Joseph Pucciatti is a Trenton-born teacher, pianist, conductor and composer. As a career music teacher for the Trenton Board of Education, he has completed 42 years of professional affiliation, having worked at all levels in the choral and instrumental departments of various schools in the district. Currently teaching at Trenton Central High School, he directs the high school orchestra, which he founded 25 years ago. Since its inception, the orchestra has performed his arrangements of classical and popular works, as well as excerpts from musical theater. He is a Recipient of the Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award for contribution to excellence and devoted service in the field of teaching.
For the past four years, Mr. Pucciatti has implemented a collaboration between the Trenton Central High School Orchestra and the Music Department of Princeton University and its Orchestras. Students of the University give lessons to the TCHS players, and in exchange, the high school orchestra has been invited to perform several times at the University’s Rockefeller College. Last month, in tandem with this relationship, the TCHS Orchestra was invited to play for world-renowned Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel in a rare appearance through his Princeton University residency. TCHS students were further honored when Maestro Dudamel played violin with them, playing some of Mr. Pucciatti’s special arrangements alongside the students, while Mr. Pucciatti conducted. Last year, Mr. Pucciatti and his award-winning TCHS Orchestra were nominated by noted pop singer Sarah Dash for an Educational Grammy.
Co-Founder of Boheme Opera NJ with his wife Sandra, Mr. Pucciatti has just completed his 31st season. As Founding Artistic Director and Conductor, he has conducted 27 opera works. He introduced Nai-Ni Chen Dance Co. with Puccini’s Turandot in 2006 and made his directorial debut with Verdi’s Rigoletto in 2007.
In 2008, Mr. Pucciatti worked with former Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet Graham Lustig, mounting Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. He directed the company’s 2012 debut of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, introducing HD technology to the company’s main stage. Last year, he conducted Boheme’s 31st season production of Verdi’s Aida featuring a collaboration with Princeton Youth Ballet.
Since the founding of Boheme Opera NJ, Mr. Pucciatti has nurtured Boheme’s High School Apprenticeship Program, generating Invited Dress Rehearsals, Student Backstage Tours and College Internship. He has also been the author of opera adaptationsfor Boheme Opera’s student outreach program, Inside Opera, a hands-on curriculum-based program that with available funding, brings opera theater into public, parochial and private middle and high schools in Mercer County, having served over 7,500 students.
Mr. Pucciatti has been honored by the Italian-American Nat’l Hall of Fame, the Italian-American Society of Monroe Twp., NJ and the former Trenton Community Music School. Guest conductor of the former Greater Trenton Symphony Orchestra on several occasions, he was Music Director of The Greater Trenton Choral Society for 19 years. An inductee with International Who’s Who of Professionals, he now completes 40 years as Director of the Congregation Beth Chaim Choir of Princeton Junction.