Chief Musician Joe McCarthy is a native of Meriden, Connecticut, where he graduated from Maloney High School in 1983. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance from The Hartt School of Music in 1988, and a master’s degree in percussion performance from the University of North Texas in 1992.
Upon graduation, MUC McCarthy taught percussion and music theory at Texas Wesleyan University in Ft Worth, Texas and performed with The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Ft Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Jazz Orchestra. At the top of his profession, he won a Latin Grammy Award in 2008 for music recorded with his Latin Jazz Ensemble, Afro Bop Alliance.
In 1994, MUC McCarthy auditioned and was selected for assignment to the Naval Academy Band. Upon completion of recruit training at RTC, Great Lakes, Illinois, he reported to Annapolis as drummer in the Navy’s premier contemporary ensemble, Electric Brigade. He has served as percussionist in the wind ensemble, marching band, Next Wave jazz ensemble, and ceremonial units, and has been a featured soloist with the wind ensemble and in recital. He has held the position of Principal Percussionist in the wind ensemble and drummer in the Superintendant’s Combo since 1999. MUC McCarthy is the Unit Leader for the Next Wave jazz ensemble as well as Auditions Supervisor.
MUC McCarthy has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 awards), Navy Good Conduct (5 awards), National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.