James Calhoun’s musical training began as a member of the youth choir, directed by Mr. Dave Weston at Macedonia Baptist Church in the Watts area of Los Angeles. He later went on to graduate from the University of Southern CA, where he received the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees with majors in organ performance and church/sacred music. He currently serves as Director of Music/Organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Organist at the University Seventh-day Adventist Church both located in the city of Los Angeles. In October of 2013, Dr. Calhoun became director of the dlw (Don Lee White) Community Chorale, a group of 45 gifted singers dedicated to the preservation and performance of black sacred music in it’s many forms including, negro spirituals, hymns, anthems, cantatas, traditional gospel music, etc. Dr. Calhoun is well-known throughout the Los Angeles’ religious community having completed 24 years as organist, choir director, and coordinator of of music ministries at the historic Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles, as well as a four year residency at Holman United Methodist Church.
As educator, Dr. Calhoun has taught at the University of La Verne, Loyola Marymount University, University of California at Irvine, and Cypress College. He has also traveled extensively including a 2006 tour with the Paul Smith Singers to Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Essen, and Vienna. March 2010 he performed with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers in concert at Lincoln Center (Avery Fisher Hall), both as soloist and accompanist and recently made his debut performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall where he was featured in a performance of Camille Saint-Saens Organ Concerto with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. Other recent appearances as solo recitalist were at Rolling Hills United Methodist Church and Glendale City Seventh-day Adventist Church.