In Memoriam: Professor Joseph Docksey

Dec 14, 2023

Dear DU community members,

It is with great sadness that I write to share the news that Joseph “Joe” Docksey, a longtime faculty member and former Director of the Lamont School of Music, passed away on Saturday December 9, 2023.

Joe was beloved by many colleagues and alumni for his wise and collaborative spirit. His contributions as a faculty member and administrator are described as truly transformative for our institution. His unfailing commitment to DU’s School of Music has left an indelible mark on the university.

Joe earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Michigan State University and was an alumnus of DU, earning his Master of Music in Trumpet Performance and Conducting from Lamont in 1974. He served as a professor at DU starting in 1974 and held many important roles in the school including chairing the Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Department and conducting the internationally recognized Lamont Wind Ensemble. Joe’s impactful leadership as Director of the Lamont School spanned from 1988 until his retirement in 2011. This included the design of, and transition to, the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts, which was recognized by the city of Denver with the “Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.”

In addition to his contributions to DU, Joe was active in notable performance groups. He was a founding member and trumpeter for the internationally performing Aries Brass Quintet, served as the principal trumpet for the Denver Brass, and contributed to multiple professional recordings. He was inducted into the “Denver Brass Hall of Fame” in 2003.

A celebration of his life is planned to be held at DU in January. For more details on the celebration, please reach out to Angela Mitchell (


Jenn Bellamy
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

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