Sock Joplin (Joshua Thompson) is a pianist, social musicologist, teaching artist and producer. Known onstage as Sock Joplin, he is increasingly recognized on a national scale for his expertise on classical composers of African descent and the inherent cultural connectivity in the broader aesthetic of Black Arts movements. As the 2020 Beckman Emerging Artist Fellow of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, he successfully completed his residency at the Africana Studies Center for Music and Society at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, followed by a performing/teaching residency at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. As the first Musicologist in Residence with Classical Music Indy, Thompson was recently appointed as the Creative Partner in Residence with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra for the 2023-24 season.
In 2004, Joshua obtained a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana. He deftly merged his music and advocacy paths through performances, appearances and worked closely with an expanding range of national cultural arts organizations, social agencies, and universities to facilitate access to educational resources. The Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Indiana Arts Commission, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Marian University, Butler University, the University of Puget Sound, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Winds, Classical Music Indy, Arts for Lawrence, Arts for Learning, Morning Brown, Inc., Indy Jazz Fest have all worked with Mr. Thompson in this capacity.
Joshua has worked with legendary bassist John Clayton, Smithsonian Research Fellow Dr. William C. Banfield, touring pianist Ric’key Pageot, Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Davis, renowned clarinetist Anthony McGill, and international operatic soprano Angela Brown.
In October 2019, he was a featured presenter for the popular TED Talk series. His award-winning podcast series Melanated Moments in Classical Music with co-host Angela Brown, is currently in its fourth season of production and won 2020 Best Music Podcast from the Black Podcasting Awards and was recently featured in the British publication, Alternative Classical, and the Miami Times.