James Jordan is recognized and praised around the musical world as one of the nation’s pre-eminent conductors, writers, and innovators in choral music. The most published performer/author in the world, he has authored more than 30 books on all aspects of the choral art, and he has been described as a “visionary” by The Choral Journal. His book Evoking Sound was named as a “must read” on a list of six books by The Choral Journal. At Westminster Choir College, he is Professor and Senior Conductor and conducts the Westminster Schola Cantorum and the Westminster Williamson Voices.
Jordan has made two recordings of the music of James Whitbourn with the Westminster Williamson Voices on the Naxos label. Another recording, Angels in the Architecture, has also garnered wide critical acclaim. Gramophone hailed him as a conductor of “forceful and intimate choral artistry” and regarding the recording of Annelies, Choir and Organ wrote, “Jordan’s instinctive understanding of the score makes this a profound and emotionally charged experience.” Reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic have praised the Westminster Williamson Voices as “without peer” (American Record Guide), noting that the ensemble “performed with utmost truth and precision” and with “supreme artistry” (The Choral Journal), and “sing with a precision and finesse normally found in the best of the UK’s large chamber choirs” (Gramophone).
Jordan’s career and publications have been devoted to innovative educational changes in the choral art, which have been embraced around the world. His writings have shaped far-reaching changes in conducting pedagogy and the teaching of rhythm applying Laban Effort/Shape to music teaching at all levels. In 2012, he received the Iorio Research Prize from Rider University.
Jordan’s residencies, master classes, and guest conducting have taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. He has conducted more than 30 All-State Choirs. In 2009, he was named to the choral panel for The National Endowment for the Arts. He serves as artistic director of the Westminster Conducting Institute, one of the nation’s leading summer programs for the training and education of conductors, and this summer inaugurates the Westminster Choral Institute at Oxford, a unique partnership with St. Stephen’s House, one of the Halls of Oxford University.
1) Workshop: Chant as Improvisation
2) Workshop: Teaching Phrase and Musical Artistry through A Laban Based Pedagogy
3) Handout: The Anatomy of Tone