About Me
You’ll Never Know If You Don’t Try
Critically-acclaimed flutist, pianist, musical director, and educator, Dr. Joanna Sisk-Purvis is a true musical Renaissance woman, following her passion in many different realms of music. As a flutist, Joanna is dedicated to bringing new music to wide audiences and exploring the vast sonic capabilities of the flute family. She has worked with numerous composers to create new repertoire for the flute, some of which has gone on to publication and to win prizes in major competitions. She has been a top prizewinner in several competitions including the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, and while at USC was selected from over 600 nominees nationwide to receive the Mary L. Remy Endowed P.E.O. Scholarship for excellence in graduate studies. Joanna has studied music of many other cultures and enjoys playing a number of ethnic flutes in addition to the western C flute, alto flute, bass flute, and piccolo. She played flutes, keyboards, and backup vocals with indie singer/songwriter Grayson Wray while in L.A. and appears on his album Alternate Heavens. She is currently experimenting with improvisation and “electric flute” using effects processors including an Echoplex looper. Since her move to North Carolina, Joanna can be heard with the Mallarmé Chamber Players and freelancing throughout the Triangle.
In 2003, Joanna revealed her long-time secret passion for musical theater and musically directed her first show; she has since been musical director and keyboardist for theater companies throughout Southern CA, including the Southern California Lyric Theater, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Camarillo Community Theater, and the Broadway Bound Players (North Hollywood). Shows include “Cabaret,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Sound of Music,” “Narnia,” “A Christmas Carol Story,” and many more. She also co-taught a musical theater workshop for young actors through the Alison Kalmus Repertory Theater (AKT).
Joanna loves teaching students of all levels and dreams of a world in which making music is as important to individuals and families as television. In addition to her own private studio, she has taught flute on the faculties of the University of Southern California and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also teaches Music Together to families with young children through her own center in Durham, Play/Music.
Joanna holds degrees from the University of Southern California (D.M.A. in flute performance with minors in conducting and ethnomusicology), Northwestern University (M.M. in flute), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.M. in flute). She has studied with Jim Walker, Walfrid Kujala, Brooks de Wetter-Smith, and Pt. Radha Prasad (North Indian flute). Joanna lives in Durham with her husband, daughter, and two neurotic beagles. When not teaching or performing, you can find her with her family biking, geocaching, or curled up with a good book!
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