Philadelphia composer/pianist studied composition with Romeo Cascarino. He studied voice with Dolores Ferraro and piano with Morton Berger, Temple Painter, Tom Lawton and jazz improvisation with Al Stauffer. Mr.Nocella received his Master of Music degree at Temple University where he studied composition with Robert Morgan, Clifford Taylor, Maurice Wright and Mathew Greenbaum. He attended master classes and lectures with Ned Rorem, David DelTredici, Robert Moog, Charles Dodge and John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet. His music has been performed by the Concerto Soloists (now The Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra), The National Association of Composers USA, Temple University Composer Series, The Penn Alliance for American Music, Composer Services Inc. and the Crissey Concerts for Philadelphia Composers at the Settlement School.

In 1981, he wrote for Tom Lawton the "Jazz Sonata" for piano, commissioned by the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association. In 1986, “Passage” for strings was performed under the baton of the composer’s cousin Dr. Peter Nocella with the Stockton Chamber Orchestra and he received the 1993 commission for a "Jazz Overture" performed by Orchestra 2001 and the Rowan Jazz Ensemble at the Rowan University Jazz Festival with Dennis DiBlasio Saxophone soloist, John Thysen conducting. In 1994, Jimmy Bruno along with the composer's brother Ronald premiered "Sonata for Two Guitars" for the Crissey Concerts. In 1998, he was commissioned by the Delaware County Interboro Ecumenical Festival Chorus, whereby he wrote the "Palm Sunday Cantata" for chorus, orchestra and soloists and in 1999 “Trio for Flute, Clarinet and Piano” was commissioned by Suburban Music School in Media, Pennsylvania where he had been a teacher. In the same year, he received a commission from the Franklin Institute to write music for a film documentary “The Story So Far” as part of a permanent exhibit. The millennium brought forth “The African Mariner” for Violin, Piano, Bass, Percussion and Narrators commissioned by the Independence Seaport Museum with Narration by Charlotte Blake Alston and Diane Monroe on Violin with text by Dr. Roberta Cooks. In April 2003, Delaware County Community College hosted a Retrospective of the Music of Joseph Nocella. where he also received their “Teacher of Excellence” award in 2005. In 2006, Sam Lorber performed the Sonata for Alto Saxophone for the Suburban Music School Faculty Concert Series with the composer on the piano and the fall of 2008 brought a commission from Director Stephen Smith to create music to set and accompany a Delaware County Community College production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”.

  His music has been broadcasted on National Public Radio and he has twice been a guest on WRTI’s “CROSSOVER” show with Jill Pasternak and Jack Berkel. Mr. Nocella has been reviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Atlantic City Press, Delaware County Times, Penn Sounds, Composer USA, 21st Century Music and the All About Jazz web site.

 He has served as the composition Co-chair for the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, and President of the local chapter of the National Association of Composers USA. Mr. Nocella is a long time member of the American Composers Forum, and the Organization for Church Musicians for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

  Mr. Nocella continues to be active as a pianist performing in a variety of venues. He served for 10 years as Organist/Choir director for St. Gabriel’s Church in Norwood PA. He was the pianist for the Delaware County Symphony Jazz ensemble as a part of their concert series at Neumann College, participated for 4 years in the Media Jazz by Night Festival, the Faculty Master Series at Suburban Music School and has appeared at many local jazz clubs throughout the Tri-State (PA,NJ,De) area. Recently, he was twice Composer-in-Residence for the Garnet Valley School District where he wrote “Two Suites for Concert Band”, “Fanfare for Brass” and “Two Spanish Dances for Flute and Guitar Ensemble” conducted by James Olson. He also composed a “Second Sonata for Piano” for Stephen Campitelli commissioned by Suburban Music School for its 25th Anniversary and presently, he is working on a commission from The New Jersey Tri-County Symphonic Band to be conducted by Joseph Forziati.

 In spring 2008 he was temporary full time faculty at Delaware County Community College where he continues to teach and is also Adjunct Professor of Music at Penn State University and Choir Director and organist for Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Darby, Pa.