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Joseph Waddell Clokey was an educator, organist and composer of sacred and secular music in the first half of the 20th Century.
A student of Edgar Stillman Kelley, he served as dean of the School of Fine Arts at his alma mater, Miami University 1939-46 and had previously been professor of organ at Miami University (1916–1923) and Pomona College. He was a faculty initiate of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity, and was responsible for the arrangement of music used in the fraternity's traditions. As an undergraduate, he and Joseph M. Bachelor wrote the first song for the fraternity Phrenocon which later became Phi Kappa Tau.
His work included two symphonies, two orchestral suites, a string quartet, a cello and violin sonata, twelve choral works in large form, five operas, organ suites, many organ pieces and more than a hundred published choral works. His father (also named Joseph Clokey) was a Presbyterian pastor and this was certainly an influence on his focus on sacred music. He was one of the most widely sung composers in churches during the 1950s.
He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.
His adopted son, Art Clokey, is the creator of clay animation characters Gumby, Pokey and Davey and Goliath.
For a time, there was a building on the Miami University campus named Clokey Hall.
In 1987, composer John Ness Beck founded the John Ness Beck Foundation in memory of Clokey and Randall Thompson to promote traditional sacred choral music.
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