Joe Girard currently resides in East Lansing, Michigan where he is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance and serves as a Teaching Assistant to Professor Joseph Lulloff. Prior to moving to East Lansing he studied with Donald Sinta at the University of Michigan, receiving a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance. He also completed a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering as an undergraduate. While at the University of Michigan, he performed regularly with the Symphony Band under the direction of conductor Michael Haithcock. He appeared as a soloist with the DSQ on William Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso during their 2011 tour to China and Los Angeles. He has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Ann Arbor Symphony, Detroit Civic Orchestra, Great Lakes Symphony, and the Plymouth Symphony. In 2008, he performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on John Corigliano’s Circus Maximus under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.
Joe has been very active as a chamber musician. Prior to being a member of the DSQ, he held the tenor chair in the Yersinia Saxophone Quartet. YSQ won Silver medal at the 2009 International Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and Third Prize at the 2010 North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition. YSQ was also featured as a soloist with the University of Michigan Concert Band under the direction of Dr. Rodney Dorsey on Scott McAllister’s X2 concerto. Joe actively seeks out opportunities to perform in mixed chamber music settings. He was a founding member of the Moanin’ Frogs saxophone sextet, a group specializing in music from the vaudeville era. He is currently working on a contemporary music concert series in East Lansing called CoBe (Collective Behavior). As an advocate of new music he has premiered works at the Midwest Composers Symposium and is currently collaborating on a project with composer Roger Zare and violist Jarita Ng with plans to premiere a new work at Rice University in March 2013.
Joe has been active as a performer and educator in his hometown of Canton, Michigan and its surrounding areas. In 2010, he appeared as a soloist with the Plymouth Community Band. As an educator, he maintains a private studio in the Plymouth-Canton and surrounding areas. Many of his students have gone on to pursue music degrees at prestigious universities. He frequently works as a marching band sectional coach and teaches masterclasses in the Ann Arbor, Plymouth-Canton and Walled Lake areas at both the middle and high school level. In addition to Professor Donald Sinta and Joseph Lulloff, he has studied with Timothy McAllister and Zachary Shemon.