About James McGowan
James McGowan is a pianist, improviser, accompanist, choral conductor, composer, arranger, and educator, in addition to his research and administrative activities as a faculty member in the Music program at Carleton University.
Carleton University Bio
Short Performance Bio
James McGowan is a pianist, conductor, composer, arranger, educator, and music theorist equally at home in many genres of music. With degrees in Music Theory and Composition from the Eastman School of Music, University of North Texas, and University of Toronto, Dr. McGowan is a faculty member in the Music program at Carleton University. He also holds an A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto).
Dr. McGowan is a passionate educator and has been recognized with four university-wide awards for his teaching. He is an Assistant Director of the Carleton Jazz Camp, and has previously served as Supervisor of Ensembles, Masterclasses and Practica, as well as Supervisor of Performance Studies. As a choral conductor, he has directed choirs at McMaster, Laurentian, Carleton University, as well as several church and community choirs. He has served as a performance and composition clinician and adjudicator, and given workshops on topics ranging from introductory improvisation, to topics in choral singing, to popular music theory, to managing performance anxiety.
James is equally at home in many genres of music. Finding the hybrid space between classical, jazz, gospel, and contemporary improvisation, he has given piano performances in Canada, the United States, and Sweden, and has collaborated with ensembles including the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, James Madison University Jazz Ensemble, and individual musicians from Jesse Stewart to Ian Tamblyn to Wayne Eagles to Barbara Hannigan. He currently performs regularly with Modasaurus, Evensong Ensemble, Michael Curtis Hanna, and the McGowan Trio (violin, cello, and piano/violin).
James is also active in community music leadership, in which he has directed several amateur church music programs, school-age choirs, taught Suzuki musicianship, accompanied music theatre ensembles, led a musical group for those living with mental illness, performed in nursing homes and palliative-care facilities, and mentored others to develop their skill sets in community music.