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, first violinist with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and artist/faculty with the Eastern Music Festival. Griffing earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance 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 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 the chamber music group Musica Harmonia, formed to promote peace and cultural understanding through musical collaboration. The group’s first CD, chamber music by Gwyneth Walker, will be released in 2016. 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 appearances include solo violinist in Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending with The Dance Theater of Harlem and the Rockbridge Symphony in May 2014. Joan and Musica Harmonia colleagues recently recorded works for piano and strings by Vincent Persichetti for a CD to be released in 2017. Dr Griffing holds the position of professor of music at Eastern Mennonite University.


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:
• Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Symphony and The Dance Theater of Harlem, Norfolk, May 1
• Concertmaster, Endowed chair, Rockbridge Choral Society, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Lexington, VA, April 24
• Orchestra member, principal second violin, JS Bach’s St John Passion, UVA, April 16
• Orchestra member, first violin, Symphony of the Goddesses, John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, April 8
VSO concerts, Norfolk, VA Beach, Newport News, March 12,13,14
• Orchestra member with Virginia Consort, Charlottesville, March 6
EMU Encore! fund-raising concert. Telemann Four Violin Concerto, February 27
EMU Faculty recital, Musica Harmonia, VMRC, January 15; EMU, January 16, 2016
• Violinist for SVCC Christmas concert and CD recording, Dec 5, 2015
• Musica Harmonia and Naoko Takao, pianist, CD recording session in Miami, FL, chamber music for piano and strings by Persichetti. November, 2015
EMU Orchestra conductor, EMU music department Gala, Nov 14
VSO concerts, Norfolk, VA Beach, Newport News, October 23, 24, 25
VSO, Opening season concerts, Norfolk, VA Beach, Newport News, September 18, 19, 20
• Virginia Symphony Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta’s 25th Anniversary CD, Stravinsky. The Rite of Spring, September 2015
• Hopkin’s Cabin Concert series, Massanutten resort, Outside the Bach(s), August 8
• Eastern Music Festival, Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, first violinist, June 27-August
Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician, June 14-21

Church, Community and Professional Service

• Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren, violin soloist, June 5
ASTA-CAP adjudicator, Northern VA, May 7
• Violin workshop, Oxford Preparatory High School Orchestra, Oxford, NC, May 9
• Performed on EMU student recital: Giulio Garner, April 28
• Advised music department chair of Multnomah University (OR) on
interdisciplinary music degree, April 2016
• Violinist, Christ Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC, March 27, 2016
• Solo violin for Augsburger funeral at PVMC, February 28, 2016
• Violin workshop, Oxford Preparatory High School, Oxford, NC, Feb 17
• Violin All-State Prep master class, Virginia Beach, February 20
• Judge for Charlottesville Music Club student competition, Jan 30
VMRC, Musica Harmonia recital, January 15, 2016
• Solo violinist for Messiah, PVMC, January 6
• Recruiting: master class for violin students at Oxford Preparatory School in Oxford, NC, Jan 4
• Concertmaster for Shenandoah Valley Choral Society concert, December 20
• Violinist for SVCC Christmas concert, Dec 5
• Violinist for Bridgewater College Messiah, November 13
• Recruiting: master class for violin students at Stuart Hall High School, VA, December 4
• Recruiting: master class for violin students at Oxford Preparatory School in Oxford, NC, October 26
• Friendship family for visiting Chinese scholar, fall 2015
• Faculty Status Committee, fall 2015
• Participant in Dialogic leadership research for PhD dissertation, BGSU, June 26
• Violin soloist, Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren, Weyers Cave, June 7
• Advisory Team, Any Given Child, Kennedy Center and Harrisonburg City Schools joint initiative, 2015-16 academic year
• Eastern Music Festival, Orchestra Committee member, elected, current
SVBF, Ex-Officio Board member
SVCC, Ex-Officio Board member

Honors, Awards and Grants

Live performances from Virginia Symphony and Eastern Music Festival seasons selected for airing on NPR’s Performance Today.
Live performances from VSO, EMF and SVBF aired on WEMC, WMRA, WHRO and WUNC.

Private Teaching:

• Senior Preparatory student accepted into all college music programs for which she auditioned, spring 2016
• Preparatory violin student (10th grade) placed 23rd for Virginia All-State auditions, February 27
EMU student Jacinda Stahly performed her junior recital at VMRC, Jan 18, and at EMU, Jan 24
• Alumna I coached for professional orchestra position won the audition, Colorado Springs, CO, January 6
• High school student performed Haydn violin concerto with Shenandoah Valley Youth Orchestra, November 22
• High school violin student accepted to Eastern Music Festival for summer 2015
• Two EMU violin students accepted as Orchestra Fellows for the SVBF, June 2016

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