Joseph Eidson - steampunk composer, music educator
This bio and a shorter version is available for download here.


The music of Joseph Eidson (b.1981) contains rhythmic drive, crisp harmonies, and a preference for lyrical melodies. His works have been performed throughout North America and abroad; most recently at the Boston Metro Opera Contemporary AmericanaFest, International Horn Society 44th Symposium, CBDNA Eastern Regional Conference, New Voices at the Catholic University of America, Aries Festival for New Music, and several College Music Society regional conferences.

Although he enjoys writing for all mediums, composing for wind ensemble and for the voice occupy most of his recent output. Recent works include a song cycle using the poetry of William Butler Yeats, three choral pieces, and a wind ensemble work inspired by a recent NASA mission to study a comet. While a majority of his output is for live performers, an ongoing project utilizes technology to create music using the sounds and methods of video game composers during the 1980s and early 1990s. Known as chiptunes, these short pieces are varied in style and substance, each containing unique challenges limited only by imagination and software design. Many of the tracks are featured on the "Quirky Minecraft" web series from Sparhawk Gaming on YouTube. Two albums of his chip music are available via Bandcamp, and several new works combine live performers with Game Boy audio.

His music has received awards and recognition from the Missouri Civic Orchestra, Vox Novus, the Metropolitan Wind Symphony 40th Anniversary Competition, 2010 ASCAP Morton Gould Award (finalist), 2010 Opera Vista Festival (semifinalist), Aurora Borealis Duo Composition Contest, Dallas Wind Symphony fanfare competition, ASCAP / CBDNA Frederick Fennell award for concert band (honorable mention), the Penn State trombone choir composition competition, the George Lawner Award and a Thomas Presser scholarship both from the University of Kansas. Joseph holds degrees in composition from the University of Kansas (D.M.A., B.M.) and the University of Texas (M.M.), studying composition with Dan Welcher, James Barnes, Donald Grantham, and Forrest Pierce.

Active as a composer and educator, Dr. Eidson is a member of the music faculty of the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, with previous teaching appointments at Bucknell University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Texas. His scholarly interests include history of the wind band, the music of George Crumb, and pedagogical applications of popular music in university-level music theory courses.

Joseph and his lovely wife Julia live in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania with their feisty cats Gabs, Winston, and Moose who enjoy sleeping on top of any available manuscript paper when not being fed.

Upcoming Performances:
February 22, 2015
Birds of Passage
- Chad Payton, countertenor
- 1:00pm Hulsey Recital Hall, University of Alabama-Birmingham
- Birmingham, AL
March 9, 2015
Birds of Passage
- Lisa Neher, mezzo-soprano
- 8:00pm Riverside Recital Hall, University of Iowa
- Iowa City, IA
March 13, 2015
The Haunted Carousel
- Hortonville Middle School
- 6:30pm HHS Auditorium
- Hortonville, WI
March 13, 2015
The Magician's Secret
- Linkhorne Middle School
- 1:30pm Lynchburg College
- Lynchburg, VA
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