Joel Thomson (BMus, MMus)

Joel Thomson began playing the guitar as a teenager. In those early times, he played electric guitar in bands with friends, and while he had an instructor at the time, his studies quickly became self directed, as the amount of music he consumed during those times was far greater than an instructor could keep up with. After reaching what was something of a plateau, he discovered a new challenge in classical guitar. After surpassing what his teacher could teach him, as a teenager still in high school, he was sent to the chair of the faculty of music at Kwantlen polytechnic college, Don Hlus. After high school, he attended Kwantlen polytechnic for two years, before transferring to UVIC to complete his undergraduate degree with internationally renowned guitarist, Dr. Alexander Dunn, protegé of Pepé Romero, one of the world’s foremost classical guitarists.

After finishing his BMus, Joel took some time away from the classical guitar to rekindle his love for popular music. With the knowledge he had gained studying music theory, and exposure to the world of modern classical music firmly in mind, he set out to create rock with a twist(s). After finding like minded individuals, he assisted in forming an experimental rock outfit, and was a major force in all the instrumental parts of the song writing therein. In this time, the group made many recordings of their music as DIY project in a home recording studio, where Joel learned the basics of audio engineering.

Joel returned to classical guitar studying with Daniel Bolshoy and completed his Master’s degree in guitar performance in 2017. Joel received a generous scholarship based on his musical merit, as well as his academic history.

Joel has been a competitor at the Northwest Guitar festival in Seattle, as well as the Hamilton Guitar festival. Notably, Joel has played for the Vancouver Guitar society, Kwantlen’s Music at Midweek series, as well as being a presenter at a guitar festival in Kaslo B.C. where he has also performed a concert, and given master classes for their local guitar organization. Joel has also recently been elected to the Vice Chair position in the Vancouver Classic Guitar Society, where he assists in putting on a season of internationally acclaimed artists giving first rate concerts in the city.

Joel has been teaching guitar for several years, teaching both privately and in groups. He has many long standing students who enjoy his personable manner, as well as his keen eye for detail, and broad knowledge base. In lessons, Joel places a strong emphasis on proper technique, creating an ease of use for the guitar, and a logical way in which to approach the instrument. In addition, the musical elements that Joel brings out in his students are a product of years of discussions, reading, and listening regarding many styles of music.

Listen to the performances from the 10th Anniversary Gala Concert:

  1. Sonata in D Minor, K9, L413 by Domenico Scarlatti (transcribed by Joel Thomson)

    Tyler Belding (guitar)
    Joel Thomson (guitar)

  2. “Night Club 1960” by Astor Piazzolla

    Irene Senent (violin)
    Joel Thomson (guitar)

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