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Voyage by Joshua Burel

Image of the Voyager Spacecraft

Voyage is an introspection about the concepts of journey and home inspired by NASA’s Voyager space exploration program. Voyager 1 and 2, while originally sent to survey distant planets in our solar system, are now the most distant human-made objects exploring interstellar space. As the Voyagers explore new wonders in the universe, they also carry a story of their home in the form of a ‘golden record,’ music time capsule for extraterrestrials to discover.


I recently moved to the Rocket City and am excited by new adventures and the exhilarating history of space exploration in Huntsville. Like the Voyagers, I carry pieces of my past with me, my own golden record, as I explore and innovate, trying to be part of something bigger than myself. The foreignness of Alabama can often feel isolating much like I imagine deep space to be for the Voyagers, but the journey is thrilling and with each discovery a new sense of purpose is found. Americans have always had a sense of restlessness fueled by a desire to explore and shape a new life. This is balanced by our need to belong, reflected in our traditions, values, and sense of self; our home. I look to my new city and its long history of space exploration for inspiration as I begin to make sense of my new home and find my place in this world. 

meet the composer...

Joshua Burel’s work with underrepresented composers and social justice issues has been
recognized by the Theodore Presser Foundation for his project "Czech Composers and the
Holocaust" and the University of Alabama in Huntsville for his work "Grażyna Bacewicz:
Analysis Showcasing Contributions of Female Composers."

Joshua’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States including concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival in Washington, the University of
Tennessee Contemporary Music Festival, the Biennial Festival of New Music hosted by Florida
State University, the Constellation Concert Series at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Shepley Concert Series in St. Louis, MO, and regional and national conferences by the Society
of Composers, Inc. to name a few.

He has collaborated with chamber ensembles throughout the country including What Is Noise,
Konza Wind Quintet, Rintrah Duo, Elicio Winds, Vuorovesi Trio, and the Coreopsis Quintet
among others. Several of Joshua’s works have been recognized as national finalists for The
American Prize. His work Rumpelstiltskin was featured in the video “Music Tells A Story” by
violinist Megan Sahely from a grant from the Leon County Libraries. His work Escaping for
SATB choir was included in a workshop about new music collaborations in the classroom by the College Music Society National Conference in 2019. He is the winner of the 2020 Alabama
Music Teachers Association’s State Commission Award for his work Bone Music. His piece
Roanoke is featured on What Is Noise’s album “Equivocal Duration” released on Centaur
Records and his Defensive Masquerade for Vuorovesi Trio will be recorded in studio in 2021.
His piece Elegy for solo oboe: Beneath the Peddler’s Moon was commissioned by 55 oboists from around the world.

Joshua completed his D.M. at Florida State University, and M.M. and B.M. from Western
Michigan University. His principal teachers have been Ladislav Kubik, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, C.
Curtis-Smith, Benjamin Sung, Renata Artman Knific, Amanda Walvoord Dykhouse, and Ellen
Rizner. He serves as the Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University
of Alabama in Huntsville.

Headshot of Joshua Burel
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