James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr., Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and, prior to joining the UW-Parkside faculty in 1989, taught music and directed choral groups at Stanton High School, Jacksonville; Florida Community College at Jacksonville; Southern Illinois College; Hampton University; and Winston-Salem State University.
Courses which Dr. Kinchen teaches or has taught at the university include Conducting, Choral Conducting, Vocal Materials & Methods, Applied Voice, Music Fundamentals, Music Appreciation, and African American Music, in addition to directing the three choirs (University Chorale, Master Singers, and Voice of Parkside) and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He also assists with choral/vocal student teachers.
Music Director since 1993 of the Milwaukee Choristers, a community based chorus founded in 1933, he has conducted the Choristers in concert in Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, and Italy. As a conductor or choral scholar, Dr. Kinchen has also traveled to Germany, Sweden, and Cuba. Dr. Kinchen has guest conducted the Chicago Choral Artists (formerly known as James Chorale), a Chicago based professional chorus, and the Kenosha and Racine Symphony Orchestras. He was one of 18 conductors chosen by video audition to participate in a Conducting Workshop and Master Class sponsored jointly by the Chicago Symphony and Chorus America in 2003. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 1998, sharing a MidAmerica Productions program with Maestro John Rutter, one of England's foremost choral composers and conductors, and was brought back by MidAmerica to conduct choral/orchestral performances there in 2004 and 2006. He led the New York CIty premiere performance of Glenn Burleigh's Nguzo Saba Suite on the stage of Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 2010.
Dr. Kinchen holds membership in several organizations including Music Educators National Conference, Chorus America, International Federation for Choral Music, National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the American Choral Directors Association, in which he has served in a number of key leadership capacities. He has served as president of the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association. He was recently voted president-elect of the North Central Division of ACDA. He is also an affiliate of the Center for Black Music Research. He is in frequent demand as a choral clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, and has been listed in the International Who's Who in Music, and Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
Dr. Kinchen was given the university's prestigious Stella Gray Teaching Excellence Award (2003-2004). He has served the university in a number of capacities that include an extended stint on the University Committee, the faculty's elected governance leadership group (1994-2000; 2001-2005; 2010-present), the Personnel Review Committee (2004-present), and Academic Policies Committee (2007-present), and numerous other standing and ad hoc committees, including several important institutional search committees. He has received the Faculty Distinguished Service Award (2005-2006).
His degrees are a B.M.E. from Jacksonville University, M.M.E. from Southern Illinois University, and a Ed.D. from the University of North Caroline-Greensboro. He is the father of six children: James III, Shirletta, Michael, Alfred, Benjamin, and Jasmine, and is married to the former Roslyn Patrice Coleman of Nashville, Tennessee.