Dr. James Henry – Alumni Merit Award Recipient

Dr. James Henry

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Dr. James Henry

Henry received a Bachelor of Music in theory and composition and a Bachelor of Music Education, both from Southeast in 1987. He earned his doctoral degree in music composition from Washington University.

He is an associate professor and director of choral studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL) where he conducts the University Singers concert choir and Vocal Point a cappella ensemble. In addition to his duties at UMSL, Henry is the musical and artistic director of the four-time Barbershop Harmony Society’s (BHS) International Chorus Champions the Ambassadors of Harmony, a 120-voice men’s chorus.

Henry’s singing experience spans multiple genres. He currently sings bass with and arranges for BHS’ International Quartet Champions the Crossroads. Crossroads has performed around the world and is the 2016 recipient of the National Association for Music Education’s prestigious “Stand for Music” award for their efforts on behalf of music education.

Henry previously sang with the Gas House Gang, also BHS International Quartet Champions. The Gas House Gang performed in all 50 states and 15 countries in venues from the Grand Ole Opry to Carnegie Hall. Their numerous television and radio appearances include NBC’s “Today Show,” NPR’s “At the Creation” and several PBS specials. Henry has also served as bass section leader for the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus.

As a composer, Henry has won awards for his songs and piano pieces. He served for three years as composer-in-residence at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School under the aegis of Washington University, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Buder Foundation. He was also a music mentor for the “Music, Words, Opera” educational program sponsored by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Henry travels the world as a guest conductor, clinician and lecturer. He is a contributing author for the Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music and the Grove Dictionary of American Music. He has won several awards, including the International Leadership Network’s “Dare to Lead” and the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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