Joseph Church

Composer / Conductor / Arranger / Pianist / Author

The Old Songs An all-star lineup of musicians accompanies the terrific lead vocals of Colin Smith in this song I wrote in 2003, but just got around to recording.  Engineered and mixed by the brilliant Ted Spencer.

Walking Shoes was premiered at Joe’s Pub in 2013. The song is a tribute to my father, an inveterate urban explorer. Vocals on this recording by David Kuhn.


Birthday Crashers is the theme song from an independent film of the same name; the film was played in several New York film festivals in 2014. The product placement in the song is specific to the character. Lead vocal by Donnie Kehr, with me screaming out the backups.


Not The Place That I Used To Know is my musical harangue at an overpopulated and overcommercialized New York City; in this excerpt, Chris Jackson raps about my ambivalence. Written in 2012, the song has lead vocals by Tony Hoylen.


Pest Control: This is the “Kill It” instrumental from the musical Pest Control, produced in Los Angeles in 2008. The piece is a sort of bug ballet, a depiction of an exterminator wielding his new space-age anti-pest weapon against a caveful of unusual and particularly dangerous multi-legged adversaries.


The Gondoliers is an eclectic adaptation of the classic Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, set in Venice and the mythical island of Barataria in the early 1960's. The libretto is adapted by Stuart Ross, and the piece was co-conceived with Stuart and director Gabriel Barre. The musical styles range from 1980s rock to big band, from the Beatles to Esquivel.



“The Lion In Love” and “The Peacock Who Complained To Juno” are two of three concert pieces, based on the fables by Jean De La Fontaine, that I wrote with librettist Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler On The Roof, Fiorello!, She Loves Me, among many others). These oratorio-like works are theatrical pieces for the concert stage, arranged for chorus, soloists and orchestra. The wonderful performers on these recordings include Brian Stokes Mitchell as the Shepherd, Rebecca Luker as his daughter, and Howard McGillin as the Lion (“The Lion In Love”) and Mary Testa as Juno and Stanley Bahorek as the Peacock (“The Peacock Who Complained To Juno”).


The Thief, produced and with book by John Moores, Jr. and lyrics by Lorraine Feather, is a new musical based on the Russian film of the same name, with music co-written with composer Vladimir Shainskiy. The show made its debut at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood in 2008.


The Shainskiy Suite, a hybrid piece based on themes by Shainskiy and on my score for the film Popcorn Rouge, was premiered at Carnegie-Weil Hall by the Alaria Chamber Ensemble in 2005. This is an excerpt from the first movement.


Smugilanka is a mini-opera, a show within a show in The Thief. The music is cowritten with Anatol Novikov, with a libretto I wrote based on a story concept by John Moores, Jr. and Bill Uren. Here are two selections.


The Dawn Magician is a Duke Ellington-style arrangement for big band of a theme by Vladimir Shainskiy.


Circus Music: two comedic excerpts from music I wrote for a Russian circus.