Collaborative Keyboardist

Joshua Velez

A versatile performer, conductor, and educator, Joshua Velez comfortably commands repertoire spanning the genres of classical music, sacred music, gospel, jazz, musical theatre, and beyond. As a pianist, Joshua maintains an active accompanying schedule, as well as appearances as a solo musician, church musician, and collaborative pianist with choirs and vocal ensembles. He is thrilled to serve the Downers Grove Choral Society as its next Collaborative Keyboardist.

With a deep passion for music leadership and education, Joshua finds fulfillment in bringing a sense of belonging and healing through music. A skilled teacher at all levels, he has experience teaching music performance, music theory, and other academic subjects both privately and in group settings. As a conductor, he has taken advantage of masterclasses and workshops including with the St. Charles Singers, and he is a current member of the American Choral Director’s Association.

Equally interested in church music, Joshua serves as a worship leader, organist, and pianist in churches of varying Christian denominations. Joshua enjoys enabling congregations and communities to envision new ways to unite in worship, whether through the means of traditional hymnody, spirituals, Christian contemporary music, Black gospel music, dance, drama, visual arts, or other creative expressions.

Joshua earned a Bachelor of Music (BM with Elective Studies in Urban Studies, magna cum laude) from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, along with a Certificate in Worship Arts. Among his accomplishments in his undergraduate career were music directing/accompanying a production in Arena Theater, serving as a student honors conductor for the nationally-recognized Concert Choir, and being recognized as runner-up in the piano division of the Concerto Competition. Joshua was named the 2021 Presser Scholar by the Conservatory of Music and was also inducted into the Wheaton College Scholastic Honor Society. His teachers and mentors include Daniel Paul Horn, Donté Ford, John Trotter, Mary Hopper, and Jerry Blackstone, and he has coached with Yoheved Kaplinsky, Dmitri Rachmanov, Sung-Hoon Mo, Garnet Ungar, and Bradley Williams.

Why do you love to sing?

Melody, harmony, rhythm. It takes me away from normal life and absorbs all my attention. There’s so much joy in making a thing of beauty.

What is your favorite thing about singing with DGCS?

The amount of volunteer time and effort that many members are willing and able to give to ensure the present and future of DGCS.

Why do you love to sing?

Because I feel needed

Music provides a pleasant escape from my busy life.