James’ professional mission is to realize the potential of music-making as a force for social change, community building, and personal wellbeing, which he aims to enact as a university educator, published theorist, composer, performer, and community advocate. Currently James is a Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor at Northeastern University, and a Teaching Fellow for interdisciplinary music courses offered through Harvard’s Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative, and music department. James is also the Managing Director of Cambridge Common Voices, a community chorus established in partnership between Harvard College and the Threshold Program at Lesley University, a transition program for young adults with diverse learning challenges. Additionally James has a background in church music and choir directing.
James completed his Ph.D. in Music: Integrative Studies at the University of California, San Diego, where he was a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow. During the 2018-2019 academic year James was the Frederick Douglass Teaching Scholars Fellow at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where he taught full-time in the music department while directing diversity projects. His academic work explores the embodied cognition of music learning, specifically music theory. James actively presents his work, most recently at Harvard University, and at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. A west coast native, James has also taught courses at UC San Diego, Hall-Musco Conservatory at Chapman University, Azusa Pacific University, and Life Pacific College. He has a masters degree in music composition, a BA in music theory, and studied audio recording at the Aspen Music Festival and School.