Joshua Shank's works have been widely performed by educational and professional ensembles alike. His music has been called “jubilant…ethereal” (Santa Barbara News-Press) and “evocative and atmospheric” (Gramophone). The Boston Classical Review recently called his Magnificat for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo “powerful” and “emotionally charged.
He has been commissioned by some of the most exciting choral ensembles in the United States as well as abroad and has collaborated with organizations such as Conspirare, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the American Choral Directors Association, The Esoterics, the Minnesota All-State Choir, and the Lorelei Ensemble. From 2004 to 2014 he served as Composer-In-Residence for the Minneapolis-based professional choir, The Singers: Minnesota Choral Artists, and alongside Artistic Director Matthew Culloton and fellow composers-in-residence Abbie Betinis and Jocelyn Hagen, collaborated annually to expand and invigorate the repertoire for professional-caliber ensembles through innovative programming as well as new works written specifically for the ensemble.
In 2002, he became the youngest composer ever awarded the Raymond W. Brock Composition Award by the American Choral Directors Association. The winning piece, Musica animam tangens, was premiered at the 2003 ACDA National Convention in Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center and has since been performed and recorded from Los Angeles to South Africa. His music was recently featured in a documentary about the extensive choral tradition in the Upper Midwest, Never Stop Singing, and his best-selling choral work, The Boy Who Picked Up His Feet to Fly, served as the basis for a chapter in Tom Carter’s book, Choral Charisma. His published works for choir, band, and solo voice have sold over 150,000 copies worldwide and are available through Santa Barbara Music Publishing, G. Schirmer, Graphite, Hal Leonard, and Daehn Publications. He is also an Artistic Founding Partner for Graphite Publishing’s online distributing arm, Graphite Marketplace, where his self-published works can be found under the banner of his publishing company, B&F Music.
In recent years, Joshua has enjoyed writing program notes for various ensembles and composers around the United States. In 2008, he received a grant from the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission to write article for a choral celebration of the state’s 150th anniversary and, three years later, he was engaged to write an essay for The Singers for their world premiere presentation of Jocelyn Hagen’s evening-length oratorio, amass. Most recently he collaborated with the Austin-based professional choir, Conspirare, to write extensive notes for their 2016 tribute concert to the late composer, Stephen Paulus, as well as their 2012 album of Samuel Barber's choral music, Samuel Barber: An American Romantic, released on the Harmonia Mundi label.
Joshua received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Music Education from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where he studied conducting with Weston Noble and composition with John Morrison and Neil Flory. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in composition at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Dan Welcher, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Russell Pinkston, Donald Grantham, and the late opera composer, Daniel Catán. A native of Minnesota, Joshua currently lives in Spokane, Washington where he teaches music theory, composition, music history and conducts the Men’s Chorus at Gonzaga University. He is an avid cyclist, enjoys vegetarian cooking, and a good cup of tea.