James Sparks (Jim) is adjunct professor at the UBC School of Music (conducting), lecturer in Arts Education at SFU, senior advisor for choral music for Music Mentors International, and former director of vocal music at the Langley Fine Arts School (LFAS) in Langley British Columbia. With an undergraduate degree in piano and voice (University of British Columbia), a Masters Degree in choral conducting (University of Arizona), and a PhD in philosophy (Simon Fraser University), Jim has continued his teaching in school, university, and community contexts for over three decades.
In his roles as researcher, conductor, and singing leader, Jim connects active research with music learning, music performance, and professional music leadership. With support from the Canada Council, the Canadian Music Educators Association, the AIRS collaborative initiative and Simon Fraser University, Jim has pursued collaborative singing research with several choral leaders in the world: Alina Orraca, Havana, Cuba (Schola Cantorum Coralina); Joseph Muyale Inzai, (National Boys Choir of Kenya); renowned Ukrainian choral conductor, Anatoliy Avdievski in Kiev, Ukraine (Veriovka Choir); Wes Janzen, (Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus); and Helle Hoyer in Aarhus, Denmark (Aarhus Pigakor Choir). Jim is the recipient of the Profession Music Educator Award from the BC Music Educators Association, the 2009 recipient of the Willan Award from the BC Choral Federation and Simon Fraser University President’s PhD Award for 2014. Jim is in demand as an adjudicator, lecturer, and guest conductor and has continued his international research and conducting engagements in Europe, Kenya, Cuba, and Brazil.