James Jordan

GRAMMY®-nominated conductor James Jordan is recognized and praised around the musical world as one of America’s pre-eminent conductors, writers and innovators in choral music. He was described as a “visionary” by The Choral Journal, which cited his book Evoking Sound as a “must read.” The most published musician/author in the world, his 35 books form the canon for teaching of conductors and choirs world wide. At Westminster Choir College he is professor and senior conductor, and conducts Westminster Schola Cantorum and the internationally acclaimed Westminster Williamson Voices.

Dr. Jordan has studied with the legendary conductors and scholars of the past 40 years, including Elaine Brown, Wilhelm Ehmann, Frauke Haasemann, Volker Hempfling and the renowned music psychologist Edwin Gordon. His career as a conductor began as a finalist in the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy.

This year, Dr. Jordan will make his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Stabat Mater of Paul Mealor in addition to premiering Mealor’s Symphony No. 1 at St. Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen Scotland. Dr. Jordan has been honored as a distinguished alumnus at both Susquehanna University and Temple University. He was awarded the distinguished Doctor of Music by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in 2014 to honor his artistry and contributions to choral music throughout the world. The University, established in 1485, has awarded degrees throughout its history to only two Americans: Dr. Jordan and Morten Lauridsen. He also shares this honor with Gustav Holst, Benjamin Britten and Dame Joan Sutherland.


James Jordan’s 2019 Fall Institute Events

Thursday, October 17

Choral Conducting Intensive – Part 1
Breakout 1 (9:00 AM – 10:15 AM) | Gratz Room 5G

Join master teacher, James Jordan as he details important aspects of the Conductor’s Architecture that transform the sound of any choir.

Choral Conducting Intensive – Part 2
Breakout 3 (1:15 PM – 2:30 PM) | Gratz Room 5G

A continuation of Part I, master teacher, James Jordan further unpacks the important aspects of the Conductor’s Architecture. 

Friday, October 18

Chant Improvisation
Breakout 5 (10:15 AM – 11:30 AM) | Gratz Room 5G

James Jordan discusses the benefits of using plainchant as an essential pedagogy for teaching intonation, phrasing, and understanding of musical line—while building community within an ensemble.

Evoking Sound Choral Series Reading Session
Reading Session 1 (1:00 PM – 2:15 PM) | Buchanan Chapel

Join James Jordan as he walks through some of his favorite new pieces in the Evoking Sound Choral Series and uncovers some pieces you should know more about.

Teaching Musicianship through Movement

Breakout 7 (4:15 PM – 5:30 PM) | Gratz Room 5G

Explores how to organize and sequence movement activities in a choral setting to increase artistry and help raise the performance level of any ensemble, regardless of age. Building on the ideas of Rudolf von Laban and Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory, James Jordan creates an exciting new rhythm/movement pedagogy.