James Reyes, Associate Professor
|Photo by Phil Farnsworth|
"Our courses are designed to give students a foundation in classical music and theory, and in conducting. These are skills they learn that they can apply to all kinds of music, both classical and pop. They're learning something about themselves in terms of leadership and in terms of how they present themselves in front of people. I always tell them that these are basic people skills as well as specifically musical skills they're learning."
"I try to make my classes very fun, very interactive. I try to talk individually to each student during the class and actually get him or her to talk and to conduct, to pay an equal amount of time to everybody. We also improvise a great deal because you can't really learn to conduct unless you're conducting human beings. Since we don't have an ensemble for every class, we sing and clap and count. It's a very live kind of music making, as live as we can make it, not just conducting recordings. I took a conducting class when I was an undergraduate in nothing but conducting recordings, and you don't learn anything about conducting from that."
"I think we have terrific faculty here are Berklee, as well as so much that students can absorb about different kinds of music. I think Berklee is really a unique school. I've taught here for 21 years, and I learn all the time about different kinds of music. It's a tremendous musical melting pot with a lot of talented people."
- B.M., Syracuse University
- M.M., Yale University
- Experienced choral conductor, organ recitalist, composer, and instructor
- Director of Polymnia Chorale Society, Melrose, Massachusetts
- Author of In Touch with Music and Conducting Technique: Practical Handbook for Beginning Conductors