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  • James Kinchen

  • Prof/Dir/Choral Acts - Music
  • EDD, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA GREENSBORO, 1984
  • Music
  • (262) 595-2111
  • kinchen@uwp.edu
Biography
“He’s the best!” "Dr. Kinchen is enthusiastic. His passion rubs off on you.” “The professor really makes you want to do your best.” “Knows his stuff!” “Encyclopedic knowledge!” “Knows his stuff!” These are among the words and phrases used to describe the man affectionately known to many students and former students as "Doctor K." He is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities since 1989 and is driven by his passion for music and for people, and for bringing people together to experience excellence in the choral art. He has conducted on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center. His choral travels have taken him to Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Austria, Cuba, and India. He has served as President of Wisconsin Choral Directors Association and the North Central Division of American Choral Directors Association and is in frequently demand as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator. He is a frequent presenter at choral and music conferences and conventions, presenting on interpretation of the “spiritual” and other topics of interest to choral teachers and artists. He is also a member of Chorus America, the International Federation for Choral Music, the National Association for Music Education, Center for Black Music Research, and National Collegiate Choral Organization. He has won teaching excellence, faculty service, and diversity awards. He directs the three university choirs: University Chorale, Voices of Parkside, and Master Singers, as well as Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He also teaches courses in conducting, choral conducting, choral/vocal materials and methods, music appreciation, and African American music. He is pretty active on campus, too, joining various search committees and sitting on Personnel Review and University Committees, both important, elected committees. James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr., is a Jacksonville native who has studied at Jacksonville University, Southern Illinois University, and the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Before coming to UW-Parkside, he has taught and conducted music in Florida, Illinois, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Teaching, Research/Creative & Consulting Interests

Teaching Interests

“My teaching is profoundly shaped by my own teachers, especially my mother (an elementary teacher) and father, and the grade school teachers who taught us with love and missionary zeal in the segregated schools that I attended as a boy. Hence, I am an enthusiastic, egalitarian, engaging, efficacious teacher, which means that I bring emotion to my teaching; that I believe in the potential of all students to learn; that it is important for me to actually connect with my students; and that results are essential. I am not good with just ‘putting my teaching out there, somewhere.’ I have to connect with the learner! I teach; you learn! If one approach fails, I seek another. I have to find you where you are and help you build bridges to reach the destination we both desire. I am grateful for all that technology affords, but I am really not a ‘tekkie.’ At its best, teaching for me is a deeply human endeavor. Everything else stripped away, I want to connect with you as a person and help you learn from me what you are there to learn. “The core of my teaching over a career has been in the choral rehearsal. I teach choirs at all levels. I help people experience the choral art. I help them sing better. I help them sing better together as a team. I help them acquire, grow, and master the choral and musical skills necessary to sing challenging choral works. And I help them bring the works of composers past and present to life in exciting ways. I also teach and mentor music teachers-to-be, a very important responsibility. Some of my past students are now themselves successful teachers. And I teach African American Music, my sub-specialty, and Music Appreciation. I have been a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow. I have been nominated for the Stella Gray Teaching Excellence Award. I am especially honored to be one the few faculty members to have received this prestigious award twice -- 2003-04 and 2014-15.”

Research Interests

“All of us are, broadly speaking, in the ‘knowledge’ business. Our students know us as teachers who help them acquire the knowledge they need for careers and productive citizenship. But beyond our teaching, we treasure the achievements and learnings of the past and try to take part in the continual creation of new things – new discoveries, books, music, poetry, plays, understandings of the world and universe, and so on. We share our research and creations with communities within our disciplines and beyond. Music faculty, like their counterparts across campus, sometimes engage in traditional scholarship and research. I have written a few articles. More frequently I give presentations at professional conferences on a fairly regular basis. My areas of greatest interest include: choral teaching, choral artistry, choral literature, the work of black composers, and the interpretation of African American ‘spirituals.’ But most of us in the music discipline are also engaged in what is really at the core of our art – the creation and recreation of musical sound. It is our ‘creative activity.’ For me as a conductor, that entails choral performance. I take the blotches and lines of ink on the score and help choirs (and sometimes orchestras) bring them to life. That is incredibly exciting! Every performance that I prepare is special, but I have conducted in some very elite venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Salzburg Cathedral, and Saint Peter’s Basilica.”

Consulting Interests

Selected Awards & Honors

Teaching Awards

2015: WAS NOMINATED FOR AND RECEIVED THE STELLA GRAY TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD, STELLA GRAY TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD,
2013: WAS NOMINATED FOR THE STELLA GRAY TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD, STELLA GRAY TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD,
2003: WAS NOMINATED FOR AND SUBSEQUENTLY RECEIVED THE "STELLA GRAY TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD" FOR THE 2003-04 ACADEMIC YEAR, Stella Gray Teaching Excellence Award,

Service Awards

2013: AWARDED FOR HIGH SCHIEVEMENT IN THE ARTS, HERITAGE AWARD, Community, WAYMAN MEMORIAL AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, RACINE
2011: UW-PARKSIDE CAMPUS DIVERSITY AWARD 2011, University, UNIVERSTY OF WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE
2006: UW PARKSIDE FACULTY DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD 2005-06, University, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN PARKSIDE
Key Service Activities

University Service

: University Senate Service - FACULTY SENATE
: Committee Member - PERSONNEL REVIEW COMMITTEE
: Committee Member - CENTER FOR ETHNIC STUDIES STEERING COMMITTEE
2017: Committee Chair - PERSONNEL REVIEW COMMITTEE
2016: Committee Chair - PERSONNEL REVIEW COMMITTEE
2016: Committee Member - UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE
2015: Committee Chair - PERSONNEL REVIEW COMMITTEE

Professional Service

2016: Officer, President/Elect/Past - ACDA, NORTH CENTRAL DIVISION
2015: Other - WSMA STATE SOLO & ENSEMBLE CONTEST, UW-OSHKOSH
2014: Officer, Other Officer - AMERICAN CHORAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION
2014: Officer, President/Elect/Past - NORTH CENTRAL ACDA
2011: Officer, President/Elect/Past - WISCONSIN CHORAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION
2005: Committee Chair - WISCONSIN CHORAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION
Courses Taught

Spring 2018

MUSP 346 CHORAL CONDUCTING & ARRANGING
MUSI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSE 413 MTHD TCHG SEC0NDARY CHORAL
ETHN 339 MUSIC GREAT MIGRATION: 1960-90
MUSI 339 MUSIC GREAT MIGRATION: 1960-90
MUSP 367 VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

Fall 2017

MUSP 342 CONDUCTING
MUSI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSE 411 MTHDS ELEM/MDL SCHL CHORAL MUS
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

Spring 2017

MUSI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
ETHN 338 MUSIC GREAT MIGRATION: 1900-60
MUSI 338 MUSIC GREAT MIGRATION: 1900-60
MUSP 367 VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

Fall 2016

MUSP 346 CHORAL CONDUCTING & ARRANGING
MUSI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSI 104 MUSIC APPRECIATION
MUSP 367 VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

Spring 2016

MUSP 346 CHORAL CONDUCTING & ARRANGING
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 367 VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

Fall 2015

MUSI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSI 104 MUSIC APPRECIATION
MUSP 367 VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

Summer 2015

ETHN 336 AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC (DV)
MUSI 336 AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC (DV)

Spring 2015

MUSI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSI 104 MUSIC APPRECIATION
MUSP 367 VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

Fall 2014

MUSI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSI 104 MUSIC APPRECIATION
MUSA 212 ORGAN
MUSP 367 VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

Summer 2014

ETHN 336 AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC (DV)
MUSI 336 AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC (DV)

Spring 2014

MUSP 342 CONDUCTING
MUSI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 102 LARGE MUSIC ENSEMBLE
MUSP 367 VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
MUSP 360 VOICES OF PARKSIDE

900 Wood Road · P.O. Box 2000 · Kenosha, WI 53141-2000 P 262-595-2345

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