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Edward Knoeckel

Edward Knoeckel, Visiting Instructor in Music

Jane Doe
Edward Knoeckel, Visiting Instructor in Music

School of Performing Arts
242-C Squires
290 College Ave.  (0138)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-5335 |

Edward Knoeckel is a music researcher, pianist, composer, and music director who serves as Visiting Instructor of Music in the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts, having previously served in the music department at Radford University and George Mason University (GMU). As an educator at GMU Knoeckel was recognized with the President’s Teaching Excellence Award as a standout educator and for his online course design. Knoeckel was recently the elected Board Member for Composition of the College Music Society South Central chapter for 2021-2023 and is an active member in the Composers Alliance of San Antonio (CASA). He teaches courses at Virginia Tech in undergraduate music theory and music appreciation. 

Inspired by engaging in projects that bring light to the human experience and foster interdisciplinary collaboration through music creation, research, and service, Knoeckel’s recent research has focused on film music theory, military music history, and late 16thcentury music of the Spanish Reformation. He has authored a textbook on film music history and appreciation with Kendall Hunt Publishing which seeks to provide an affordable as well as a rich multimedia experience to its readers. He is currently under contract for the second edition which expands the survey to include 21st century analytical approaches that have developed in the still burgeoning field of film music analysis. He has presented at regional and national conferences in music theory, composition, as well as moderated panel discussions on the cross sections of music industry, military music and higher education.

Knoeckel is a composer whose work has been performed around the country and overseas. His compositions have been performed by the chamber group Eighth Blackbird, the Cuban saxophone quartet La Banda Radical, the Solar Chamber Ensemble, soprano Jolie Rock-Brown, and baritone Rick Novack, as well as having scored for the national broadcast of the United States Air Force Holiday in Blue PBS special. He composed music for the Spanish audiobook version of La Sorpresa de Capitán Mamá by Graciela Tiscareno-Sato which is the first children’s book to advocate for strong female leaders that serve in the armed forces.

In addition to his work at Virginia Tech, Knoeckel is a National Medal of Arts recipient for his work as a military musician. He has served as conductor, music director, and pianist in the Army National Guard bands of Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut. He won a prestigious position as pianist for the active-duty bands in the United States Air Force where he was awarded Wing Staff Agency Airman of the Year and an Air Force Achievement Award. He performed around the country in national jazz festivals, gave workshops on improvisation, was music director for the pop music ensemble Velocity, and composed/arranged for big band and chamber ensembles. He currently serves as an NCO and pianist in the Virginia National Guard. Knoeckel has also directed numerous musical theater productions for the Salerno Theater Company, Hartford Stage, and Florida Southern University to name a few. As a pianist he has extensive experience as a modern dance and ballet accompanist. He was the staff accompanist at the University of South Florida working with studios on Graham, Cunningham, and Morris technique as well as serving as the staff accompanist in the Hartt School’s dance department. He was the pianist for the renowned Latin jazz and salsa big band, Guakia.

Knoeckel taught music theory and aural skills, composition, music history, and piano at the University of South Florida, Manchester Community College, Central Connecticut State University and was a high school music instructor in the Hartford Public Schools. He taught on film music at George Mason University where he earned a D.M.A. with an original film score to the 1928 film by Renoir La petite marchande d'allumettes (The Little Match Girl) and a dissertation titled “Narrative Analysis of Film Music: Rota’s Score to Under Ten Flags”. His dissertation investigated how an analytical methodology on narrativity in music of theorist Byron Almén that overlays Micznik’s semiotic and discursive categories onto Liska’s three analytical levels might be applied to film music; this was applied to Nino Rota’s score for Under Ten Flags as a way of understanding film music apart from a traditional vococentric approach. Knoeckel holds a D.M.A. from George Mason University, and a M.M. from the University of South Florida in Music Composition, an Artist Diploma from The University of Hartford as well as a M.Ed (Music) from the University of Bridgeport and he completed a B.A. in Piano Performance at the University of Connecticut. His primary teachers have included Mark Camphouse, Stephen Gryc, Ingram Marshall, Earl MacDonald, Neal Larrabee and Walt Gwardyak.

  • Theory of film music
  • Music composition
  • Piano performance, Jazz, Commercial styles
  • Music technology
  • Music history
  • D.M.A. in Composition, George Mason University (2019)
  • M.Ed. in Music, University of Bridgeport (2015)
  • M.M. in Composition (Theory minor), University of South Florida (2006)
  • B.A. in Piano Performance, University of Connecticut (2002)
  • 2018-present Film Music Institute
  • 2017-present Composers’ Alliance of San Antonio (founder of the New in SA National Music Competition)
  • 2017-2023 College Music Society (South Central Region Board Member in Composition)
  • 2012-2023 Music Teachers National Association National Association of Schools of Music
  • 2008-present Society of Composers, Inc.
  • 2006-present National Association of Composers, USA
  • Purks Enrichment Fund Grant Recipient, George Mason University: research in Project Based Learning (PBL) for online music curriculum design. 2021

Published Books
Knoeckel, Edward. 2022. Music in Motion Pictures: A Guide Through the Art and Craft of Film Music. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

Knoeckel, Edward. “Narrative Analysis of Film Music: Rota’s Score to Under Ten Flags”. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2019.

Journal Articles
Knoeckel, Edward.“Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen, by Michel Chion.” College Music Symposium, Volumer 62, No.2. November 2022 (peer reviewed journal) Volume 62, No.2 DOI:

Book Chapters
(Awaiting release) Knoeckel, Edward C. "Military Music of San Antonio." The History of Music in San Antonio, edited by Stan Renard, Mark Brill, William Glenn, pp. TBA. San Antonio, TX: University of San Antonio Press, 2023.

  • The Music of Hostages: Film Music Analysis in the Scores by Nino Rota and Mika Levi
  • 2021 (rescheduled to 2025) Presenter, College Music Society International Conference, Bogota, Colombia
  • Career Preparedness for Music Performers: Insight from Academia, Military Bands and Freelance Musicians
  • March 2021 Music Society-South Central Regional Conference Panelist and Moderator
  • Pandemic Innovations in Military Band Productions and Technology        
  • Jan 2021 College Music Society-NAMM GenNext
  • Society of Composers Southeast Chapter Conference as performer
  • 2019 University of Texas, Tyler, College Music Society
  • Narrative Archetypes in a Film Score by Nino Rota
  • 2018 Society of Composers Incorporated (SCI) National Conference, Arlington, TX University of Texas
  • Prussia’s Pathetique: Recontextualization in Beethoven’s Op.13 No.8 Piano Sonata 2010 Presenter, University of Buffalo Symposium on Music
  • Diegetic Fluidity and Archetypal Analysis in Fellini’s Nights of Cambiria 2005 Robert Helps International Music Festival, Tampa, FL
  • Grey Clouds for solo piano (performed by Jong-Hsu Park), 5-5-2022. Made in SA New Music Festival, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
  • Aframerican Songs Song cycle for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano (performed by Jolie Rock-Brown), 4-12-2021 Houston, TX
  • Death Song and De Drum Majah for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, 6-21-2021 Washington, DC African American History Museum.
  • Oh, Freedom: work for Big Band, 2020. Recorded for jazz album by the USAF Band of the West, Dimensions in Blue Big Band.
  • Oh, Freedom: original big band composition performed by the USAF Band of the West, 2019. Performed throughout the southeast U.S.
  • Domra Variations, for Domra and Piano performed by Radina Dosseva, 03-20-2018. Catholic University, Washington, DC.
  • Acoustic Lazuras for soprano and piano Art song text by Texas poet Patricia Keoughan, 12-4-2018 Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. Collaboration with the Art Song Center for Poets and Musicians.
  • Acoustic Lazuras for soprano and piano Art song text by Texas poet Patricia Keoughan, 9-15-2019 New Music Conference, Radius Center, San Antonio, TX . In collaboration with Voices de la Luna, literature and poetry publication, and National Association of Composers USA (NACUSA)
  • Scherzo en Cinco for woodwind quintet performed by the USAFE Woodwind Quintet, 2-18-2018 Rammstein, Germany.
  • Wind in the Willows for Saxophone Quartet performed by La Banda Nacional Radical Saxophone Quartet, 4-14-2018 Havana, Cuba.
  • Doxa for concert band performed by George Mason University Wind Ensemble, 3-20-2017 Fairfax, VA.
  • Prisms: acoustic/electric chamber work, 2018 Premiered by Solar Chamber Ensemble at Vista College, San Antonio, TX.
  • Always Ready, Always There: original concert band march, 2017. Performed by the 257th Army Guard Band, Washington, DC for the Chief of Staff of the National Guard.
  • Wind in the Willows: Saxophone Quartet, 2016. Performance at University of West Virginia, SCI Regional Conference.
  • Dialogues: work for dance, chamber orchestra and video, 2016. Collaborative project for the Interfaith Relations Consortium Conference on Muslim and Christian discourse hosted by the Turkish Cultural Center, Washington D.C.
  • Hamlet and Stage Door: Composer and sound designer, 2010, 2011 Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, CT.