With a desire to expand Fine Arts offerings, LeTourneau University has created a new faculty position in order to enrich student life and spur enrollment. Dr. Jim Taylor has been hired as a member of the academic faculty at LETU with the title of Associate Professor of Music and Director of Fine Arts. Dr. Taylor’s office is in the Spiritual Life Office of the Belcher Center.
Dr. Taylor has extensive experience in a wide array of musical genres. His musical journey began with playing hard rock ‘n’ roll as a teenager. He was saved at age 19, not knowing how to read a note of music. He soon went to music school and earned a degree in Music Composition at Florida Atlantic University. After one year as a post-graduate student at North Texas in Denton, he went on to earn a Master’s degree in Studio Writing and Production at the University of Miami, preparing him for a career as an arranger and record producer at the beginning of Christian contemporary music. The Lord directed him into church music, and he directed music programs of large churches in Florida, Colorado, and Alabama for over 20 years. After his children were grown he went back to earn a doctorate in Choral Conducting at the University of Alabama so that he could teach on the college level, and for the last eight years he has served as Director of Choral Activities at Kilgore College in nearby Kilgore.
Dr. Taylor has conducted many choral masterworks with orchestra, most recently Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah with the Longview Symphony Orchestra. He was invited to conduct the Kiev Symphony Orchestra & Chorus in Ukraine on three occasions, and through the years he has studied under many of the musical luminaries of our day, including John Rutter, Robert Shaw, and Helmuth Rilling. As an author he has published a number of dramatic scripts, and his dissertation on the choral arrangements of Robert Shaw and Alice Parker was condensed into an article in the June/July 2012 issue of the Choral Journal. He is the founder of the Jacksonville (FL) Children’s Chorus, now numbering over 300 young singers. His choral and choral/orchestral works are published by Oxford University Press, Hinshaw Music, Roger Dean Music, Choristers Guild, Colla Voce, and other music publishers, and have been featured at All-State music festivals and performed internationally.
At LeTourneau University Dr. Taylor directs the LeTourneau Singers and the Longview Civic Chorus, the university’s two choral ensembles. He teaches the 3-hour course, MUSC1303 Music Appreciation, which takes the student through a study of the great art music of Western civilization, ending with jazz, musical theater, and rock ‘n’ roll. He oversees the student praise bands, the adjunct teachers giving lessons in piano, voice, guitar, and strings (violin/viola/cello/bass), as well as the Jazz Band’s new and amazing director, Mr. George Faber. And, finally, Dr. Taylor seeks to enrich student life at LETU by bringing other Fine Arts opportunities to the campus.
If you are interested in anything having to do with the arts, please contact Dr. Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (903) 233-3379 today!