Joseph Bolin, DMA
Dean, Collinsworth School of Music
Assistant Professor, Conducting, Voice and Worship Studies
Conductor, CBU Worship Collective
Joseph began his musical studies at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. While pursuing his bachelors’ degree in vocal performance, Joseph studied voice and opera performance throughout the United States and abroad. Joseph has performed multiple leading tenor roles, including Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Tybalt in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, Rodolfo in La Boheme and Count Almaviva in Barber of Seville. His solo concert performances have included such major works as Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Missa Celensis and Lord Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mozart’s Requiem, as well as many other sacred works. Joseph’s vocal talents began to receive recognition in 2000, when he was invited to sing the role of Pinkerton with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra’s concert production of Madame Butterfly. Shortly thereafter, he embarked on two consecutive seasons as an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera Company where he covered several principal roles including Chevalier in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and Pilade in Rossini’s Ermione.
In addition to his primary voice study with former Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone Richard Best, Joseph’s formative experience represents the finest in technical instruction from such noted artists as Joan Dornemann, Regina Resnick, Kurt Klippstatter, Trish McCaffrey, Mignon Dunn, Jonathan Miller, Nico Castel, and Sherrill Milnes. Fresh from his undergraduate training in 2001, he was recommended to compete in the Sara Tucker Awards in New York City by Sherrill Milnes, and performed as a soloist in Alice Tully Hall. That same year, Joseph was also a district winner in The Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, being named “Most Likely to Succeed in Opera.”
In 2002, Joseph’s career turned to church music when he was offered the position of Associate Director of Music at one of the largest churches in the United States, the 26,000-member First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. His choirs there numbered in the mid-300’s and were featured in venues across the U.S. and abroad. From Florida, he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to become the Musical Director of Sevier Heights Baptist Church’s acclaimed choir and orchestra, where he produced six albums and one nationally-marketed DVD. He also spent four years as the Artistic Director of Knoxville’s Living Christmas Tree in the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena, a production involving 1,000 cast, choir and crew and attended by 70,000 people in 6 performances annually.
Upon moving to Austin in 2008, Joseph began graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied choral conducting with Dr. James Morrow. After graduating with his DMA in 2013, Dr. Bolin joined the faculty of the UT Butler School of Music, serving as Associate Director of Choral Studies where he taught voice and conducted the principle undergraduate mixed ensemble, the University of Texas Concert Chorale as well as the UT University Chorus. In conjunction with his university teaching and full-time position as worship pastor at Bannockburn Church in Austin, Dr. Bolin remained active as a tenor soloist and choral clinician.
In August of 2016, Dr. Bolin accepted the position of Dean of the Collinsworth School of Music at California Baptist University where he leads a department of nearly 500 music students and 40 faculty. With undergraduate and graduate programs in performance, composition, music education, commercial music, and worship studies, the School of Music at CBU features 16 major vocal and instrumental ensembles, performing more than 300 concerts annually throughout the US. Under his leadership, the Collinsworth School of Music has doubled in size, established numerous new majors and concentrations, added internationally celebrated faculty in jazz, choral, worship, and instrumental studies, and forged active publishing collaborations with Disney, Lifeway Worship, and Prism Music.