Joan Griffing

Joan Griffing

Office Phone: (540) 432-4224


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: LA 021

Department Chair

Music Dept


Music Dept

Private Lessons - Violin,Viola

Music Dept

Violinist Joan Griffing is the concertmaster of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra and the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra. She is also a member of the Virginia Symphony. Griffing earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Indiana University, and her D.M.A. in violin performance from The Ohio State University. In the spring of 1999, she premiered a violin concerto written for her by Terry Vosbein, composer-in-residence at Washington and Lee University. She has performed as concertmaster with the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Austria and Italy as well as with the Coronado, Grand Teton, Norfolk, and Spoleto festivals in this country. Her recent international appearances include a three-week tour of Taiwan in 2004 with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra; a series of guest recitals and master classes in the state of São Paulo, Brazil in May of 2006; a presentation at the International Viola Congress in Adelaide, Australia in June of 2007; and a series of chamber music recitals and master classes in the northeastern part of Brazil in August of 2007 and November of 2008. In the fall of 2012, she spent five months in New Zealand, collaborating with artists at the University of Otago in Dunedin and studying the role of music in peace and conflict issues.

Dr Griffing is a founding member of and tours regularly with the chamber music group Musica Harmonia, formed to promote peace and cultural understanding through musical collaboration. The group will be recording a CD of chamber music by Gwyneth Walker in June 2014. The CD will include two works composed specifically for Musica Harmonia. Dr. Griffing and cellist Beth Vanderborgh gave the North American premiere of Double Concerto for Violin and Cello by New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie in June 2012. Joan was an Artist-in-Residence at the Brush Creek Arts Foundation in Wyoming in May 2012. Recent solo performances include solo violinist in Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending with The Dance Theater of Harlem and the Rockbridge Symphony in May 2014.


B.M., M.M., Indiana University
D.M.A., The Ohio State University

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

Nov 20. EMU Symposium presentation on “The Role of Music in Peace and Conflict”, based on 2012 sabbatical in New Zealand.

Exhibits, Performances and Productions

September 20-22, 2013 Virginia Symphony concerts in Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, first violinist
October 12, 2013 Students performed on Encore! Homecoming concert.
October 24, 2013 Orchestra string group performed on music department marketing video
November 1, 2013 Opera on the James, Lynchburg, VA, first violinist
November 16, Music Dept Gala, orchestra conductor
WMRA Air Play: USSO, Ginastera “Estancia.” Nov 12, 2013.
WMRA Air Play: Czech Suite from the Bach Festival. Nov 19, 2013
Nutcracker Ballet Orchestra Asst Concertmaster, Virginia Symphony. Dec 7-9, Norfolk
WMRA, Air Play: Bach Festival. The Ancient Airs and Dances Suite. Dec 27-28
WMRA, Air Play: Bach Festival. Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, January 6-7
WMRA, Air Play: Bach Festival. Mozart Symphony No. 29, Jan 12,14
Jan 11 EMU Faculty Artists recital: Musica Harmonia.
Jan 24-26, Virginia Symphony, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach
Feb. 21-23 Virginia Symphony, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach
WMRA, Air Play, Bach Festival. Bach Violin and Oboe Concerto, violin soloist, Feb 23, 25
WMRA, Air Play, Bach Festival. Schumann Konzertstuck for 4 Horns, March 10 and 11
March 9 VA Consort Orchestra, Charlottesville, VA
March 15 USSO, Concertmaster, Lexington, VA
March 29, VA Glee Club, Orchestra, Charlottesville, VA
April 4,5,6, Virginia Symphony, Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach
April 12 High school student senior recital:Daniel Roth
April 12: UVA Chorale orchestra, Messiah
April 26 EMU Commencement concert. Performed with students and oversaw event.
May 2.3.4 Virginia Arts Festival, VS. Joshua Bell soloist, Newport News, Norfolk, VA Beach
May 9 Violin soloist for Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams with Rockbridge Symphony and Dance Theater of Harlem, Lexington, VA
May 29, violin concerto soloist on Bach a minor concerto with Stonewall Jackson High School Orchestra

Church, Community and Professional Service

*String sectional coach, Youth Orchestra, fall 2013
*Stonewall Jackson High School orchestra workshop, Dec 11

  • Messiah performance, solo violin, Park View Mennonite Church, January 6, 2014
    *Jan 12: Musica Harmonia, Community Mennonite Church, Sunday service
    *April 8, VMRC, violin soloist
    *April 9 Sunnyside, violin soloist
    *May 10 ASTA CAP adjudicator, NoVA
  • Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren, violin soloist, June 1
    *Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, ex-officio board member, current
    Orchestra Personnel Manager, current
    *Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir, board member, current
    *Eastern Music Festival, Orchestra Committee member, elected, current
    *Member of Harrisonburg Community Arts Team for Kennedy Center Any Given Child program, 2014-current
  • Honors, Awards and Grants

    Live performances from Virginia Symphony and Eastern Music Festival seasons selected for airing on NPR’s Performance Today.
    Eastern Music Festival Orchestra: CD of Music of Alan Hovhaness, released June 2014

    Private Teaching:
    *Preparatory high school violin student performed a concerto with the Shenandoah Valley Youth Orchestra, March 23, 2014
    *Preparatory high school violin student gave a senior recital, April 11, 2014
    *Preparatory high school violin student selected by audition for the 2014 All Virginia State Orchestra, Feb. 22
    *Preparatory high school violin student accepted into VA Governor’s School Summer Music program

    Professional Memberships

    American Federation of Musicians
    American String Teacher Association
    International Association of Women in Music

    EMU Service

    Music Department Chair
    Undergraduate Council member
    Music Scholarship Committee Chair
    Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Ex-Officio Board member
    Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir Board member