Jim Taylor is Director of Choral Activities at Kilgore College, where he directs the Kilgore College Chorale, the Camerata Singers, the East Texas Community Chorus, and the Kilgore College Children’s Chorus. He also teaches Composition, Guitar, Music Appreciation, and Applied Voice. Under his direction the Kilgore College choirs have performed the Brahms Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, the Beethoven Choral Fantasy, Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G, and many smaller works. He was one of six instructors at Kilgore College to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2012-13 academic year.
Prior to coming to Kilgore, Dr. Taylor completed a doctoral degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he was Narramore Scholar from 2006-8. Earlier work was done at the University of Miami, the University of North Texas, and Florida Atlantic University. He studied under Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival in 1996, and with Richard Miller at Oberlin College in the summer of 1999, with further workshop experience under Robert Shaw, John Rutter, Paul Salumonovich, Sir David Willcocks, and others. His inquiry into the choral arrangements of Alice Parker and Robert Shaw has been the subject of a dissertation at the University of Alabama and an article in the Choral Journal.
Dr. Taylor made his European conducting debut in 2005, conducting the Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus just after Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution,” performing the Mozart Mass in C Minor and works by Ravel, Copland, and John Williams. He was invited to return in 2006 and again in 2008 to conduct the KSOC in performances of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Britten’s Cantata misericordium and Haydn’s Paukenmesse.
Jim has extensive experience in the field of church music, having served churches in a full-time music ministry in Florida, Colorado, and Alabama from 1982 to 2006. It was during this time that he founded the Jacksonville (FL) Children’s Chorus, which grew to 100 singers under his leadership. The JCC performed at Carnegie Hall three times in children’s festivals, at Walt DisneyWorld, and at major venues in Jacksonville, and now numbers over 350 children.
Dr. Taylor’s choral compositions are published by Oxford University Press, Hinshaw Music, Roger Dean Music, Choristers Guild, Colla Voce, and other publishers. His choral work, “Three Short Pieces on Old English Texts,” was 2nd prize winner at the 32nd annual Choral Composition Contest at Ithaca College in 2010. Recently, his “The 23rd Psalm” was selected for J.W. Pepper’s Editor’s Choice List for Spring, 2013.
Jim and his wife, Karen, have three grown children and three grandchildren.