir Conductor–Spring 2018
–Mizzou Outreach Singers Conductor/Director–University of Missouri–Columbia–Fall 2018
–Lebanon Chamber Choir–Lebanon, MO–Guest Composer/Clinician–Spring 2017
–SW Missouri Choral Directors Association–Elementary Honor Choir Conductor–Spring 2017
–Lebanon, MO Community Choir Director–Summer 2016, Fall 2016
–NW Missouri Choral Directors Association–Elementary Honor Choir Conductor–Spring 2015
–Redeemer Lutheran Church–Springfield, MO–Guest Composer/Clinician–Spring 2013
–Columbia Public Schools 5th Grade Honor Choir–Guest Composer/Clinician–Spring 2013
–Mid–American Singers–Springfield, MO–Guest Composer/Clinician–Fall 2012
–NW Missouri Choral Directors Association–Elementary Honor Choir Conductor–Spring 2012
–Schola Cantorum Oklahoma–Choral Artist–Spring 2021–Present
–Prometheus: An American Consort–Choral Artist–Fall 2021
–Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma–Singer–Fall 2019–Present
–Dewey Connally Memorial Award for Music Education–Spring 2020
–SWACDA Collegiate Honor Choir–Singer–Spring 2018
–Columbia, MO Handbell Ensemble–Ringer–2017–2019
–Lebanon, MO Chamber Choir–Singer–2016–2017
–Premier of “The Courageous (and Foolhardy) Don Quixote”–MMEA State Conference–January 2011
–Premier of “The Divine Artist and His Creation”–MMEA State Conference–January 2010
–Premier of “Rest”–MMEA State Conference–January 2009
–Claude T. Smith Award for Composition–2009
–“Opus” Award–Awarded by the Missouri Choral Directors Association–Summer 2009
–Claude T. Smith Award for Composition–2008
–Presidential Scholar–Missouri State University–Fall 2005–Spring 2010