Dr. James Calhoun, is a graduate of the University of Southern CA, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a major in organ performance and a minor in church and sacred music. He completed 24 years of service as Organist, Choral Director, and Director of Music Ministries at the historic Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles (the oldest African-American Baptist congregation in Southern California). He currently serves as Organist at Holman United Methodist Church and Organist/Choral Director at the University Seventh-Day Adventist Church, both located in the Los Angeles area. As educator, he has served on the faculty of the following colleges and universities: Rio Hondo College (Whittier, CA), Loyola Marymount University (Westchester, CA), University of California at Irvine, Cypress College, and Los Angeles Harbor College. He brings to the university a highly diverse background in the performing arts.
Dr. Calhoun was featured in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Santa Maria Times, the Vineyard Gazette and the Vineyard Times, (Martha's Vineyard) for his work as musical director for several productions of Ain't Misbehavin. His musical expertise has taken him throughout the United States and abroad to countries such as New Zealand and Australia, where he performed at the World Expo (Brisbane, Australia). He has toured Jamaica and performed at the University of Kingston, West Indies. January 2006, he provided musical direction for Arizona Theater Company's production of Crowns, which received rave reviews in Tucson, Phoenix, Portland, and Louisville. March 2006, Dr. Calhoun toured Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Essen, and Vienna with the Paul Smith Singers and the Pacific Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Carl St. Clair. He recently performed in a masterclass given by Jean Guillou, internationally renowned organist and composer. Dr. Calhoun performed one of the composer's seminal works, Toccata, one of the most technically challenging works in organ literature. March 2010 he performed with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers in concert at Lincoln Center (Avery Fisher Hall), both as soloist and accompanist, and in May he will return to Carnegie Hall with the Gwen Wyatt Chorale of Los Angeles.