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Introducing Joel Rinsema, US Choral Promotion Manager

Joel Rinsema joined OUP in March 2017. We caught up with him to find out what exactly being a ‘Choral Promotion Manager’ for North America involves, how much coffee he drinks, and what his life was like before he joined the Press.

When did you start working at OUP?

In my previous life, I worked with the multiple Grammy award winning Phoenix Chorale (USA) for 23 years in many capacities: as a singer, as Assistant Conductor and as President/CEO. I relocated to Denver, Colorado three years ago to conduct the wonderful choral group Kantorei, a role I still hold alongside my OUP work. I also worked in church music for over 25 years.

What do you do in your role as Choral Promotion Manager of North America for OUP?

I represent OUP composers in North America, promoting the existing catalogue, as well as trying to procure North American premieres and commissions. Much of my time is spent communicating with leaders of educational and professional choral ensembles, introducing them to OUPs offerings.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found about working at OUP?

How quickly I started to use British colloquialisms. I have to fight off saying the word ‘peckish’ when I haven’t had breakfast.

What’s the least surprising?

How nice, intelligent, funny and collaborative my co-workers are.

What is your typical day like at OUP?

Coffee, email, coffee, web searches, coffee, phone calls, coffee, meetings, coffee.

What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

Skype-ing. Being a remote employee means spending a lot of time at my desk in front of the computer and on the phone. It’s always nice to see and speak with a real live human being albeit on my computer screen, rather than staring at web pages.

What’s the least enjoyable?

When technology isn’t working, and when I’ve run out of coffee.

Open the book you’re currently reading and turn to page 75. Tell us the title of the book, and the third sentence on that page.

From Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth:  ‘In pursuit of those estimates, she combed through the available evidence, searching for signs of intellectual precocity –and from the age and superiority of these accomplishments she reckoned each person’s childhood IQ.’

Tell us about one of your proudest moments at work.

Probably standing on the Grammy Award stage with my colleagues of the Phoenix Chorale.

If you could trade places with any one person for a week, who would it be and why?

Bill Gates. Not as the computer genius, but as the generous philanthropist. Whilst I think that I am able to make a difference in the job(s) I hold, having the nearly unlimited resources of Bill and Melinda Gates, and the ability to give freely to causes they are passionate about, and their impact on making the world a better place, is enviable.

What drew you to work for OUP in the first place? What do you think about that now?

It was really the opportunity to work for a highly respected business with a long and established history of excellence. I have a deeper appreciation, understanding and respect for Oxford University Press now I have joined the team.

How would you sum your job up in 3 words?

Promoter, Communicator, Matchmaker.

What is your favourite word?

Elevate. I like this word, as it can have many different meanings. To ‘raise’, to ‘lighten’, ‘to bring exposure to’. (Yes, I’ve consulted with the Oxford dictionary!).  I like to think that I do this with the choral art form in every aspect of my life.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Anything outdoors: skiing, fishing, camping, golfing, boating, hiking, biking.

Featured image credit: Coffee beans by Alexas Fotos. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay. 

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