Dr. James Shrader retired on July 1, 2016 as a tenured Professor of Music and former Department Head at Valdosta State University in Southern Georgia. He was also a Faculty Associate in the VSU Honors College where he served as a Program Coordinator. He has combined careers as an opera singer, conductor and stage director; a church musician; an international choral conductor; a published composer; an author of fiction and non-fiction books; and a university administrator.
He holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Bradley University, the Master of Music in Opera Direction degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts (Conducting) degree from Texas Tech University.
His mentor teachers have been Edwin Blanchard, Michael Trimble, Anthony Addison, Robert Page, Kenneth Davis, and Gil Hellwig.
In addition to his service at Valdosta State University, he held significant positions at The First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University, and Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
His career encompasses 17 years as a full-time church musician and 26 years as a university professor/administrator.
He is a published author with his book, The Choruses in Mozart’s Opere Serie (Edwin Mellon Press). His choral compositions are published by Colla Voce, Inc. His music may be heard on the CD Dashing released for Christmas 2016 on Navona records (PARMA Recordings). He will conduct and record his chamber opera, Frogs Always Get You in the End in 2017.
In retirement, Shrader continues to compose and write while beginning a new career as a licensed realtor.