James John conducts the Queens College Choir, Vocal Ensemble and Choral Society, teaches choral conducting, and serves as advisor to the graduate program in vocal performance. Past performances with the School of Music’s choral ensembles include Beethoven’ Missa Solemnis, an award winning production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Requiems by Mozart and Verdi, “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 many of New York’s prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Vocal Ensemble recently released its first CD, featuring premiere recordings of partsongs by Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn, and the Queens College Choir was selected to perform at the 2012 Eastern Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Providence, RI.
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. His guest conducting appearances include Avery Fisher Hall’s annual Messiah Sing-In, a concert of American choral music with the Virginia Chorale (Virginia’s only professional choral ensemble), chorus master for the Queens Symphony, regional honor choirs throughout New York State, and a recording with jazz trumpeter Michael Mossman. In June 2012 he led the Tokyo Oratorio Society in a performance of Brahms’s Requiem in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. He has given presentations at both divisional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, and is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States.
As a teacher and scholar, Dr. John has served as Guest Lecturer in conducting at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, and presented seminars on American choral music in Basel and Stockholm. In July 2011, he was appointed Editor of the American Choral Review, published by Chorus America. His dissertation on Brahms’s Nänie, Op. 82 won the Julius Herford Prize from the American Choral Directors Association and will be published soon in revised form as a book by The Edwin Mellen Press. His articles have appeared in Choral Journal, The American Choral Review, and the American Choral Foundation’s Research Memorandum Series.
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.