Fields of Study:
Choral and Orchestral Conducting, Vocal Performance
Degrees and Studies:
DMA, Eastman School of Music
As Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities in the Aaron Copland School of Music, James John conducts the Queens College Choir, Vocal Ensemble and Choral Society, runs the masters program in choral conducting, and serves as advisor to the graduate program in vocal performance. Dr. John also serves as Artistic Director of the Manhattan-based vocal ensemble, Cerddorion, a select chamber choir dedicated to adventurous programs that span the breadth of the choral repertoire, from medieval polyphony to newly commissioned works. Recent professional highlights include performances in Tokyo of Brahms's Requiem and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Tokyo Oratorio Society and Oratorio Sinfonica Japan, and an invited performance by the QC Choir at the 2012 Eastern Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Providence, RI.
Under Dr. John's leadership the choral program at the Aaron Copland School of Music has become recognized as one of the finest collegiate choral programs in the region. Past performances with the School of Music's ensembles include Mendelssohn's Elijah, Bach's Mass in B Minor, award winning productions of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, Argento's Postcard from Morocco and Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, "A Night at the Opera" with Queens College alumna Erika Sunnegårdh of the Metropolitan Opera, Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, and world premieres of works by Sidney Boquiren, Leo Kraft, Meg Collins Stoop and others. His choirs have performed in such prestigious New York venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Trinity Church Wall Street. Under his direction the QC Vocal Ensemble released its first CD, featuring premiere recordings of partsongs by Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn, and the QC Choir recorded Bright Sheng's Two Folksongs from Qinghai for the Naxos label.
In addition to his recent appearances in Tokyo, Dr. John's guest conducting engagements have included Avery Fisher Hall's annual Messiah Sing-In, a concert of American choral music with the Virginia Chorale (Virginia's only professional choral ensemble), and regional honor choirs throughout New York State. He has served as guest chorus master for the Queens Symphony, and participated in a choral recording with jazz trumpeter Michael Mossman, head of the School of Music's Jazz Performance Program. He has given presentations at national and divisional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, and is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. Dr. John has also prepared choirs for Josh Groban's recent appearance on the Tonight Show, for his appearance at the televised opening ceremonies of the 2015 U.S. Open, and for his Stages Tour in New York City.
As a teacher and scholar, Dr. John has served as Guest Lecturer in conducting at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, and has presented seminars on American choral music in Basel and Stockholm. His dissertation on Brahms's Nänie won the Julius Herford Prize from the American Choral Directors Association, and will be published in revised form as a book by Edwin Mellen Press. His articles have appeared in Choral Journal, American Choral Review, and Chorus America's Research Memorandum Series. In July 2011 he was appointed Editor of the biannual scholarly journal American Choral Review, and he has served as a member of ACDA's National Research and Publications Committee.
Prior to his current position at the Aaron Copland School of Music Dr. John served as Director of Choral Activities at Tufts University in Boston, Director of Choral Activities at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY, and as Dartmouth College's first Conducting Fellow.
Music Building 246