joe f. phelps
NCBA Hall of fame 2018
Joe F. Phelps earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond. He has also studied at the University of North Texas, Denton; the University of Miami, Miami, Florida; and the University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Phelps studied with William Adam at Indiana University for his undergraduate work and on a continuing basis for more than thirty years. His other influential teachers were David Ritter (University of Central Arkansas), John Haynie (University of North Texas), Fred Peterson (Eastern Kentucky), and Gil Johnson (University of Miami).
While teaching band in the public schools of Arkansas and Indiana, Phelps played with the Fort Smith Symphony, the South Bend Symphony, and the Elkhart Symphony and soloed with the University of Notre Dame Concert Band. He also played with the South Bend Symphony Brass Quintet and was an orchestra member of the Domaine School for Orchestral Conductors and Players, of the Western Piedmont Symphony, and of the North Carolina Symphony during their summer residences in Boone.
After coming to Appalachian State University in 1971, Phelps taught trumpet for 30 years and continues to teach part-time. For the first 16 years that he was at Appalachian State, he directed the Symphonic Band and the Marching Mountaineers. During that time the marching band grew from 80 to more than 220 members and became known as North Carolina’s Band of Distinction. Phelps also started and directed the Trumpet Choir. In addition, he played in faculty brass ensembles and has been a soloist with the University Orchestra, with the University Wind Ensemble, and with many high school bands throughout the state. Phelps is a member of the International Trumpet Guild.
Phelps has had articles and reviews published in the North Carolina Music Educator, the Band Directors Guide, and the International Trumpet Guild Journal. His book, So You Want to be a Trumpet Player, was published in 2002.
Among the awards and honors Phelps has received from Appalachian State are the Chancellor’s Award of Merit, the Distinguished Service Award from the Appalachian Alumni Association, and the Outstanding Teacher Award in the School of Music for 2001.
Phelps is married to Anne Dodd, an Appalachian State graduate and a retired teacher. The Phelpses (July 2004) moved outside of Boone in July 2004 to Zionville, NC. After 30 years in town, they are enjoying a mountain view.