Joel Smales, a teacher who performs and a performer who teaches, is director of bands at Binghamton High School’s Rod Serling School of Fine Arts and teaches percussion ensemble and the steel drum band at Binghamton University. He holds music degrees from the Crane School of Music (BM) and Binghamton University (MM).
As a performer, Smales is active in the upstate New York region where he regularly performs solo percussion and as principal percussionist with the Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra, Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, Downtown Singers Orchestra, eNeRJee Jazz Group, Empire Saxophone Quartet, Southern Tier Brass Quintet and Island Hoppers Steel Band. His compositions include percussion solos, ensembles, and method books published by Kendor (Excelsior), HoneyRock, House Panther Press and Row-Loff.
His school ensembles have performed for Bands of America in Indianapolis, the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference, the New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA) Conference, the MENC Biennial National Conference in Minneapolis, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Nashville, the New York State School Boards Association Conference, First Night Virginia, First Night International, the World Physics Conference and on a concert tour throughout Oklahoma.
Smales has presented clinics for MENC, NYSSMA, NYSBDA and the NJMEA, and his articles on music and percussion have appeared in Percussive Notes, School Band and Orchestra, School Music News, The Instrumentalist, Vermont Music Educator and Band World magazines. He has been selected to represent New York State in the 8th annual 50 Directors Who Make A Difference.
Smales endorses Pro Mark drumsticks and mallets, Grover Pro Percussion and is the New York liaison for the National Society of Steel Band Educators. For many years, he served as the New York State Percussive Arts Society vice president and percussion chair for the New York State School Music Association.
- BMus, State University of New York at Potsdam
- MM, Binghamton University