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, was released in 2017. The CD includes 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 2018. 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:
• May 20 Virginia Arts Festival, VSO performance and recording session, Berlioz Requiem, Norfolk, VA
• April 7,8,9 VSO, Norfolk, VA Beach, Newport News
• March 5 Virginia Consort orchestra, Charlottesville
• February 10,11, 12 VSO. Norfolk, Newport News, VA Beach
• January 22, Rockbridge Choral Society orchestra, Lexington
• January 13, Faculty Artist Series recital, EMU
• January 8, 2017. SVBF featured on WEMC Airplay, Haydn Symphony no. 31
• December 17, Amy Grant Christmas concert, Richmond, VA
• December 2,3,4, Nutcracker Ballet, Norfolk, VA
• November 29, Men’s and Women’s Choir concert, violin soloist, EMU
• November 6, violinist, Opera on the James Orchestra, Rigoletto, Lynchburg, VA
• October 28, 2016, violinist and leader, James Richardson’s DMA voice recital, EMU
• October 9, Musica Harmonia performance at Decolonizing Music, the Music Forum of the Americas conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico
• October 6, Soloist in Stamitz Triple Concerto, University of Wyoming, Celebration of German unification, Laramie, WY
• September 23, 24, 25, VSO, Norfolk, VA Beach, Newport News
• September 20. CD released: To God Be the Glory, solo violinist
• September 17, DNR interview and article on upcoming performance in Puerto Rico
• August 13, Outside the Bach(s) duo performance, Hopkins Cabin concert series, Massanutten resort
• Eastern Music Festival, Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, first violinist, June 28-July 31, 2016
Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician, June 14-21, 2016

Church, Community and Professional Service

• Referee for Professor Anthony Ritchie’s promotion to full professor of music at University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ
• Performed in and helped organize fund raising recital for violin student Ada Zhang so she could Eastern Music Festival in summer 2017
• Solo violinist at Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren, June 3
• Organized student performers for commencement, April 30, 2017
• Performed in Ken Nafziger’s final Chamber Singers concert, April 23, 2017
• Faculty project manager for Jacinda Stahly’s honors thesis, spring 2017
• Hosted Sunflower Trio (Hesston), March 18
• Violin master class, VA Beach All-State auditionees, Feb 11
• Adjudicator. Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia. Concerto competition, Jan 14, 2017
• Friend of visiting EMU Chinese scholar
• Taught violin lessons to CJP Saudi Arabian graduate student
• Faculty Senator
• Undergraduate Council member
• Board member: SVCC
• Board member: SVBF
• Board member: SVYO
• Recruiting for music department
• Re-elected to EMF orchestra committee, summer 2016

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:
• Violin student Jacinda Stahly received Senior in Music Performance award, April 2017
• High school violin student accepted to Eastern Music Festival for summer 2017
• Two EMU violin students accepted as Orchestra Fellows for the SVBF, June 2017
• March 30, EMU Orchestra concert, featured soloists: Jacinda Stahly and Quinn Kathrineburg, and Jon Bishop, composer/conductor
• March 25, Conducting recital, Compleat Musician class
• Feb 27, Preparatory Student (10th grader) won seat in VA All-State Orchestra
• Sept 25 Preparatory violin student won 6th chair in Regional Orchestra audition.

Professional Memberships

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

EMU Service

• Music Department Chair
EMU Faculty senator
• Undergraduate Council member
• Music Scholarship Committee Chair
• Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Ex-Officio Board member
• Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir Ex-Officio Board member
• Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony Board member
EMU friendship family for visiting Chinese scholar, fall 2016
• Friendship family for Saudi Arabian CJP student, spring 2017