Dangerfield Takes the Field as Woodrow’s New Band Director


Picture used with permission from Joseph Dangerfield Dangerfield helps student during Summer band camp

Landon Skeens, Junior Editor

Picture used with permission from Joseph Dangerfield

From professional composer to high school band teacher, Dr. Joseph Dangerfield leads Woodrow’s band with expertise.

Dangerfield may be new to the Woodrow Wilson High School staff, but he certainly isn’t new to music. Originally from Fayette County, Dangerfield had ambitions of pursuing music from a young age. He started at age four when he learned the piano and went on to eventually receive a doctorate degree in music composition with a minor in music theory pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Both his grandfather and father taught band, so he was naturally around instruments and music throughout his youth. “As a child I can remember playing beside eighth graders as a fifth grader,” he said. Besides piano he also enjoyed playing percussion instruments, specifically the snare drum.

In addition to teaching at Woodrow and being a previous band student himself, Dangerfield has had many other experiences in the world of music as a composer, piano teacher, and Fulbright scholar. In 2009, he served as a composer at the Moscow Conservatory in Russia and as a guest director at the New Music Ensemble at Maastricht Conservatorium in the Netherlands. When the school year of 2014-2015 arrived, Dangerfield returned home to the mountains of West Virginia where he was a theorist and conductor at West Virginia University. However, this role would not last long as he moved to Florida at the end of the term. Dangerfield could not restrain himself from coming back home. In 2018, he returned and taught music at Meadow Bridge Elementary.

Dangerfield is also a father of three. His oldest child being his only son, Conner Dangerfield, who graduated from WWHS in 2022 and now attends West Virginia University. His second oldest is his daughter, Piper Dangerfield, who is currently a Junior here at Woodrow and the trumpet captain in the Flying Egle Marching Band. He has another daughter, his youngest, Jillian Dangerfield, a sixth grader who goes to Beckley-Stratton Middle School.

Wearing many hats in directing, performing music, and parenting, Dr. Dangerfield has but one goal — to build the Flying Eagle Marching Band up, up, and away!