MTNA - GATEWAY ARCH EAST:  Vice President and Program Coordinator

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The Gateway Arch East Music Teachers Association is affiliated with the Illinois State Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association.

In 2017, Joe was honored as Member of the Year for his "highly lauded" presentation at the Illinois State Conference.  He presented on The Business of Being a Pianist, and outgrowth of his doctoral research and the forerunner of the curriculum he designed for Blackburn College.

In 2022, he was elected Vice President, which includes the responsibility of scheduling programs for the year.  He also chairs Membership and edits the newsletter with the help of his students.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS YOUNG ARTIST ORGANIZATION:  Board Member

Since 2004, SIYAO has provided the opportunity for young artists to compete in annual vocal and instrumental competitions in the St. Louis metro-east area.

Joe joined the board of the SIYAO in 2018.  Part of his service to the organization is playing for many of the vocal competitors.

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BUNKER HILL EDUCATION FOUNDATION:  Board Member

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The Bunker Hill Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization independent of the Bunker Hill Community Unit District 8.  The Foundation works cooperatively with the district's faculty and staff to find ways to fill specific needs in the district's classrooms to enhance the students' educational experience in Bunker Hill.

In advocacy for his hometown and education, Joe joined the BHED Board in 2019.  The Foundation funds classroom mini-grants, scholarships, and the Wall of Honor, for which Welch was selected in 2022.

As part of his service to the Foundation, Joe created an alumni highlight video which can be viewed here.

NON-CLASSICAL MUSIC

In 2022, Joe was awarded a faculty grant from Blackburn College to study non-classical styles.  The purpose is to be more inclusive of the styles students already know and perform in.  Joe is completing a Certificate in Piano Styles from Berklee Online, where is studies Blues and Rock 'n' Roll, Pop/Rock, and Jazz.  Pursuing this continuing education was inspired by his students and experience at the NATS Internship.

Singer-songwriter

FARMING

Haybale at sunset

Joe lives on a small hobby farm.  With his father, he renovated the 1940s farmhouse that he grew up in.  His family had cattle in his youth, but today they just take care of the land.

He spends his summer mowing, putting up hay, and gardening.  He feels grounded in this type of work.

He gets his penchant for gardening from his mom's dad and his dad's mom, both of whom cultivated extensive gardens.  Zucchini and tomatoes are staples each year, with a mix of watermelon, goldendew, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and more.  He also maintains an assortment of fruit trees.

As an amateur photographer, the farm creates ample opportunity for Joe to capture the beauty of the world around him.