James John is in his 12th season as Artistic Director of Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble. He is also Professor of Conducting and Director of Choral Activities at the Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM), Queens College-CUNY, where he directs the Queens College Vocal Ensemble and Queens College Choral Society and heads the graduate program in choral conducting.
Under Dr. John’s leadership, the choral program at ACSM has become recognized as one of the finest collegiate choral programs in the region. His choirs have appeared in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Trinity Church Wall Street. Outside of New York City, Queens College choral ensembles have performed at state and divisional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. His ACSM ensembles are featured on two recordings: The Partsongs of Hamish MacCunn, released by QC Vocal Ensemble with funding from the PSC-CUNY Research Foundation; and Songs of Peace and Praise, a compilation of choral music by Queens College composers, released on the NAXOS label.
Dr. John’s guest conducting appearances include Brahms’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Tokyo Oratorio Society and Oratorio Sinfonica Japan; the annual Messiah Sing-In at David Geffen Hall; a concert of American choral music with the Virginia Chorale; and honor choirs throughout New York State. He has served as guest chorus master for the Queens Symphony and participated in a recording with jazz trumpeter Michael Mossman, head of ACSM’s Jazz Performance Program. Dr. John has also contracted choirs for Josh Groban, including appearances on The Tonight Show and the opening ceremonies of the U.S. Open, as well as for Mr. Groban’s Stages tour dates 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 presented seminars on American choral music in Basel and Stockholm. He has given presentations at both divisional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. His dissertation on Brahms’s Nänie, Op. 82 won the ACDA’s Julius Herford Prize, and from 2011-2016 he was editor of the scholarly journal American Choral Review, published biannually by Chorus America. He has also served as a member of ACDA’s National Research and Publications Committee.
Dr. John received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music. His prior appointments include Director of Choral Activities at both Tufts University (Boston) and Nassau Community College (Garden City, NY), as well as Conducting Fellow at Dartmouth College. He received his Master of Arts in Conducting from the Aaron Copland School of Music.