James WalkerConductor of the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble
James Walker has become somewhat of an institution in the School of the Arts, having taken the music department by storm since his arrival in Geneseo 40 years ago.
Currently, Walker is the conductor for both the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra and the Geneseo Wind Ensemble. He was instrumental in putting together the annual Kaleidoscope concert, which features almost every performing artist at Geneseo. This year's performance will mark the 18th run.
Before coming to Geneseo, Walker taught at Harvard University for 10 years where he founded a wind ensemble and conducted various bands and the freshman glee club and chorus. Walker said he was attracted to Geneseo's music program because it offered the opportunity to work with an orchestra.
Walker cited the supportive community and talented student body as his favorite parts of working in Geneseo. "I love watching bonds form between students and music faculty," he said, adding that it's rewarding to see the many careers that begin due to these bonds.
Walker's favorite style of music? "Whichever piece I'm currently working on at the time," he said. He said that he enjoys watching students in the orchestra work through each piece from the first read-through to the final performance.