Blog: Joe Millea
This week’s blog is about HMQ member, Joe Millea.
Short Bio: Joe is a currently a member of the Heartland Marimba Quartet (HMQ). Joe, with Matthew Coley, Michael J. Jones, Andrew Veit, and Abby Fisher, make up HMQ. Joe is currently the Artist Coordinator at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona and is an international performer playing in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Joe has also played in many other ensembles and is always innovating different ways to experience music. This is just a taste of what Joe does. To find out more about this accomplished percussionist, check out his site at joemillea.com
What was the key factor in your career as a musician?
JM: The key factor in my career as a musician has been to always be easy to work with. In addition to being well prepared technically and musically, I have found it so useful to be able to adapt to changes and get along with people. I always tell my students, I would much rather play with someone who is a decent player and easy to work with than someone who is an excellent player and is a jerk.
What individual or group of people guided you in your passion for music?
JM: Another key factor in my career as a musician has been and always will be the teachers in my life. I have been fortunate enough to have incredible music educators. From the day I joined the marching band in 9th grade all the way through graduate school, I had dedicated teachers who always had passion and an incredible drive to teach. To me, teachers are the most important people in modern society!
What brought you to the Heartland Marimba Quartet?
JM: I saw the posting for the position and I immediately jumped on it. I knew the other three players were stellar performers and it was something that I wanted to be a part of. I was also drawn to the fact the Heartland Marimba Festival is so community oriented and doesn't function in just a university setting. As professional percussionists and marimba players, we have to remember that our audience shouldn't be limited to other percussionists. I love the fact that HMQ is drawing an audience from outside of the already existing pool of percussionists.
Where has been your favorite place to perform?
JM: Playing at the Des Moines Social Club was a blast. It was great to have an audience sitting just a few feet away on three sides of the group!
Outside of music, what hobbies do you have?
JM: Outside of music I love cooking, road cycling, yoga, and my two dogs Kije and Kenkeni.
Tell us any more important information you would like the Heartland Marimba community to know about.
JM: Never feel like you can't contact any of us in the Heartland Marimba Quartet with a question, suggestion, or smart remark. We love hearing from the community!
The HMF Blog posts featuring our people are compiled and prepared by our 2017 intern, Scott Eiklenborg (a percussion student at Wartburg College, Waverly, IA).