Joel Smales (born 1967) earned his Bachelor's of Music in Performance from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam where he studied with James Petercsak. Subsequently, he earned his Master's in Music from Binghamton University. He is currently the band director at Binghamton High School's Rod Serling School of Fine Arts, where he conducts the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Stage Band
and several chamber groups including Percussion Ensemble, Marimba Band, and Steel Drum Band.


Mr. Smales maintains a private percussion teaching studio and is the Vice President for the NYS Percussive Arts Society and Percussion Chair for NYSSMA. He also serves on the keyboard percussion and snare drum music selection committee for NYSSMA.

Music Ensembles under the direction of Mr. Smales have performed for:

- New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference
- New York State School Boards Association Conference
- Bands of America National Percussion Festival
- Music Educator's National Conference
- First Night International
- Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC)
- World Physics Conference
- Various television programs and compact disc recordings

Smales is the Principal Percussionist with the Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra in Binghamton, NY and a member of the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra and Downtown Singers Orchestras. Smales leads his own percussion trio "Rhythm Song" and performs jazz drumset and vibes. He can also be seen playing lead steelpan with the popular Caribbean music group, Panigma, and is an active freelance drummer and percussionist. He maintains a busy composition schedule, writing music for percussion, runs an annual summer percussion camp and hosts an annual PAS Day of Percussion. He also freelances with many area jazz and orchestral groups and can be heard on over 30 recordings spanning from swing to rock to folk to classical music for CD albums, commercials and audio books.

Mr. Smales has presented clinics for the New York State School Music Association, New York State Band Directors Association, MENC and throughout upstate and central New York and northern Pennsylvania in areas of percussion specialization concerning drumset, mallet performance, percussion accessories and warm-up techniques for area schools, band workshops, church groups, and percussion workshops. Mr. Smales is an active adjudicator for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA). Many of his publications are in the NYSSMA manual as well as in other states' music educators groups' manuals. He endorses Pro-Mark Drumsticks and products and Grover pro Percussion Products. His articles on music and percussion have appeared in Percussive Notes, School Band and Orchestra, School Music News, and Band World magazines.

Smales was selected as the sole NYS music "Director Who Makes a Difference," by School Band & Orchestra magazine and was featured in a cover story in the October 2005 SBO magazine. To read the article, click here:

Joel has many percussion solo, ensemble, and method books which were published by Kendor, Honey Rock, House Panther Press Music Publishing, Phantom Music, and Drop6. His textbook, which he wrote with Dr. Steven Porter, entitled Teaching Music on the Secondary Level has been a mainstay of University and College music departments and is useful for first and second year teachers.


Joel Smales
Performance, Recording, Composition
NYS Percussive Arts Society V.P.
Percussion Chair, NYSSMA