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Career, Accomplishments of Jenkins Celebrated on His 85th Birthday

Duquesne University's Mary Pappert School of Music will honor the career, accomplishments and years of service of Professor Emeritus Dr. Joseph Willcox Jenkins during a special birthday luncheon this Saturday, Feb. 16, on campus.

Nearly 100 people will gather to celebrate with Jenkins, who turns 85 this Friday.

"Dr. Joseph Willcox Jenkins is revered as one of Duquesne University's most beloved music professors, and he has continued his prolific compositional career since his retirement from the Mary Pappert School of Music," said Music Dean Dr. Edward Kocher. "Most summers, Dr. Jenkins offers a course for graduate students, and once his classes are announced, they fill up quickly. We are honored to know this remarkable gentleman." 

A composer of more than 200 works, Jenkins began teaching in the School of Music in 1961. He received his formal music training from the Eastman School of Music, where he earned both a bachelor's and master's degree. In addition, Jenkins studied composition and counterpoint with renowned American composer/pianist Vincent Persichetti at the Philadelphia Conservatory and earned his doctorate from the Catholic University of America.

During his time in the military, Jenkins served on the arranging staff of the U.S. Army Field Band and the Armed Forces Radio Network before being appointed chief arranger and assistant conductor of the new U.S. Army Chorus.

Jenkins' compositions include works for band, orchestra, chorus, voice and instrumental selections. Many of his works have been performed, and even premiered, at Duquesne for noted events and special celebrations. Last October, Music Professor Christine Jordanoff led the Voices of Spirit choral group in the world premiere of Jenkins' most recent composition, An Advent Psalm.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.