Joseph Harchanko


Joseph Harchanko has written extensively for traditional ensembles and digital media. His music has been described as both "energetic and exhilarating"* and "mystically alluring."** Harchanko is also an active cellist and electric cellist and is a founding member of the wold music ensemble “Western Routes.”  He lives in Salem, Oregon  where many of his works are inspired by the western landscape. His works have been performed across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia including performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Colourscape, France’s Bourges and Videoformes festivals, and New Music Tasmania.  His music is available on the INNOVA and Aucourant record labels and through Latham Music Publishing, Keyboard Percussion Publications, and his own company- Harchanko Music.

Dr. Harchanko is an active music educator.  He maintains a private studio in Salem and teaches orchestra in the Salem-Keizer School district.  He is an former Assistant Professor of Composition, Theory, and Violoncello at Western Oregon University and was an Assistant Professor and iCommunications fellow at Ball State University where work is primarily centered at Ball State's Music Technology Studio and with the Digital Media minor.  He received his D.M.A. in composition at The University of Texas and holds masters degrees in cello and composition from The Florida State University. He has been awarded fellowships from ASCAP, the Aspen Music Festival, the Lilly Endowment, and UT.

Teaching Philosophy

I am committed to the success of every student.  That success comes from creating a fair and safe environment were students develop the skills and knowledge to be responsible and questioning citizens.  The ability to be self-teaching is the greatest skill that I can foster.  Learning is, therefore, less about the acquisition of a finite knowledge and more about training the mind to reason and seek knowledge.

Teaching is self-reflective.  While this philosophy never changes, the way in which it is applied evolves in response to the classroom environment and the subject matter.   In teaching a broad diversity of courses, it helps to reflect upon the ways in which this philosophy is applied within each subject area and for each student.

I have enjoyed working with cello students at all levels and have done so for over twenty years.  It is important that students enjoy their studies.  The key is emphasizing fundamentals based on sound physiology.  These will lead to a beautiful sound and an ease in playing that make music fun and exciting for the performer and audience.

*Dallas Morning News

**Austin American Statesman