Joseph T. Spaniola Biography

Joseph T. Spaniola (b. May 7, 1963) is a composer on a passionate quest to engage the hearts and minds of audiences and performers through the communicative powers of music.

Dr. Spaniola has composed works for band, orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, voice, choir, and electronic tape. His musical efforts have been rewarded with competition wins, medals and honors as the National Band Association/Revelli Memorial Composition Competition, the Global Music Awards, the Florida State Music Educators Commissioned Composer of 2016, the American Prize, numerous musical recordings, and scholarly investigation and reference of his works in publications and doctoral dissertations. Compositions by the composer have been performed in concert halls and have been recorded by ensembles in the North America, Europe, Japan, South America, Australia, Israel, Singapore, Taiwan and China. His works have been premiered or presented at conferences and festivals hosted by The College Music Society, The International Trumpet Guild, The American Bandmasters Association, The International Trombone Association, The International Clarinet Association, The International Double Reed Society, The Midwest Clinic, The Bowling Green State University New Music and Art Festival, The Tuba/Euphonium Conference and others. Works by the composer are available through Musica Propria, Kagarice Brass Editions, Tuba Euphonium Press, and from Joseph T. Spaniola Music (

Joseph T. Spaniola is active as a composer, educator, conductor, lecturer, producer, clinician, and adjudicator. He is a Professor of Music, and the Director of Music Theory and Jazz Studies at the University of West Florida; he served as Chair of the department from 2010 to summer 2013. From 1998 through 2007, Spaniola was the Chief Composer/Arranger for The United States Air Force Academy Band (Colorado Springs, CO), and the Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of Music Production and Recording. Dr. Spaniola has been a featured composer, conductor and lecturer at the Royal Conservatory’s Wind Symposium (Gent, Belgium). Other highlights include co-producing recording sessions with jazz legend Sammy Nestico for the revised edition of his text The Complete Arranger, writing and producing the music for soprano Reneé Fleming’s feature Thanksgiving performance on NBC, and having ten of his pieces featured at Carnegie Hall.  He has offered private Composition, Theory and Low Brass instruction, and has been a staff member of the Great Lake Music Camp at Valparaiso University.

Dr. Spaniola is the former Chairman and co-founding member of the Composers Forum at UNT, a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, BMI, The College Music Society, the Audio Engineers Society and a former member of Wisconsin School Music Association. He is a founding member and the past Executive Director of the ALL THE ARTS Festival (music, dance, theater, poetry, film, storytelling, visual art and multimedia works) in Denton, Texas.

Spaniola is also active as an arranger. The Boston Brass, the Presidio Brass, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (Illinois), the North Shore Concert Band and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet are a few examples of the organizations who have enlisted his services.  He has arranged music for Irish Tenor, Ronan Tynan, trombonist, Bill Watrous, Broadway and television performer, Constance Towers, Rock Guitarist/Songwriter Rick Nielsen (of Cheap Trick), Michigan State University, the University of Arizona, the University of North Texas, the George Washington University and other artists and institutions across the United States, Europe and Japan.  Periodically, Dr. Spaniola composes, orchestrates and arranges for commercial music projects (trade shows, industrial videos, documentary films, etc.) for corporations and organizations such as Buick, Du Pont, and the White House Historical Association. He was the Composer/Arranger for the Inaugural Lone Star Film and Television Awards (Dallas, TX) and was a member of the music team for the Chrysler Corporation’s 1993 World Wide Automotive Announcement Show in Las Vegas which featured performances by Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, Wayne Newton, The McGuire Sisters and Vic Damone.

Joseph T. Spaniola received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of North Texas where he studied composition with Cindy McTee.  At UNT he also studied composition with Larry Austin and jazz composition/arranging with Paris Rutherford.  He received his Master of Music in Composition, and his Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from Michigan State University where he studied composition with Jere Hutcheson, Charles Ruggiero and James Niblock. He also studied composition with Sam Headrick at Boston University.