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Joseph Hasper

Composer / Grove City, PA
Member since May 2020
I am an American composer in a variety of styles. My works for band, orchestra and chorus have been performed in over 40 countries by ensembles such as theHolland Symphony Orchestra, Reading Pops, Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra, The Buddy Rich Band, Oklahoma School of Dance, Newburg Symphony, Coachella Valley Symphony, Symphonic Pops of Long Island, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Izmir Youth Orchestra, singers Ingrid Mapson and Seran Bilgi and countless other professional and educational ensembles. Among my favorite works are interactive multimedia works such as WaTER Dance (for six dancers, six musicians, and interactive electronics), Movie Music (for any number of musicians, dancers, and live painters), and my ballet pieces Hope Dance, ABC Dance, and Les Jongleurs. ​ My music has won awards in the Anton Stadler Composition Competition, the Parade of American Music Composers Competition, and the 360 Jazz Initiative. I have received composition grants from the American Music Center, the University of Oklahoma School of Music, and the Robberson Fund. I am currently Director of Jazz at Grove City College where I teach music theory and composition. I studied composition with Leonardo Balada at Carnegie Mellon University and Marvin Lamb at the University of Oklahoma as well as jazz theory and arranging at the Mannes School of Music with Rich Shemaria and Phil Markowitz. I hold degrees in Composition (DMA, BFA), Music Theory (MM), and Educational Technology (MEd).

My Style

I try to make my music energetic and passionate.

Active Projects

Featured Compositions

Listen to works by Joseph Hasper

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Endless Routes

Concert Band
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There are five main sections in this piece, each lasting exactly 21 measures. Why this unlikely number? I chose this number because the percussion parts, which are the driving force behind the piece, are based repeating patterns of 6, 7, and 8 eighth notes. It works out that these patterns only line up every 168 half-beats—which happens only at the end of 21 measures! The title for this piece was provided by Armstrong High School student Aaron Baker and was used as inspiration for the work. The phrase “endless routes” guided my decision to have several main themes instead of just one or two. The themes are widely different in character but share the feature that they each go to the same place—the very last half of the last beat of every twenty-first measure. The Minimalist style of music often features short musical fragments that are repeated many times in different combinations, and I used that technique to create a seemingly “endless” effect in the percussion parts. The percussion parts also use a colotomic structure, a technique often used in gamelan music of the far East. Unlike Western music, which generally has a strong accent on the first beat of a phrase, colotomic music accents the last beat of a phrase. You can hear this in Endless Routes when the percussion parts all become aligned and hit a simultaneous accent at the end of each section. This piece was commissioned and premiered by the Armstrong High School, under the direction of Jason Venesky. Mr. Venesky is a veteran teacher with over twenty years of experience in the Armstrong School District. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Performance (Tuba) and Music Education Certification and an active performer as Principal Tuba for the Butler County Symphony Orchestra; tubaist for the Armstrong Brass Quintet and Windsor Brass Quintet; and Bass Trombonist for the Gibbons Big Band. Mr. Venesky is currently Instructor of Tuba at Grove City College and Music Director for the Kittanning Community Band.
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Surfside Carnival March

Concert Band
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An original concert march with a lively beat in the American March form. Can be played by full concert band, or by smaller groups by omitting optional instruments (piccolo, oboes, bassoons, bass clarinet, Eb clarinet, timpani, bells and xylophone). 3'00" duration. Key of Eb. Includes a full score and complete set of parts. Grade 3.5. This piece was premiered by the 98th Army Band of Ft. Rucker, AL.
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Suite for a Short Time

Orchestra
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Suite for a Short Time is a chamber orchestra miniature--an entire orchestral suite in less than one minute. Scored for winds, percussion, and strings, the piece is a model of an economical, organic musical structure that makes maximal use of all of its material. Nothing is wasted: everything has a purpose, a place, and a use. - The themes are based on the ballet piece "Les Jongleurs", which Hasper composed for choreographer Charlotte Hart at the University of Oklahoma School of Dance.
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In The Air

Orchestra
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In The Air is a rondo in five main sections that was composed as the fourth movement of Joseph Hasper’s Symphony No. 1. The themes in this movement are based on material from the first three movements of the symphony and serve as a commentary on the overall piece. The harmonic style can be described as an “extended tonality” in the sense that tonal areas are well defined as centers of gravity. The tonality is extended because in addition to the classical tonic/ subdominant/ dominant relationships that drive the music of the common practice era, harmonies derived from Neo-Riemannian theory, jazz harmony, and equal divisions of the octave are given equal standing.
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Twenty-Four Hallelujahs

SATB with Piano
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Twenty-Four Hallelujahs is a song of worship set in a rich harmonic setting. The single word of text, “Hallelujah,” is repeated in rhythms and meters that express the belief that we should offer praise in all circumstances, all situations. The music is variously contemplative; jubilant and even forceful, yet unchanging in its expression of praise. The choral parts are deliberately simple, allowing the singers to focus on the expression of each phrase. The piano part, on the other hand, is technically challenging and provides a foil to add another layer of meaning to the words. The vocal simplicity versus the piano’s dexterity depicts the everyday plight of believers, who are in this world but not of this world; focused on the worship of God even amid all the complexity and distraction of the world around.
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