Compositions 

  • Click here for a list of Instrumental Works: Orchestral, Piano & Chamber, Jazz/Fusion Works, Electronic, Selected Arrangements (since 2015).
  • Click here for a list of Vocal Works: Choral (with/without Orchestra), Art Songs, Jazz/Pop Songs, Selected Arrangements (since 2015). 
  • PDF versions of some of these compositions, when they have links, are available without charge at IMSLP. Some compositions have links to YouTube performances of them. Other works listed might not be freely available at this time.
  • Please contact James McGowan directly via email to ask permission to publicly perform or record any of his works and/or to notify him of any known public performance or recording. 

Instrumental Works


She Will Thrive. 3d1, 2, 3d1, 2 - 4, 3, 2, 1, timp, 2p, str. 7 min. Score and parts are available on IMSLP.org, 2019. 

Restless City. 2+1, 2d1, 2d1, 2+1 - 4, 3, 3, 1, timp, 3p, harp, str. 15 min. Score is available; please email the composer. Parts available soon. 2019, rev. from 1993 work.

Toccata for Orchestra. 2.5 min, 2001.


Concert Piece 3 min, 1992.

[Other orchestral works, with choir, are listed with in the Choral Music section]

"Birthday Suite" - Suite in d for Keyboard in Baroque Style - eight-movement—Prelude, Fugue, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gavotte I, Gavotte II, Gigue—for piano or harpsichord, 25-minute work (2020).

"Brooklyn 99/Univeral Double Fugue" - Versions for flute and piano, violin and piano, and piano (2020).

"Thank You for the Music" Fugue - Versions for strings (violin, violin/viola, cello) and woodwind trio (oboe, clarinet, bassoon) (2019).

O Canada Double Fugue - Versions for piano (2005), organ (2020), and string orchestra (2020).

Ceremonial Recessional for Brass Quartet and Organ (2015). 

Rain in Spain" Fugue - piano  (2013).

The Climb" Prelude and Fugue. - piano (2013). 

Suite for Trumpet and Piano (2010, original version 1997).

Wedding Processional (trumpet and organ), 2003

Sonata for Violin and Piano (1992, rev. 2001). Score and part are available.

Contrapuntal Pieces: 3-Voice Fugue in f, 4-Voice Fugue in e, 3-Voice Fugue in G. 
Invention in C minor, Invention in D minor, “Empty Hollow: Double Fugue.”
 
Prelude for Piano (free atonal): 1994
Variations for 2 clarinets: 1991
Duo for Violin and Cello; 2 movements: 1990
Quintet for Trumpet and Strings, 3 mvts: 1990
Largo and Allegro (string orchestra): 1988
Sestet (piano, clarinet, string quartet; 3 mvts): 1988
Are You Still Awake? (violin, guitar, bass): 1988
Serenade for String Orchestra: 1987

2020 “Blue Lament” - jazz composition. 
2020 “Brookstreet Special”
2019 “Corean Poultry” - arrangement for septet: trumpet, 2 saxophones, trombone, piano, bass, drums.
2019 “Alone in a Crowd”
2019 “Chaconne and Fugue” (Recorded on Modasaurus album 4K)
2019 “Tripping Triceratops”
2019 “Augmented Reality”
2018 “Hey Bud!” (Recorded on Modasaurus album 4K)
2019 “Winding Way” (Recorded on Modasaurus album 4K)
2018 “The Four Kids” (Recorded on Modasaurus album 4K)
2017 “Crazy Ceilidh” (Recorded on Modasaurus album 4K)
2017 “Inner Piece”
2017 “Minding My Time”
2016 “Khaleegy”  (Recorded on Modasaurus album 4K)
2016 “Cereal and Eggs” (Recorded on Modasaurus album Two Intents)
2016 “August Evening” (Recorded on Modasaurus album Two Intents)
2015 “Dancing Preacher” (Recorded on Modasaurus album Two Intents)
2015 “Corean Poultry”
2014 “Funky Pterodactyl” (Recorded on Modasaurus album Two Intents)
2014 “Seeking” (Recorded on Modasaurus album Two Intents)
2014 “Prime Time” (Recorded on Modasaurus album Two Intents)
2013 “FreeFallFunk” (Recorded on Modasaurus album Two Intents)
2013 “Seen My Jawa?” (Recorded on Modasaurus album 4K)
2011 “New Beginning” (Recorded on Modasaurus album Two Intents)

Dots, Lines and Spaces: 1994
Ghosties: 1994
Sections: 1993
Centrefugue: 1993
Pulses: 1992
Minimal Miles: 1992
Some Songs: 1992
Commercial: 1991
Images III: 1989
Images II: 1988
Images: 1988

2020 "No Time to Die" for String Trio - 3 minutes. Arr for two violins and cello. 

2019 “ABBA Suite for String Trio” (Lay All Your Love on Me; Knowing Me, Knowing You; Money, Money, Money; My Love, My Life; Mamma Mia)- 20 minutes duration. Arrangement for two violins and cello of five songs by ABBA, presented as a multi-movement suite. 

2018 “What a Wonderful World” for string septet. (3 violins, 1 cello, 2 guitars, and piano).

2018 “Three Beatles songs” (Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude, All You Need is Love) for String trio. Arrangement for two violins and cello of five songs by the Beatles.

2016 “Cantina Band” (J. Williams) arr. for violin, cello, and piano

2016 “O Canada” (C. Lavalee) arr. for violin, cello, and piano

2016 “Over My Head (Spiritual)” arr. for violin, cello, and piano

2015 “The Best of Star Wars” (arrangement for intermediate-level strings and piano)

Vocal Works

With Orchestra or large ensemble:

Glory to Love; SATB b/m (baritone or mezzo-soprano solo), versions for 1) piano, brass quintet, and timpani (score and parts available), 2) chamber orchestra, and 3) piano (score available). Four inter-connected movements, original secular text (2019). Adapted from previous choral-orchestral version "Glory!" (2001), 11 min.

Passion Cantata; SATBst (soprano & tenor solos), piano, organ, two flutes. 5 movements, sacred text by James McGowan and Nicene Creed (2000). 20 min.

The Advent of Our King (Cantata); SATBsat, (soprano, alto, & tenor solos), oboe, string quartet & keyboard, 6 movements, sacred text by Charles Coffin, 1736, translated by John Chandler, based on the tune "St. Thomas" by Aaron Williams, 1770 (1998). 18 min.

Heal Me, O My Saviour Heal (cantata); SABs (soprano solo), violin/flute, cello, & organ. 6 movements, sacred text by Godfrey Thring (1866), based on old hymn tune (1997). 24 min.

Ideals of Youth; cantata - SATBs (soprano solo) with orchestra. Four inter-connected movements, secular text by James McGowan, based on poems of Grade 12 students at Etobicoke School of the Arts; commissionned for ESA 10th anniversary (1991). 11 min

Congregational Songs from Trinity; Unison with optional harmony, keyboard accompaniment. Sacred texts; Lyrics by Eleanor Barrington, Dennis Manning, James McGowan: All Generations; Caminamos a Navidad; Dropping Pebbles; God is Infinite; Love is Our Bottom Line; New Life Will Rise Again; Spirit Commission; Trinity Choral Prayer; We Are Not Alone (A New Creed); What Shall I Pour Out? 2012–2017).

Sing with All the Saints; SATB and SA versions, piano. Anthem (sacred text and music by JM) (2000 rev. 2015). 3 min.

I'm Only a Child; two-part, notated & improvised piano & multi-media; Secular Text by Severn Suzuki-Cullis (2008). 9 min.

Six Spirituals; SATB, piano. Arr available for SSAB. Arrangements of African-American spirituals: Steal Away; Wade in the Water; Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho; Hammering; Sweet Little Jesus Boy; It Was Poor Little Jesus; for mixed choir and piano (2001). 24 min

Jazz Mass; two-part, keyboard accompaniment. Congregational setting of Anglican eucharist liturgy (all in English, except Kyrie Eleison), 1993. Movements: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus-Benedictus, Sursum Corda, Pax, Acclamation #1, Acclamation #2, The Lord's Prayer, Agnus Dei, Three-fold Amen (1993). 16 min.

"Celtic Air” SATB choir, bagpipes and piano, by Tim Reid and James McGowan (2015)

I Remember” for two-part children choir (co-written with Suzanne Saindon). [2012] 

Reformation Lenten Liturgy, Congrational song, 2001. 

Present the Lord, children's choir (unison with solo) with piano, 1998. 

3 Comedic Canons (Call Me Stupid; You Don’t Know; Knock, Knock): 1989

"Joy" SATB choir with brass quintet, 1988 

Christmastime Seems Right” SSA Children's Choir (1987)

"In Canada" (1986)

"Swamps, Bogs and Marshes" (CBC Wetlands song competition finalist) (1985) 

Trois Priéres dans l’Arche; 3 songs for soprano with flute and piano. Lyrics by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold: 1992. 

"Chanson de Marriage" (1992) text and music by James McGowan.

Songs of the Spirit and the Sky”: Song cycle (Beginning; Moondrop; Swimming; Laughing; I’ll Heal the Open Wound), dedicated to and performed by Barbara Hannigan: [1988]

Four Songs (A Birthday; Fall, Leaves Fall; She Walks in Beauty; Tears, Idle Tears): 1987

*“The Value of Life” Song Cycle (I’m All Alone; Then You Came into my Life; The Truth; There’s Beauty in the Darkest Night; Epilogue): 1986

“When We Chat” Jazz song. 2019

New Life: dramatic song cycle: “Strong Woman (Opening)” “Take Me to the End” “When I’m Up” “When you Came Back” “Numb” “Don’t Shut Down (God Loves You)” “Breathe In, Breathe Out” “I’ve Got a Right (to Feel Safe in my Home)” “Tree Stands Tall” “Making Changes” “I Forgive” “Okay If I Cry” “Rise from the Ashes” “Strong Woman (Closing)” 2015.

“The Cedar Tree” lyrics and music (singer-songwriter) 2015.

“Singing Songs of Peace” - lyrics and music (singer-songwriter) 2015. 

 “Always Stay this Way,” (jazz song) 2013

"Goodnight, Goodnight" (2013) 

“I am, I am [Social Justice],” contemporary song. (2012)

*“It’s Hard to Be Away from You”: 2000

*“Camilla, Dear” 1999
“Unordinary Song” (Jazz Magnificat): 1999
*“Because I’m in Love with You”: 1991
Then They Cry (1989)
*“Laughin’ at You”: 1988
Eternal Love: 1988

2018 “Go Sing it on the Mountain” by Pepper Choplin; added violin, bassoon, bass and drum parts for 9 separate movements. Performance, with JM as conductor, on December 16, 2018

2018 (adapted from 2001 arr.) “One Hand, One Heart” - SATB choir, soloist, cello, piano. Song by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.

2018 “Together We Can Change the World” for three-part SSA choir. 

2017* “Ahead by a Century,” (by Gord Downie), performed by the Carleton University Choir, November 2017. [*Commissioned by Carleton University Choir]

2016 “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” choral arrangement for SATB and piano.

2016* “Tie Me Down” (composition by Allister MacGillivray, my arrangement for SATB choir and piano) [*commissioned and performed by the Atlantic Voices of Ottawa, Scott Richardson, director]

2016* “Hannah” (composition by Allister MacGillivray, my arrangement for SATB choir and piano) [*commissioned and performed by the Atlantic Voices of Ottawa, Scott Richardson, director]

2015 “Dialogue d’Amour” (arrangement of Haitian folk song for Junior choir)

2015 “Chance to Change” (Ian Tamblyn), “Wading Through the Snow” (Jeff Wiseman), “Silver Eyes” (Jeff Wiseman), “Avalanche” (Kalle Mattson), “I Want Drugs” (Erin Saorise Adair), “Making Changes” (James McGowan) - all arranged for SATB Choir, piano (and organ). 


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