WMU Home > About WMU > WMU News

WMU News

Bass named director of choral activities

April 20, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Dr. James K. Bass, a talented performer with 14 years of conducting experience, has been appointed director of choral activities for Western Michigan University's School of Music.

In this position, he will conduct the WMU Collegiate Singers, University Chorale and Grand Chorus, and also will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in choral conducting, education and literature.

Bass' predecessors have established nearly a century-long legacy of excellence that began with choral director Harper C. Maybee in 1913, and continued with Elwyn Carter, 1945 to 1959; Thomas C. Hardie, 1960 to 1973; Milvern K. "Mel" Ivey, 1973 to 1990; Dr. Craig S. Arnold, 1991 to 1998; and Dr. Joe M. Miller, 1999 to 2006. Dr. Margaret Merrion, dean of the College of Fine Arts, expects that Bass' appointment will uphold and extend this legacy.

"Dr. Bass has already demonstrated extraordinary talent in choral musicianship this year," Merrion says. "Having him in our program on a continuing basis gives us a level of confidence that the School of Music will continue on its trajectory of distinction."

Bass joined WMU's School of Music in June 2006 as interim director of choral activities. Previously, he was director of choral activities at the University of Central Florida. He also conducted ensembles at the University of Miami, the Master Choral of Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Youth Orchestra. Bass served as choral director and head cantor at Holy Protection Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Dover, Fla., and director of choral and orchestral activities at Howard W. Blake High School for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Fla.

In addition to being a skilled director, Bass has performed as a bass soloist for many years, appearing in Carnegie Hall on two separate occasions. He also has served as a guest clinician and judge for numerous choral and orchestral ensembles and events. Bass received a doctoral degree in musical arts from the University of Miami (Fla.), and earned his master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of South Florida.

Bass' appointment will be effective pending final approval by the WMU Board of Trustees at its upcoming April 27 meeting.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400