James Knapp is an international choral conductor, music educator and master vocal technician with a unique approach to activist choral singing. A passionate campaigner for stylistic diversity within choral singing, Mr. Knapp comes with 17 years of experience with GALA Choruses (Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses), having been the Artistic Director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston from 2001-2009, the founding director of the Bayou City Women’s Chorus (2005-2009), Out Loud – The Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus (2013-2016) and the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus from 2013-present.
With over 35 years of leading university, church, and community choruses, James Knapp is the Artistic Director Emeritus of the Bayou City Performing Arts, the recipient of Certificate of Congressional Recognition from the United States House of Representatives for artistic excellence to further the cause of social justice, a Mayoral Proclamation of James Knapp Day in Houston, and was elected the Grand Marshall for the Houston Pride Parade in 2009 by the LGBTQ+ community.
His choruses have appeared at Carnegie Hall, regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, and performed concert tours throughout Britain, Europe and Russia. They have performed with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Houston Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. James has taught choral workshops throughout the US, in Europe, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Singapore, and Thailand, and he served as Artistic Director of the Gay Games VII in Chicago in 2006.
James is a graduate of Fredonia State University, The Mozarteum Conservatory of Music in Salzburg and the University of Texas at Austin.