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 recorded a CD of chamber music by Gwyneth Walker to be released in 2015. 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

see performances

Exhibits, Performances and Productions

Professional performances:
• performed as violin soloist and concertmaster with Albemarle Sinfonia, Charlottesville, SVBF fundraiser, May31.
• Virginia International Arts Festival, Disney’s Fantasia, VSO, first violin, May 2,3
• Concertmaster for Lexington Oratorio Orchestra, April 19
• Asst Concertmaster, VA Consort, Charlottesville, VA, March 8
VSO concerts, Norfolk, VA Beach, Newport News, Feb 27, 28, March 1
• Invitation to record CD of chamber music pieces with Musica Harmonia colleagues and pianist Nakao Takao, faculty member at University of Miami Frost School of Music, in 2015-16 academic year
VSO concerts, Beethoven’s Ninth, Norfolk, VA Beach, Newport News, Jan 30, 31, Feb 1
SVBF concerts broadcast on WMRA in 2015: March 29, 31, April 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, May 18, 20, June 3
• Musica Harmonia recital, EMU Faculty Artist Series, January 10, 2015
• violinist with Williamsburg Ballet Orchestra, Nutcracker, Williamsburg, VA Dec 13 & 14
• violinist with Williamsburg Sinfonia, Holiday Pops. Williamsburg, VA Dec 6 &7
• Artist in Residence, New Frontiers Contemporary Music Festival, University of Wyoming, October, 2014
• First violinist, VSO, Norfolk, Newport News, VA Beach, Sept 19, 20, 21
• Hopkins Gap Music Series, violinist in Outside the Bach(s), Massanutten, VA, Aug 23.
• Eastern Music Festival, first violinist in Festival Orchestra, faculty member, Greensboro, NC, June 22-July 27.
EMF orchestra concerts (5) aired on NC public radio, July 2014, Greensboro, NC.
SVBF, Concertmaster, violin chamber musician, personnel manager, June 6-15.
• Violin soloist, Stonewall Jackson High School Orchestra, Bach Violin Concerto in a minor, New Market, VA, May 29.

Church, Community and Professional Service

*• Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren, violin soloist, June 7
• Violin master class for high school students, Norfolk, VA, May 1
• Solo violinist at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville, March 22
• Took group of students to perform at VMRC, March 21
• Violin master class for high school students in Virginia Beach, Jan 31
• Violin soloist for Messiah sing along, Park View Mennonite Church, Jan 6.
• violinist for Bridgewater College choral concert, Nov 9
• Concertmaster for Organ Dedication concert at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Staunton, VA, Sept 28
• Eastern Music Festival, Orchestra Committee member, elected, current

Community Arts Team member, Kennedy Center Any Given Child Initiative in partnership with Harrisonburg public schools, 2014-current

Honors, Awards and Grants

Live performances from Virginia Symphony and Eastern Music Festival seasons selected for airing on NPR’s Performance Today.

Private Teaching:
• middle school violin student accepted into HHS Fine Arts Academy on violin, April 15
• Preparatory violin student performed the first movement of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Shenandoah Valley Youth Orchestra, March 22, 2015

• Preparatory violin student gave a senior recital, May 17, 2015
• Preparatory violin student selected by audition for the 2015 All Virginia State Orchestra, Feb. 27
Preparatory violin student accepted into Eastern Music Festival for summer of 2015
• Preparatory violin student accepted into every collegiate music program to which she applied and received numerous generous music scholarship offers.

Professional Memberships

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

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 Ex-Officio Board member
EMU friendship family for visiting Chinese scholar, fall 2014