Joe Pappas (1950 – ) has written over three hundred compositions for various types of ensembles from beginning bands to college wind ensembles. He is most known for his compositions for young bands and musicians. His works have been performed in the United States, Canada, China and throughout Europe. Mr. Pappas actively serves as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the Midwest. Retiring after twenty-seven years of successful teaching in public schools, Mr. Pappas joined the music faculty at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Missouri. Today, he devotes most of his time composing, working as an educational consultant and publishing editor for his own company, JPM Music Publications, which he started in 1992. He is also the Midwest Regional Coordinator for Music In the Parks, Festivals of Music and a coordinator/consultant for Six Flags Music Festivals.
His professional memberships include Music Educators National Conference, Missouri Music Educators Association, East Central Music Educators Association, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Phi Mu Alpha professional music fraternity, Phi Beta Mu honorary music fraternity, an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity, Missouri Bandmasters Association, Central States Adjudicators, and Missouri State High School Activity Association Adjudicators. He has served on the staff of summer music camps at Southeast Missouri University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Truman University in Kirksville, Missouri, and as an assistant director for the Missouri Ambassadors of Music European tours. Additional memberships include the National Music Publishers Association and the Retail Print Music Dealers Association. He was also director of the first music camp in the history of Jefferson College. Among his many honors, Mr. Pappas has been a four time Teacher of the Year recipient, a 1994 recipient of the Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching Award, 1993-94 Rockwood School District High School Teacher of the Year, the Missouri State High School Activity Association Distinguished Service Award, a national winner of the Sadie Rafferty Music Composition Contest sponsored by Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL., and three times has been named to the Who’s Who Among American Teachers and three times to Who’s Who In America. Bands under his direction have won numerous awards including three times Overall Champions at Music In the Parks festivals and a two time recipient of the Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville Bi-State Band of the Year Award.
In 2012, he was presented the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts Alumni Merit Award from Southeast Missouri University. In 2015 he was awarded the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association Merit Award and in 2016 was elected to the SLSMEA Hall of Fame. In 2016, Pappas received the outstanding Music Educator Award for Missouri from the National Federation of High Schools. In 2017, he was awarded the first adjunct teacher Achievement Award from the Jefferson College Foundation. His teaching expertise has taken him world-wide. In January 1993, he was selected as part of a delegation of teachers for an educational exchange with teachers in Peraslavl, Russia, focusing on teaching strategies, techniques and concepts. In March 2002, Mr. Pappas traveled to Linz, Austria, where he was invited as a guest lecturer at the Conservatory of Music in Linz and as a clinician for the Austrian Blasorchester Director Seminar. In July 2009, he was invited to Costa Rica to participate in the Seminars and National Bands Festival of Costa Rica. His position was presenter of seminars and guest lecture to the national and regional conductors of the national bands and served as guest conductor with the National Band of Costa Rica on several concerts. In addition to composition, Mr. Pappas has written several articles for professional journals on various topics of music education. He currently is an adjunct professor of music at Southeast Missouri State University where he teaches music courses and serves as a University Supervisor of Candidate Teachers for the College of Education.
He resides in Festus, Mo., with his wife Cheryl.