Harmony Creek Church is pleased to announce that Joe Saksa, Jr. is our new Director of Music Ministries. He has been a professional organist/pianist for 25 years, starting at the age of 14. He has been teaching piano for 16 years, and is coming to Harmony Creek Church from Trinity United Church of Christ in Fairborn, where he has been the Music Director (organist, pianist, and choir director) since 2014. He brings a treasure trove of musical skills and church experience with him. His first Sunday at Harmony Creek Church will be September 15th!
Joe began piano lessons at the age of 5, and organ lessons at age 10. He became the junior organist at Lagonda United Methodist Church in Springfield at age 14, playing at the early service. While in high school, he took organ lessons from Wittenberg University professor Trudy Faber, who is renowned for her organ footwork, among other things. By age 17, he became Lagonda’s principle organist and choir accompanist. Five years later, he also became the organist and choir director at Highlands United Church of Christ.
Joe has a Bachelor of Music Degree from Wright State University with concentrations in Organ, Piano, and Vocal. Joe attended Wright State University on academic and music scholarships, and graduated, magna cum laude, in 2001. His organ instructor there was Dr. Ritter Warner. His first job after college was in the Jefferson Township schools as a middle school band and choir director.
In 2002, Joe became a full time piano instructor at the Columbus Conservatory of Piano. When Lagonda UMC merged with two other Springfield UMC churches to become Faith UMC, Joe was hired as their organist and choir accompanist. In 2014 he moved back to Springfield from Columbus and worked at the Wittenberg University Center for Music Development, where he taught music classes and private piano lessons. He most recently was music director at Trinity UCC and teaches private piano lessons under the name of Joseph’s Piano. He also contract teaches piano at That Music Place in Springboro and Miamisburg.
Some of Joe’s past performances include piano accompaniment for Ohio Performing Arts Musicals and the Clark State Community College Chorus. He accompanied his high school choir on piano, which was Springfield Shawnee. At Shawnee, he also played trombone in the marching band, symphonic band and jazz band. He sang in the choir and barbershop quartet, and performed in their Show Choir. At Wright State University, he sang in the Men’s Chorale, accompanied them on piano, and performed with the Wright State Orchestra on organ. He also played trombone in the Wright State Concert Band. He was invited to play the refurbished organ at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, and played the new organ for the Pipe Organ Dedication at the Maria-Joseph Center in Dayton, and a concert at the Baum Opera House (piano).