Faculty - Musical Theatre Music Director
Joel Burke was born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor, NL. Growing up music was always an important part of his household. His family band performed regularly at the music festival and local concerts, encouraging other families to do the same. His early musical training came under the tutelage of Maxine Stanley. He is a classically trained pianist and studied with Dr. Kristina Szuter at the Memorial University School of Music and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music focusing in Piano. While at MUN Joel put a heavy focus into Music Education and conducting courses. Joel has spent much of his career, over a dozen summer seasons, working with the Queen Street Dinner Theatre taking on many different roles within the company as an actor, singer, musician, music director, and vocal coach. Other groups Joel has worked with include the Bel Canto Singers, Fresh Start Theatre, and Celtic Spirit Dancers. Most recently Joel took on the principal role of Mark in the Off-Broadway Players production of Rent in winter of 2018, which was his first introduction to the music theatre scene of the west coast.
Since graduating from MUN Joel has turned his focus toward supporting roles as an educator, director, coach, and assistant. Starting a private music studio in Grand Falls-Windsor, he spent several years teaching private piano lessons and vocal coaching. He is heavily influenced by modern musicians in the vein of The Beatles, Elton John, and Billy Joel and contemporary music theatre artists like Jason Robert Brown, Pasek and Paul, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
As a piano teacher, Joel looks to combine classical methods and technique with modern popular music depending on the student’s needs and personal interests. Using repertoire ranging from classical standards to video game soundtracks, he seeks to not only teach fundamental classic piano technique but foster musicianship in his students.
Considering himself a jack of all trades, Joel originally came to Corner Brook to take part in the Computer Systems and Networking program at the College of the North Atlantic. While doing so Joel found a large community of talented and, most of all, supportive artists. Having completed the college program, he is now putting his Dinner Theatre expertise to use with the newly formed New Found Family Drama Company.
First and foremost, Joel considers himself a community musician, doing everything within his power to help foster the growth of music, theatre and the arts in whatever community he finds himself in. After spending over a decade doing this in Central Newfoundland, Joel is thrilled to be able to begin doing the same on the west coast, helping a new generation find their place in the artistic community whether as a soloist, collaborative artist, or behind the scenes. With the help of the Graham Academy Joel seeks to add a social aspect to private piano and voice lessons being primarily a one-on-one experience and encourage the development of collaborative music concepts with an understanding that the most rewarding experiences are most often the ones born from working together.