Welcome to www.josefhanson.com!
Josef M. Hanson is a musician, educator, conductor, author, lecturer, and arranger based in Rochester, NY. As Manager of Music Performance Programs in the College Music Department on the University of Rochester's River Campus, Hanson provides administrative oversight for the College's private lessons program and 14 faculty-directed ensembles and also serves as advisor for the early admission MA track in music education offered in conjunction with the Eastman School of Music. As a music educator, Hanson teaches MUR 101 (Elements of Music), MUR 138 (Introduction to Conducting), MUR 145 (High Voltage: Heavy Metal Music and its History) and is the founder and conductor of the University of Rochester Brass Choir (MUR 170). In addition, Hanson teaches a wide variety of music courses for the Rochester Scholars pre-college summer program, at the Highlands at Pittsford, and, through the Hochstein School of Music's outreach program, at Ferris Hills in Canandaigua and The Gables in Brighton. He is also active as a guest lecturer throughout the region, speaking to large crowds at events sponsored by the Finger Lakes Forum, Chatterbox Club of Rochester, and Friends of Wood Library in Canandaigua, to name a few. Recently, Hanson has been involved in various freelance trombone performances and the orchestral directorship for Everyone's Theatre Company's production of the musical The Wiz, the latter resulting in a merit award from the Theatre Association of New York State.
Feel free to peruse this web site to learn more about Hanson and his professional activities at the University of Rochester and in the Western New York region.
Brace Yourself-- The Beast is Back!: The second edition of Josef Hanson's course High Voltage: Heavy Metal Music and its History will commence in January 2013. A full-fledged, 4 credit academic course, High Voltage will combine an examination of the musical structure and theory behind hard rock and metal music with a fascinating look at the social/cultural history of the metal subculture. Over 40 years of metal will be discussed-- Sabbath to Stryper to Slipknot-- and course materials will be complemented by guest lecturers/musicians. Click on the "High Voltage" link for more information.
High Voltage Interview-- Check out Josef's interview with Death Metal Underground, the Internet's oldest web site dedicated to heavy metal music. Find out more about Josef's heavy metal course at the U of R!
Brass and Bagpipes!-- Josef and the UR Brass Choir will be performing with the Rochester Scottish Pipes and Drums at St. Mary's Church on Sunday, February 17th at 3:00pm. This free concert will feature marches, fanfares, hymns, and several selections that combine the sonic power of the bagpipes with trumpets, horns, trombones, euphoniums, and tubas.
What's That Sound?!-- Ferris Hills in Canandaigua will be the setting for Josef's first enrichment course of 2013, "What's That Sound?!-- Western Art Music in the 20th Century." The sometimes mysterious and always controversial legacy of "modern" classical music will be the topic, with class sessions on the music of Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Wagner, and more.
Exciting News!-- The University of Rochester's new Institute for Popular Music has been launched under the direction of College Music Department chairperson Dr. John Covach. Josef Hanson has been named a faculty associate within this one-of-a-kind institute devoted to the rigorous study of a wide variety of popular musics. Read more at the Institute for Popular Music web site.
December 2012-- Josef's final lectures of 2012 are complete. He visited The Gables in Brighton on December 13, and the next day, he spoke at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at UR. The topic? The history of Christmas carols and holiday music! From the "Hallelujah Chorus" to "The Chipmunk Song," Josef discussed the fascinating history of both sacred and secular music associated with the Christmas season.
12/7/12-- Josef and the UR Brass Choir ushered in the holiday season with the help of the UR Gospel Choir on December 7 in Munnerlyn Atrium of the Goergen Building. The Stingers Trombone Ensemble also joined in the fun. Thanks to everyone in the BME/Optics Departments for hosting!
November 2012-- Ferris Hills in Canandaigua invited Josef to return in November to present "Sentimental Journey," his course on the great American songwriters and their songs. Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Van Heusen-- the list goes on and on! For more information on this course, please utilize the "Hochstein classes" sidebar link.
11/5/12-- Josef presented "The Most Happy Fella," a lecture on the life and times of Frank Loesser, at The Highlands at Pittsford's UR Always Learning lecture series on November 5. The remarkable career of Loesser, including his bumpy start in the music business and his little-known stint writing songs for Hollywood movies, was featured along with audio and video clips of his songs and musicals.
10/27/12-- Strong Auditorium was the setting of a phantasmal dreamscape filled with joy, sadness, mystery, and death, as the UR Brass Choir took the stage for its 4th annual Halloween Spooktacular concert entitled "Welcome To My Nightmare." The performance featured custom arrangements of the music of Alice Cooper, Amy Winehouse, Pink Floyd, and Ozzy Osbourne, to name a few. A highlight of the concert was the addition of many low brass players from the Greater Rochester community for the performance of "Big Bottom" and "War Pigs." Thanks to everyone who helped make this year's concert a big success!
10/13/12-- The UR Brass Choir was featured as the "opening act" to the Meliora Weekend 2012 keynote address by journalist Barbara Walters. Performing to an enthusiastic audience, the Brass Choir played "The Toymaker" by Anthony DiLorenzo, "Ancient Hungarian Dances" by Vaclav Nelhybel, and a special arrangement of "On The Turning Away" by Pink Floyd.
9/17/12-- "Instrumental Music Rediscovered!" is Josef's latest offering at The Highlands, commencing in September. The course features a different instrumental soloist every week in an interactive discussion of the technique, basics of sound production, and standard repertoire of various instruments. For more information on this course, check out the "Highlands classes" sidebar link.
September 2012-- Josef was featured in the most recent edition of "Rochester Review," the University of Rochester's alumni magazine. Josef was quoted several times in an article describing the carillon program on the River Campus in light of the recent carillon exhibit in the Department of Rare Books in Rush Rhees Library.
9/14/12-- The Friends of Wood Library in Canandaigua invited Josef to return on September 14 for a lecture at their annual meeting. Thanks to everyone at Wood Library for your dedication to literacy, music, and learning!
9/13/12-- Josef inaugurated a new relationship between The Gables of Brighton and the Hochstein School by visiting The Gables to discuss the life and legacy of Leonard Bernstein on September 13. The incredibly friendly residents and staff at The Gables provided a warm setting for this new venture, a musical connection that is sure to last for years to come!
9/1/12-- The UR Brass Choir auditions have been completed, and the group is ready to roll for its 5th anniversary year! Thanks to everyone for auditioning. Josef is also preparing to launch the first-ever conducting course on the River Campus, MUR 138, this fall.