Joseph Higgins

Joseph Higgins

Joseph Higgins
Associate Professor, Director of Bands

Joseph Higgins

Contact Info
Wilson Hall, 131

Biography

Dr. Joseph Higgins (he/him) is a conductor and educator who inspires creativity, curiosity, and understanding through art. A passionate advocate of socially and environmentally conscious programming, he teaches and performs music to encourage greater empathy and understanding among diverse performers, audiences, and their environments. In 2015, Higgins joined the faculty of Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches courses in conducting and literature. During his tenure, the program has grown to include multiple directors, three concert ensembles, and the new “Pride of the Profs” Marching Band; student ensembles have premiered over forty new works and collaborated with many world-class artists, including contemporary chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird. For his exceptional leadership in the classroom, Higgins was awarded the Frances S. Johnson Innovative Teaching Award. He also received the Rowan University Values Award for Inclusivity in recognition of curating a “Music of Social Justice” performance series. The Rowan University Wind Ensemble performed at the 2020 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Eastern Division Conference, and Rowan Bands are regularly invited to state and regional festivals and conferences. In addition to his work at Rowan University, Higgins serves as a guest conductor-clinician with outstanding professional, community, and student ensembles throughout the country. His current season includes collaborations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Delaware, as well as conducting the 2024 New Jersey All-State Band.

Higgins is actively engaged with sustainability research, climate activism, and environmental education. He served as co-chair of the Rowan University Catalysts for Sustainability initiative and produced the first Sound Planet Music Festival in 2023. To learn more about recent sustainability programming and join future events, please visit: soundplanet.me

He earned doctor and master of music degrees in conducting from Northwestern University, where his primary teacher was Mallory Thompson, and a bachelor of music degree in music education from the University of Georgia. Prior to graduate study, Higgins taught at North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia. His other interests include film, politics, drawing, history, and cycling. He lives in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, with his wife Michelle Higgins and their daughters, Eden and Iris.