Joshua Chai is the Director of Choral Activities, the director of the Director of Parish Music (DPM) program, an Assistant Professor of Music, and the University Cantor at Concordia University Texas, where he conducts the University Choir and teaches courses in music theory, music technology, music history, conducting, and corporate worship. He has taught at CTX since 2009 and has taught at the undergraduate level since 2002, including at a sister Concordia University in Irvine, CA, CSU Long Beach, and the University of Kentucky. He currently serves at the chair of Music, providing coordination between the curricular and co-curricular activities at Concordia.
Joshua holds a D.M.A. degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Kentucky studying with Dr. Jefferson Johnson, where he served as Dr. Johnson's sabbatical replacement for the university's Chorale, the top mixed choral ensemble. His tenture included preparing combined choruses for the Verdi Requiem, Mahler's second symphony, Brahms' Schicksalslied, and organizing performances for the choral department in coordination with faculty and graduate students. A native of southern California, Joshua received his M.M. from California State University, Long Beach (now the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music), winning the departmental award for choral studies both years he attended, and studied under Dr. Jonathan Talberg. His undergraduate degree was from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where he double-majored in music and mathematics and performed in jazz ensembles as a pianist, percussion ensembles, and sang in the famed St. Olaf Choir.
Under his direction, the choirs at Concordia University have performed internationally and around the United States, with recent concert opportunities in Florida, California, Germany, and central Texas. The choirs present concerts each year ranging from small, intimate informal gatherings combining choral, solo, and a wide range of musical styles to major masterwork concerts with choir and orchestra. Recent Spring masterwork projects have included the Brahms Requiem (2019), Schoenber's Survivor from Warsaw and Vaughan Williams's Dona nobis pacem (2018), J.S. Bach's Mass in b minor (2017), Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah (2016), J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (2015), and many others. Recently, the choral program at Concordia brought together hundreds of singers for the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, in a celebration of singing and song. Students in the choirs sing a tremendous diversity of genres and styles of choral music, and have sung for everything from worship services to live film scores and music ranging from ancient to commissioned for the choir. The choir often collaborates with artist-in-residence, internationally-reknown composer/conductor/pianist Joseph Martin.
Joshua is the University Cantor, and provides leadership to all campus worship events, mentoring musicians and worship leaders, and nurturing the worship life of the campus community. The campus worship program includes the whole community and a rich diversity of musical and liturgical resources, anchored in the traditions and theology of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. He has been a featured speaker on worship arts to conferences and church gatherings.
A freelance tenor, organist, and collaborative pianist, Joshua is an avid composer with commissions from schools, universities, and churches around the country, including collegiate choirs, children's choruses, and many churches. He sings regularly with the Inversion Ensemble in Austin, a member of the C4 (choral composer/conductor collective) network, and has served as a collaborative pianist for national and all-state honor choirs of many levels for many conductors.