DIRECTOR OF ORCHESTRAL STUDIES
CONDUCTOR, SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND STRING ENSEMBLE
251, Swope Music Building
- M.M., Ithaca College (Orchestral Conducting)
- B.S., Calvin College (Theory/Composition)
Joseph Caminiti is looking forward to his fifth year as Director of Orchestral Studies at West Chester University. He is committed to connecting with audiences through dynamic and thoughtful concerts. Experiencing music as a unique inspiration in life, he works to relate it to the increasingly diverse audiences of our day. His conversational and visually distinctive “Concerts in The Round” have grown audiences who participate by dialoguing with the performers. The smartphone-friendly features, in-concert conversations, multi-media elements, and pre-concert “round-tables” have all captured the interests of audiences. His “Concert on the Quad” annual series at West Chester University has included audience-selected film scores, Latin and American music, and collaborations with steel drum bands, Latin ensembles, and the Dalí Quartet. These concerts have received the attention of CBS News who spontaneously ran a spot on it.
Joseph is continually seeking musical partnerships with arts and charitable organizations. In 2012 he organized and conducted two concerts with Advocates For the Homeless and Those in Need, Esperanza, and other organizations to help raise funds for underserved communities. In 2016, he combined with UrbanPromise International to help raise funds for a new school in Malawi, Africa. In 2017, he invited ARTOLERANCE to West Chester University to present a masterclass and concert on the power of art to promote tolerance and co-existence in a challenging world. This year he is offering benefit concerts for West Chester University’s Promise Program (aid for the homeless) and their Resource Pantry.
Collaborations with living composers are a vital priority. Joseph has conducted world and regional premieres, including Judith Lang Zaimont’s Chroma: Northern Lights, Kile Smith’s Song of the Angels, Raoul Pleskow’s Quartet and Epilogue, Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano, Chamber Concerto for Saxophone and Ensemble, Piece for Four Instruments, and the world premiere of Joseph Harkins’ Symphony No. 1. Recently performed standard repertoire of the twentieth-century include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Hovhaness’s And God Created Great Whales, Hindemith’s Apparebit repentina dies, and Plau’s Concerto for Tuba and Strings. In the 2019-2020 season, he is conducting world premieres of Ron Thomas, Joseph Harkins, and the winner of the composition competition he started entitled, “Quad Fanfares”. He will also be performing works of present-day composers, Gabriela Lena Frank and Giya Kancheli.
Solo performances at West Chester University include collaborations with tubist Jonathan Fowler, composer Joseph Harkins, violinist Domenic Salerni of the Dali Quartet, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, baritone Randall Scarlata, and soprano In Young Lee of West Chester University. Guest conducting appearances include the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra (2014), the Delaware Valley Wind Symphony (2014 and 2015), the PMEA District 12 Orchestra (2017), the Delaware All-State Orchestra (2017), the Berks County Senior Orchestra (2018), and the All Catholic Orchestra Festival (2019). This year, he was invited again to conduct the PMEA District 12 Orchestra in January 2020.
Joseph began his conducting career as the Assistant Conductor of the Ithaca College Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in 1996. After arriving in Philadelphia, he started the string ensemble, Solaris, before accepting the Music Director position with the Cairn Symphony Orchestra in 2001. In 2015 he served as the Music Director of the Philharmonia, an orchestra under the umbrella organization, Youth Orchestra of Bucks County. He was also Music Director of the Delaware County Symphony from 2016 to 2019 where he collaborated with many soloists including clarinetist Ricardo Morales, hornist Jennifer Montone, and cellist Udi Bar-David, flutist Kimberly Reighley, pianist Jennifer Campbell, pianist Ching-Yun Hu, violinists Margaret Dziekonsky, Nina Vieru.
At West Chester University, Joseph conducts the Symphony, Chamber and Opera Orchestras, teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, runs the graduate orchestral conducting program, and teaches various other courses.
As a horn player, Joseph is principal horn of the Riverside Symphonia (Lambertville, New Jersey), member of the Fairmount Chamber Ensemble (Philadelphia), and is a chamber recitalist with other professional ensembles throughout the Philadelphia region. He resides in Pennsylvania, with his wife, Kirsten. They are active birders and savor hearty conversations over coffee.