James K. Bass is Director of Choral Studies in the School of Music at the University of South Florida and the artistic director of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. At USF he conducts the University Chamber Singers, Collegium and the Collegiate Singers, and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral conducting, philosophy, and literature. Previously he was on the faculty at Western Michigan University and the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Bass received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami–Florida, where he was a doctoral fellow, and Master of Music and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of South Florida.
Bass’ conducting experience includes a variety of choral and orchestral ensembles including chamber choirs, women’s choruses, mixed-voice choirs, symphony orchestras, string orchestras, and string chamber ensembles. The Western Michigan University Chorale was one of eleven nationally auditioned choirs to appear as a featured performer at the 2008 Convention of the National Collegiate Choral Organization held in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has conducted choirs at the University of Central Florida and University of Miami–Florida and has appeared as a guest conductor and clinician. He has served as director of choral and orchestral activities at Howard W. Blake High School for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida, and conductor of the Tampa Bay Youth Orchestra. He has prepared choirs for Sir Colin Davis, Sir David Willcocks, Jahja Ling, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Robert Shaw.
Bass was selected by the master conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Soloists, Ton Koopman, to be one of only 20 singers for a presentation of Cantatas by J.S. Bach in Carnegie Hall, and was an auditioned member of Robert Shaw’s workshop choir at Carnegie. As a bass soloist, he has performed at Winchester Cathedral in London, has sung three world-premieres of major works, and appears on CD recordings on the Albany label. He recently appeared with the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas as bass soloist.
Bass is a bass soloist and chorus master for Seraphic Fire, the Miami-based professional choir, and was appointed choirmaster for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. He is currently on the Executive Board of the American Choral Directors Association Central Division serving as College Repertoire and Standards chairperson. His professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, American Symphony Orchestra League, Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity.