Dr. Joe Bentley

Professor of Music Director, Music Activities

Dr. Joe Bentley
School of Humanities
Alumni Music Center 201
(248) 218-2141


  • D.M.A., Michigan State University
  • M.M.Ed., University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • B.A., Harding University

Courses Taught

  • Director of the A Cappella Chorus and Autumn
  • Music Theory
  • Ear Training
  • Basic Musicianship
  • Private Voice
  • Western Music History
  • Music in America
  • World Music
  • Conducting
  • Introduction to Music Education
  • Secondary Music Methods and Assessment
  • Senior Seminar in Music
  • Special interdisciplinary courses in the humanities (“The Enlightenment,” “The Age of Romanticism,” “Appreciation of the Arts”)

Honors and Affiliations

  • Faculty Member of the Year, Rochester College (1989, 2007)
  • Dissertation nominated by Michigan State University for Julius Herford Prize given annually by ACDA (2005)
  • Rochester Tuesday Musicale Musician of the Year (awarded for outstanding service to the musical community of Rochester, Michigan, 2003)
  • Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (multiple years)
  • Member, American Choral Directors Association
  • Member, Michigan School Vocal Music Association

Professional and Academic Experience

Previous teaching experience:
  • Rochester College (1986-present)
  • Boyd-Buchanan School, Chattanooga, TN (1984-1986)
  • Graduate Assistant in Choral Music at University of Louisiana at Monroe (1982-1984)
  • Ouachita Christian School, Monroe, LA (1981-1982)
  • Greater Jacksonville Christian School, Jacksonville, FL (1979-1981)
Additional conducting and adjudicating experiences:
  • Director, Rochester Community Chorus (1991-present)
  • Director, Metropolitan Detroit Youth Chorus (1989-1991)
  • Adjudicator and clinician for MSVMA since 1991
  • Guest conductor for regional choral festivals in Michigan and Tennessee
  • Guest conductor for Rochester Symphony Orchestra


Dr. Joe Bentley is married to Vikki Bentley, who chairs the Department of Teacher Education. They have three children and one grandchild. The Bentleys have been mainstays of the RC faculty since 1986, and have mentored countless numbers of students. The A Cappella Chorus remains the focal point of Dr. Bentley’s work at RC, and he has led them on fifty-plus tours of the U.S. and Canada, including performances in thirty-six states. He is also well-regarded locally having collaborated with a variety of choirs, orchestras, schools, churches, and other arts organizations in southeast Michigan. An avid sports fan, he participates in fantasy football in the Fall with several alumni from RC. He also enjoys playing golf in the summer and helping in various ministries at the Rochester Church of Christ.

Presentations and Performances

  • Presented dissertation at research poster session at ACDA National Convention in Miami, FL, as a nominee for the Julius Herford Prize; The Anthems in The Singing Master’s Assistant by William Billings: New Editions and Performance Suggestions (2007).
  • Workshop presentation at MSVMA Summer Workshop in East Lansing, MI; “Significant Repertoire from Early American Choral Music” (2008).
Selected Significant Performances with A Cappella Chorus
  • Carnegie Hall performance of Brahms’ Nänie and Schicksalslied with the Masterworks Festival Chorus and the New York City Chamber Orchestra, Bruce Chamberlain, conductor (May 2012).
  • Multiple concert appearances at The Ascending Voice II conference on a cappella singing at Pepperdine University working with Alice Parker, Robert Page, and Chanticleer (May 2010).
  • Hosted the Christian College Choral Festival (January 2001 and 2009).
  • Hosted 50th Anniversary A Cappella Chorus Reunion (April 2009).
  • Featured concert at the ACDA Choral Hour for the Michigan Music Conference in Ann Arbor (January 2002).