Joshua Simonds is currently Executive Director of the Percussive Arts Society, one of the largest percussion organizations in the world with over 5,000 members. As Executive Director of PAS, Joshua oversees its annual convention, PASIC, 80 PAS chapters throughout the world, 16 standing committees, and Rhythm! Discovery Center, the only interactive drum and percussion museum which is located Indianapolis, Indiana.
Prior to joining PAS, Joshua was the Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras where he worked from 2003 - 2016. During his tenure, CYSO more than doubled its programs, built strong relationships with world-class composers resulting in numerous world and local premieres, and initiated groundbreaking artistic collaborations, including performances with Ben Folds, My Morning Jacket, The Second City, My Brightest Diamond, the Chicago Bulls, and multiple performances at the legendary rock festival Lollapalooza.
Joshua’s passion for percussion was always at the forefront of his work at CYSO. During his tenure at CYSO, the organization built one of the largest youth steel pan programs in the Midwest and performed multiple times with the Blue Man Group in Chicago’s Millennium Park. He engaged Third Coast Percussion on multiple occasions including a 2014 year-in-residence resulting in a New Music USA grant for a video recording of David T Little’s “Radiant Child for Percussion Quartet and Orchestra,” and secured Glenn Kotche - solo percussionist, composer, and drummer of Wilco - as CYSO’s 2016-2017 Composer in Residence.
Joshua currently sits on the Youth Orchestra Division Board of the League of American Orchestras, where he serves as Chair of the Professional Development Experiences Committee, is an advisor for the Music For All National Orchestra Festival, sits on the National Advisory Board - Sewanee Summer Music Center, and is very active in both local and national arts advocacy.
He holds a Master of Arts in Arts Management from American University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Percussion from California State University, Long Beach.