Upcoming Brazos Valley Chorale Concerts
All That Jazz
February 22, 6:30pm
I Hear America Singing
May 4, 3pm
For more information about the Brazos Valley Chorale, visit BVChorale.org
Meet James Franklin
By Sarah Kinzbach
James Franklin is surrounded by voices. As a choir director and conductor, instructor and musical doctoral candidate, voices are not only his job but also his passion.
An initial introduction to singing through church and a bad band experience led James to pursue choir through middle school, high school, college, and beyond. He now serves as chorale director for the Brazos Valley Chorale in addition to his position at Sam Houston State University as the director for chorale studies.
“I’ve always loved to sing,” says James. “I just continued singing. I love being on both sides of the podium- as a conductor and singer.”
James’ love of singing and choir has led him around the nation and Europe in pursuit of musical education and performing. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, a master’s in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College in New Jersey, is working towards a doctorate from the University of North Texas, and continues to attend educational opportunities in Europe. Additionally, James has performed with many professional choirs around the country, including Orpheus Chamber Singers, Dallas Bach Society, Houston Bach Society, Texas Choral Artists, Fuma Sacra of New Jersey, and the South Dakota Chorale.
“The music field is incredibly rewarding. There’s so much satisfaction gained. It’s something bigger than who you are as a person, following in the lines of great teachers and singers…some of it’s hundreds of years old.”
James began with the all-volunteer singers of the Brazos Valley Chorale in August 2013, facing one of the most difficult concert line-ups in the history of the organization. “The group rose to the occasion and did great showings,” says James. “It’s been a great fall. The members of the organization are absolute gems. It’s been fantastic to meet people who are working within the community…and yet keep music as a center part of their lives.”
The Chorale, which began in 1969 as the Community Singers, currently has 120 singers. The season hosts four big concerts including a collaborative concert with the Brazos Valley Orchestra, a holiday concert, a Pops concert, and a conductor’s choice performance. This year’s conductor performance will focus on American music and include works from American composers and poets like Leonard Bernstein and other contemporary artists.
For burgeoning singers James advises, “study, learn and grow as often and as much as you can. Typically, people who make it in the music profession…can do more than one thing well. Hone your skill set.” James adds that getting involved with the Brazos Valley Chorale only requires a relaxed and friendly audition.
Looking forward, James says, “I’ve not really ever had my eye set on the next rung of the ladder. I just put my head down and enjoy being where I am. It’s really brought me a lot of success and provided the next step, wherever it is.”