Joshua Thomas

Joshua Thomas headshot

Saxophone Faculty

HCD Music

Hartt Community Division
860.768.4451 F 19

Saxophonist, Joshua Thomas has quietly built a robust career based in eastern Connecticut on the foundations of high musical standards, a love of performance and education in a variety of styles and settings, and engaging interaction with audiences.

Since winning a coveted position as a full-time musician in the United States Coast Guard Band in 2000, he has performed hundreds of concerts around the world as a featured soloist, chamber musician, and a member of large ensembles. Thomas has been entrusted with the role of concerto soloist over 35 times on many high-profile concerts and tours with the USCG Band, including a 2008 tour of Japan, at the 2007 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, 2007 and 2017 Southwest tours, and several performances in the New England region. As a member of the USCG Saxophone Quartet, Thomas routinely participates in recital series’ throughout New England. In 2010 the group toured Taiwan, performing at the Chaiyi Band Festival, the 4th Taiwan Clinic, and were featured as soloists with the Taiwanese National Ministry of Defense Symphonic Wind Orchestra. Domestically, the ensemble has performed featured recitals at the 63rd and 72nd Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics, the 13th World Saxophone Congress, at multiple conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and completed a residency of performance, teaching, and recording at Brigham Young University. The quartet has also performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and on WFMT Chicago’s program Impromptu.

Away from the military, Thomas is quite active in performance and education. He routinely gives recitals at artistic spaces, presenting standard works from the saxophone’s repertoire as well as premiering new compositions. He has performed at numerous conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, the College Band Directors National Association, and the Northwestern University New Music Conference, as well as giving recitals at schools and colleges around the country. A proponent of new music, Thomas has commissioned and premiered over 30 new works, from concertos, to electro/acoustic and unaccompanied works, to chamber music. To date, his discography consists of 14 recordings as a soloist, chamber musician, and member of large ensemble. Thomas is a founding member of the Bassless Trio, a unique chamber ensemble made up of soprano voice, cello, and saxophone. The group made its debut in 2018, premiering six new works written for them in both Connecticut and New York City. As a soloist, he has performed concertos with the Western Connecticut State University Symphony Band, the University of Georgia Symphony Band, the Hartt School of Music Wind Ensemble, the Indiana Purdue at Ft. Wayne Symphony Band, the Noank Mystic Community Band (CT), and the Plano East Senior High Wind Ensemble (TX). Outside of the classical music realm, Thomas also performs as a member of the New London Big Band and around eastern Connecticut in a rock band.

An in-demand teacher, Thomas is on faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University and Connecticut College where he maintains studios of both music and non-music majors, coaches chamber ensembles, and assists with woodwind methods. He has previously held positions at University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, and the Thames Valley Music School. He has given masterclasses at colleges and high schools across the country, including Brigham Young University, Shepherd University, Louisiana State University, and the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. Further, he has served as a judge for the Connecticut Chapter of the Music Teachers National Association, the North American Saxophone Alliance, and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition.

Thomas received his Bachelor of Music Education at Michigan State University, Master of Music in performance at Louisiana State University, Master of Arts in music theory at Connecticut College, and Doctorate of Musical Arts in performance at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. He is a Selmer performing artist and currently serves as the membership director of the North American Saxophone Alliance.