Biography

DR. JOEL PLAAG

Conductor, Teacher, Author

ABOUT ME



I love conducting.  In high school, I was teaching parts to other students, and by the time college came, I couldn't wait to buy my first baton.  I found many loves in music, including teaching theory, analysis, and history, but I keep coming back to conducting choirs.


I taught conducting classes and enjoyed opening my students' eyes to the good and the bad points of conducting.  I developed a systematic way of helping others become better conductors.  My newest book, I'm a Choir Director, further explains my methods.   Most importantly, I explore how regular prayer, honesty, and good technique lead to good, grounded, easy-to-follow conducting.

EDUCATION


  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting
  • Masters of Music in Conducting
  • Bachelor of Music Education in Vocal Music (Choral)
  • Additional study in orchestral conducting at the International Institute for Conductors, Bacau, Romania
  • Singing 
  • Arranging handbell and instruments
  • Organ playing experience
  • Preaching experience
  • Voice lessons
  • Adjudicator
  • Contest host and organizer
  • Choir tours
  • Arranging and leading worship.

OTHER SKILLS:

NON-ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

 

2015-present

 

Cypress Creek Christian Church, Spring, TX

 

DIRECTOR OF TRADITIONAL WORSHIP

 

Direct the church choir and community chorus, organize fundraisers, host and organize the Cypress Creek Choral Festival, oversee budget of the Cypress Creek Community Chorale, advise pastor on weekly services, including decor and music.

 

2001 - 2003 and 2013 - 2015

 

First United Methodist Church, Brenham, TX

 

MUSIC DIRECTOR


Conduct the chancel choir, lead congregational music, organized musical groups, played organ/piano during services, also director of the Brenham Chorale and Instructor at Blinn College

 

2007 - 2012

 

The Batesville Choral Society, Batesville, AR

 

FOUNDER/CONDUCTOR

 

Conducted, maintained budget, and founded as a 501(c)3, also Associate Professor of music at  Lyon College and President of the Batesville Symphony League.

PERSONAL


My family (left to Right): Sister Heather McConnell, Husband Michael Rebner, me, Mother Debbie Plaag, Step-father Gilbert Stockert, Brother-in-law Paul McConnell after the Poulenc Gloria concert, 2017.

My dogs: Teddy (Great Pyrenees, rescued from the Great Pyrenees Rescue Society of Houston) and Freckles (Beagle-Corgi, rescued off the street)

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

 


2018 - Area 9 Handbell Association Invited Ensmble director

2007-2013 - Advanced Placement Exam Reader

2004-2012 - North-Central Arkansas Educational Service Center Consultant

2007 - Who's Who in American Education, 8th ed.

2007 - Who's Who in Emerging Leaders, 1st ed.

2004 - Who's Who in America, 58th ed.

2001 - Member Phi Beta Delta International Society for Scholars

2000 - Director of the Texas Governor's Distinguished Collegiate Chorale

1995 - Member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society