The American choral conductor, music pedagogue and composer, Joel Babcock Hayden, Jr., was the son of Joel Babcock and Hazel Hayden. He was educated in the schools of Cleveland and Hudson, Ohio, graduating cum laude from Western Reserve Academy in 1939. He attended Deep Springs Junior College in Deep Springs, California, from 1939 to 1941. In 1943 he graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, receiving a bachelor's degree with a major in music from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. During the summers of 1947, 1948 and 1956 he attended Middlebury College Russian Summer School in Vermont doing graduate work in Russian language studies. He received his Ph.D. in history in 1958, with Russia as the area of specialization, from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He went on to receive his master of music degree in choral conducting in 1979 from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. From 1944 to 1946 he was a member of the Navy holding the rank of lieutenant junior grade.
Joel Hayden began his teaching career at the St. Louis Country Day School, Berkeley, Missouri., where he taught from 1951 to 1953. From 1954 to 1956 he taught history and Russian at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. He was co-founder of The Meeting School, a secondary-level Quaker boarding school, in Rindge, New Hampshire, in 1957, remaining as a faculty member until 1973. He also was director of counseling and career planning at Nasson College in Springvale, Maine, from 1973 to 1976. Joel then went on to be a professor of music at the University of Maine at Farmington from 1981 until retirement as professor emeritus in 1993.
Joel Hayden was choir director at Protestant Chapel, Pease Air Force Base, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from May to December of 1976. He was also interim choir director at Leverinton Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for April and May of 1977. He later became choir director at Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook, Maine from 1979 to 1982. His accomplishments included being founding director of community choruses in Middlebury, Vermont.; Peterborough, New Hampshire (Monadnock Chorus 1959-1973); Springvale (Sanford-Springvale community chorus 1973-76); Portland, Maine, (Portland Community Chorus 1979-1982); Farmington, (University of Maine at Farmington Community Chorus 1985-1993). For many years he gave private instruction in music theory, piano and Russian language. During many summers since 1961 he led group singing at various "Camps Farthest Out," week long, nondenominational Christian retreats.
His chief avocation and great love was musical composition, which he pursued from boyhood until his death. Joel Hayden always wrote, not just to be writing, but for specific people or groups or occasions. His compositions include cantatas for chorus and orchestra (which he directed), chamber music (for friends to play), works for piano and organ (for his wife Patricia), and songs and rounds (some of which have been published) to be used at schools and retreats where he led the singing.
Among his interests were chess, bridge, organic gardening and sports. At Western Reserve Academy Joel Hayden was captain of the soccer team and held the school record in the low hurdles. A major focus of his love and attention was prayer and devotions. He participated in prayer groups, worked on church committees and co-founded a small group in Farmington called the Peacemakers.
Joel Hayden was the recipient of the Waring Prize, the highest honor that his alma mater, Western Reserve Academy, can bestow on an alumnus. In 1991 he and his wife, Patricia, were honored with the "Friends of UMF" Alumni Award at the University of Maine at Farmington. As a Quaker educator, he made trips to the Soviet Union; in 1961 for the American Friends Service Committee; in 1962 for Earlham College; and in 1964, leading a group of college-age young people on a trip by truck, camping behind the Iron Curtain.
Joel Babcock Hayden Jr. married Ruth Fogel in February 1949. She passed in January 1979. He then married Patricia M. Park (Burton) in August 1979. He passed away on March 22, 2014, at Orchard Park Rehabilitation & Living Center in Farmington, age 92. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, of Farmington; his son, David Hayden, of Brattleboro, Vt.; his son, Douglas Hayden and his wife, Joan Karp, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; his daughter, Rebecca Hayden and her husband, Scott Ruescher, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; his stepson, Thomas Park, of Sanford; his stepson, James Park, and his partner, Petra Montaven, of Phoenix, Arizona; one grandchild; four stepgrandchildren; and a nephew, a niece and their families. He was predeceased by his first wife, Ruth, sister Jean Guarnaccia and brother-in-law Samuel Guarnaccia, and his sister-in-law, Joanne Burton Whisler.