Don James, founder and music director of the Powell River Academy of music and the International Choral Kathaumixw, is one of Canada’s leading choral conductors. He is the recipient of many awards including the Order of Canada and the Willan Award in recognition of his distinguished service to choral music. He holds diplomas and degrees in piano performance, music theory and literature and orchestral and choral conducting from the University of Toronto, Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington. His conducting career includes opera, orchestra, choral/orchestral works and Broadway musicals. He has commissioned several new works for choirs including fully staged music dramas for singers, instruments and dancers.
Beginning with young singers in 1975, Mr. James has developed a comprehensive choral program at the Powell River Academy of Music encompassing singers of all ages. This program includes ten choirs, five conductors, two voice teachers and two accompanists.
Don James ist außerdem Gründer und Musikalischer Direktor des Internationalen Chorfestivals in Kathaumixw (British Columbia, Kanada). Häufig wird er eingeladen, um bei Festivals auf der ganzen Welt als Gastdirigent, Juror und Redner tätig zu sein.
During his career, Mr. James has initiated and developed many national and international projects and events. Mr. James is engaged frequently as a guest conductor, lecturer, adjudicator and clinician. He served as president of the Association of Canadian Choral conductors (1983-1988), board member of the International Federation of Choral Music (1985-1996), and board member of the World Symposium III on Choral Music (1990-1994). Currently Mr. James is president of the British Columbia Association of Community Music schools and board member of the British Columbia Choral Federation.
In 1997 Don James was conductor of the Polish-German choral academy „in terra pax“.