Joseph Benjamin Earp (b. March 20th, 1984)


Joseph Earp is currently working at Limestone University (Gaffney, South Carolina) as Director of Athletic Bands.   Some notable moments at Limestone College include:

  • Productive recruitment for the department of music with the reorganization of the high school honor band event and the creation of Reading Band Day to host over 250 high school students annually.

  • Strengthened the relationship between athletics and band during the summer of 2018 with the addition of the pep band now performing at fall basketball games and the marching band now attending select away football games in addition to home games.

  • Created several community performance opportunities for the Marching Saints, performing exhibition at high school band competitions, local middle and high schools, and assisted living facilities.

  • Marching Saints auditioned and led one of the 2019 prime time parades in Magic Kingdom (Disney World)

  • Premiering several of my compositions for concert band with the wind ensemble and high school honor bands.

  • 2018 keynote speaker for the Olde English Consortium (Upper State School Districts of South Carolina)


Mr. Earp has also taught at Robbinsville Middle and High Schools (North Carolina), Seneca High School (South Carolina) and Explore! beyond school (North Carolina). As an active composer, he has been commissioned on several occasions, including band works for middle and high school ensembles, honor bands and brass choir. Some of the commissions of Mr. Earp’s work have come from Chris White (Hickory Ridge Holiday), Blair Smith (Coastal Fanfare, Mustangs Rebel the Knight of Wolves, and Stone Mountain Fanfare), Dave Silden (The Nobles of Queen City), Kevin Townsend (WE ARE BRAVE! – Concert March), and Steve Petrucci (Among the Vikings and the Cast Iron Sixth). Hickory Ridge Holiday was the first composition of Mr. Earp to be performed internationally as part of the Hickory Ridge Wind Ensemble’s Performance Tour in China (2018). In addition to composition, Mr. Earp has arranged many works for concert band, marching band, and small ensembles. 



Mr. Earp is a proud member of NAfME, NCMEA, SCMEA, North Carolina Bandmasters Association, South Carolina Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, and ASCAP. He is also an active clinician, adjudicator and commissioned composer.


Joseph resides in Concord, North Carolina with his wife, Mary Beth, and sons, Jackson and Jasper.

Prior to Limestone, Mr. Earp served as Director of Bands at Cox Mill High School (Concord, North Carolina) from 2009-2017 as the founding band director.

The “Spirit of Cox Mill” Band program has earned many superior ratings and awards.  Some of the major accomplishments of the Cox Mill program under Mr. Earp's direction include:

  • Symphonic band’s first grade six superior during the 3rd year of the school’s opening.

  • Marching band earning its’ first grand champion in the 2nd year of the program.

  • Marching band appearing in a nationally televised commercial for SHOWTIME for the hit series HOMELAND.

  • Marching band competing in it's first Bands of America Super Regional (2013).

  • Symphonic band performing for the 2013 North Carolina Music Educators State Conference.

  • Competing with the marching band, symphonic band, concert band, jazz band, percussion ensemble and winter guard in Disney World’s Festival Disney (2011, 2015 and 2017).

  • Earning top placements and ratings and sweeping the areas of concert band, jazz band and percussion ensemble at the Williamsburg, Virginia – Music in the Parks (2013).

  • Earning consistent superior ratings with all of the concert, jazz and percussion ensembles at the Carowinds Festival of Music (numerous years).

  • The spring of 2016 marked the first superior rating earned from the Cox Mill Wind Ensemble at the masterwork level with their performance of Percy Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy.

Mr. Earp earned his Master of Music in Music Education from Anderson University (South Carolina – 2017).  Mr. Earp also earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from UNC Charlotte (North Carolina - 2006). During his time at UNC Charlotte he studied trombone with Dr. Royce Lumpkin (former Music Department Chair – Retired) and conducting with Dr. Laurence Marks (former Director of Bands - Retired). He was selected to serve as student conductor for the UNC Charlotte Wind Ensemble during his semester prior to student teaching.  Mr. Earp is also a proud graduate of West Caldwell High School (Class of 2002 - Lenoir, North Carolina) 

In 2012, Robinson Suite became Mr. Earp’s first published composition by BKJ Publications. Mr. Earp served on the South-Central District Bandmasters Association executive board (North Carolina) from 2015-2017 as high school member at large. During the fall of 2017, Mr. Earp signed a contract for publication of his concert band music by RWS Music Company (Robert W. Smith, President and CEO) distributed by C. L. Barnhouse. Recently, Mr. Earp started working on several arranging projects for Claude T. Smith Publications involving transforming concert band compositions of Claude T. Smith to flexible ensemble arrangements.

Awards and Recognition

  • 2020 - Ghillie Dhu "Elf of the Forest" from Scottish Folklore for concert band was selected to be included in J. W. Pepper's 2020 Editors' Choice catalog.

  • 2020 - University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Arts and Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient (North Carolina)

  • 2019 - Inducted into the Omega Nu Lambda National College Honor Society for academic achievement at Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia)

  • 2019 - Where the Wild Things Dance for concert band was selected to be included in J. W. Pepper's 2019 Editors' Choice catalog.

  • 2018 – Winner of the Thornton Community Band Composition Contest (Colorado)

       Mr. Earp’s Migrate to Gyrate was the winning composition selected in commemoration of the                  

       Thornton Community Bands 10th Anniversary

  • 2014 – Loving Lenoir Award (City of Lenoir, North Carolina)

       for continuing to honor the historical importance of the famous Lenoir High School Band.

  • 2012 – Outstanding Teacher Award (Cox Mill High School – Concord, North Carolina)

       sponsored by the Cox Mill High School Academic Boosters

  • 2010 – Winner of the Claude T. Smith Memorial Composition Contest (Missouri)

       Mr. Earp’s Robinson Suite was the winning composition selected by the contest sponsor, Phi Beta Mu

       (Lambda Chapter)

  • 2009 – University of North Carolina at Charlotte Alumni Achievement Award (North Carolina)

       for Mr. Earp’s Robinson Suite being recognized as the winning selection of the Claude T. Smith

       Memorial Composition Contest.  (Presented by Dr. Royce Lumpkin, former UNC Charlotte Music

       Department Chair - Retired)

  • 2002 – John Philip Sousa Award (West Caldwell High School - Lenoir, North Carolina)

       for superior musicianship, dependability, loyalty and cooperation.  (Presented by Mr. John R. Craig,

       former West Caldwell High School Director of Bands – Retired)


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