Dr. Joel Navarro

Professor of Music, School of Church Music
Singapore Bible College

Dr. Joel Navarro is currently Lecturer and Professor of Music at the Singapore Bible College’s School of Church Music. He teaches a host of graduate conducting courses and directs the SBC Chorale, SBC Singers, and Canticorum. He taught at Calvin College and was a tenured professor of music. Before that, he served sixteen years as an assistant professor and one-time Chair of the Choral Conducting Department at the University of the Philippines College of Music. He teaches modular courses in graduate choral conducting at Bandung Theological Seminary and is main lecturer for the modular program of Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at St. Paul University Manila. 

Navarro has been invited to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States to adjudicate, give lectures, and do workshops and choir clinics on worship, choral music, choral repertoire, conducting technique, and global hymnody. In 2002 he was one of 31 scholars to lecture at the 6th World Symposium of Choral Music held in Minneapolis.

Dr. Navarro completed his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting at the University of the Philippines. He obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting degree at Michigan State University, and studied under Charles Smith, Jonathan Reed, and David Rayl. He counts Reynaldo Paguio, Francisco Feliciano, and Martin Behrmann as his early conducting mentors.

A recipient of numerous awards in his native Philippines, Navarro is widely known as a conductor, educator, clinician, lecturer, writer, singer, recording artist, composer, arranger, stage actor, record producer, and music consultant. He was known internationally as the former Music Director and Conductor of the Ateneo de Manila University Glee Club which won top prizes in European choral competitions during his tenure from 1979-2001. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Philippine Federation for Choral Music and was Main Consultant for the College Choir Division of the National Music Competitions for Young Artists. His Philippine choirs have performed with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra for national television, state receptions, and national and international choir festivals. Under his direction, The Capella of Calvin College won prizes at the Florilege Vocal de Tours International Competition in 2008. In 2014, Calvin College awarded him the From Every Nation Award for Excellence in Teaching, given to an outstanding faculty member for promoting goals of interculturalism and racial reconciliation.

To his conducting students, he is known as a beloved mentor, ardent supporter, and designer of programs which enable his former students to expand their influence as servant-leaders, collaborative artists, and interdisciplinary scholars. Passionate about composition, integration of faith and learning, and intersections of indigeneity and modernity, Dr. Navarro continues to write and arrange hymns, anthems, art, concert, and worship music for professional, university, community, and church choirs. A few of his choral compositions are published by Musica Manila, GIA Publications, and Adoro Music Publishing.

He is married to Amy Navarro who works for the American Bible Society in Philadelphia. They have three children and two grandchildren who live in different parts of the world.