Joseph Taylor 1951 - 2019 Educator Mentor Friend
Joseph R. Taylor's musical education began on trombone with Thomas V. Mistretta, concert violinist and clarinetist at Willbowbrook Junior High School. Music came easily, and by age 12 he was playing trombone in the L.A. Metropolitan and the Hollywood-Wilshire Orchestras. By age 14, he had been introduced to cello, violin, viola and bass by Octave Bonomo and continued with these stringed instruments all his life.
A graduate of Centennial High School in Compton, Mr. Taylor then went on the East Texas State University to hone his skills on the stringed instruments as well as on the trumpet and clarinet.Upon graduating with a Bachelors in Music Education, he returned to teach in Compton, California but not without increasing his knowledge of string pedagogy with Victor Sazer, Hyman Gold, and Adeline Voiles on cello; Sidney Bruce and Abraham Weiss on viola; and Sidney Bruce, Frederick Fickas and Mischa Lefkowitz of the L.A. Philharmonic on violin.
Joe assumed the role of conductor and music director for the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra in 1991.. Many conductors can boast glowing resumes full of accomplishments all over the world, but it is Mr. Taylor's commitment to his local communities that defined his uniqueness. He coached students at Centennial High School in Compton, the Watts-Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club Music Conservatory, and Compton Conservatory. He's was a long-time supporter, string coach and string orchestra conductor of Wildwood Music Camps, and was one of the early instructors of the L.A.-based Sweet Strings Program.
Nurturing youngsters as they discover the world of classical music has paid off, as Mr. Taylor impacted many who have become successful performers locally, across the U.S. and even around the world. His former students include Ashley Horne, Balanga Perry-Madison, Yvette Devereaux, Jennifer M. Lindsay, Darrel Sims, and Jon Sims (on violin); La Vette Allen and Darrel Sims (on viola); and Nedra Wheeler (on bass). Many others went into music, while some simply appreciated music but became doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers and other types of professionals.
Mr. Taylor to apprenticed talented youngsters in the Bellflower Symphony in order to give them the same type of opportunity that he benefited from as a child. It was no wonder that NANM (National Association of Negro Musicians) conferred on him the 2014 National Achievement Award in Music Education at their 95th convention.
A retired teacher of music, mathematics and English for Los Angeles and Compton Unified School Districts, Mr. Taylor continued to teach private music students in his studio. He held the titles of principal violist for Peninsula Symphony; concertmaster of Holman United Methodist Church Chamber Orchestra; principal violist of Vineyard Opera Company; and cellist in the Southeast Symphony.