A native Vermonter, Joanna studied with Dan Perantoni at Arizona State University, received a Master of Music in Tuba Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music studying with Chester Schmitz, and earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Tuba Performance from the Hartt School. As Principal Tubist with the United States Coast Guard Band, Joanna performed throughout the country as a soloist and clinician after winning the position at the age of nineteen. Joanna has played for three U.S. Presidents, performed at numerous state functions for visiting dignitaries, and has appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America. In her freelance career she has performed with artists including Placido Domingo, Roberta Flack, Marilyn Horne, Arlo Guthrie, Michael Bolton, Lee Greenwood, Arturo Sandoval and Jack Nicholson. Joanna is a founding member of the Athena Brass Band, a group first created for the 2003 International Women’s Brass Conference which has since performed at the 2006 and 2012 IWBC’s, and has been featured at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky. Joanna is currently Principal Tubist with the Carolina Philharmonic and the Carolina International Orchestra.
As a member of the Alchemy Tuba-Euphonium Quartet, Joanna performs throughout North America and Europe and can be heard on the group’s first compact disc recording Village Dances, and on their new release Prelude and Groove. Alchemy is in residence each February at the Horn-Tuba Workshop in Jever, Germany where the group performs recitals, gives master-classes and conducts ensembles. The quartet also recently performed recitals in Linz, Austria as part of the International Tuba Euphonium Conference, and was featured in the outdoor Fest der Natur on the banks of the Danube River. The Alchemy Quartet, founded in 1976 as the nation’s first professional tuba euphonium quartet, will celebrate their 40th birthday in 2016, and the group will release their next compact disc, featuring new arrangements and commissions, in celebration.
Joanna’s first solo album, O quam mirabilis, features music by women composers including Hildegard von Bingen and Libby Larson and is available through Amazon.com, itunes or by visiting her website, joannahersey.com. Joanna recently released her second solo album entitled Zigzags, which features the work of New York composer Faye-Ellen Silverman, and a new composition for solo tuba by Joanna entitled Convent Window. The album also showcases four new compositions for tuba with electronic instruments, composed by Joanna, and featuring tuba and euphonium. Joanna’s research interests focus on brass history and women in 20th Century American music, and her work has been published in the International Tuba Euphonium Journal, the International Women’s Brass Conference Newsletter, the Historic Brass Society Journal, the North Carolina Music Educator’s Journal and the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. Joanna is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Brass Conference, and will be the featured tuba soloist at the 2014 IWBC Conference. Joanna is a Yamaha Performing Artist and Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.