Joseph Earp

Joseph Earp
Music/Music Industry Chair & Director of Bands at Hinds Community College

Bachelor of Music Education, UNC Charlotte (2006)
Master of Music in Music Education, Anderson University (2017)
Doctor of Music Education, Liberty University (2020)

Hometown: Lenoir, N.C.

Joe Earp’s professional teaching career began in 2006 as Director of Bands at Seneca High School (Seneca, S.C).. He later taught band at Robbinsville Middle and High Schools (Graham County, N.C.) before becoming the founding Director of Bands at Cox Mill High School in Concord. After eight years of numerous achievements at Cox Mill High School, he moved into his role at Limestone University (Gaffney, South Carolina) as Director of Athletic Bands, elevating many elements of Limestone’s athletic band program. Just prior to his role at Hinds Community College, Dr. Earp was the Director of Instrumental Music at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina.

In addition to teaching, Joe is an active published composer and clinician, with music performed internationally. His compositions and arrangements are available from BKJ Publications, Carl Fischer, CTS Publications (Distributed worldwide by C. L. Barnhouse), and RWS Music Company (Distributed worldwide by Alfred Music). One of his concert band works, Where the Wild Things Dance, was selected by J. W. Pepper to be part of their 2019 Editors’ Choice catalog. Other major compositional accomplishments include being the winner of the 2010 Claude T. Smith Composition Contest in Missouri, winner of the 2018 Thornton Community Band Composition Contest in Colorado, multiple J.W. Pepper Editors’ Choice awards, and multiple works selected to be part of the Band World Magazine Top 100.

Joe recently returned to UNC Charlotte to receive the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award in Music.

“UNC Charlotte has always been a special place for me,” he says. He recalls fondly the “reality check” of his first lesson with Dr. Royce Lumpkin (now retired) and the subsequent late nights spent in practice rooms preparing for lessons and performances.

 “My absolute favorite moment,” he says, “was proposing to my wonderful wife in the lobby of Robinson Hall the night of my last Wind Ensemble concert prior to student teaching.” Some of his fellow classmates helped Joe pull together a small brass ensemble to play a composition that he had written especially for Mary Beth, his wife-to-be, prior to the start of the concert. “Many students from the Wind Ensemble snuck around to the lobby to show their support of the performance and proposal, which remains one of the greatest memories of my life.” You can watch that special event here.

Joe is grateful to the music department faculty and staff who helped advise him.

“These individuals make the music department at UNC Charlotte something special. Their unwavering commitment to music and this institution will drive the music department and UNC Charlotte forward as they continue to thrive.”

Joe currently resides in Clinton, Mississippi with his wife Mary Beth and sons Jackson and Jasper. Learn more about his music at Follow Joe on TikTok and Twitter @earpcomposer. Find him on Instagram as earpcomposer.