James Michael Thompson is the founder of the Schola Cantorum of St. Peter the Apostle. After initial schooling in Saint Louis, Missouri, he received his bachelor’s degree in music history and German from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, and his master’s degree in church music from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois. He made seminary studies at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, Missouri, and Saint Sophia Ukranian Orthodox Seminary, South Bound Brook, New Jersey. After a brief time teaching chant and New Testament to deacon candidates at Christ the Savior Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Seminary in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and Latin at Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, he moved back to Chicago in 1988 to become the Director of Music Ministry at Saint Peter’s in the Loop, a large Roman Catholic church in the business district of Chicago which is staffed by the Franciscan Friars. He held this post from 1988 to June 1999. From 2001 to 2007, he was the professor of ecclesiastical chant at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the cantor/director of music at the Byzantine Catholic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Munhall, Pennsylvania, and a member of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia’s Inter-Eparchial Commission Music Commission (IEMC). Author, editor, composer of various works, he is well known in the Midwest for choral and liturgical work.
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