Spotlight on Alumni: James Holden

James Holden’s (’75 BME, ’77 MME) musical leadership includes interim Director of Bands, Director of Virginia State University’s Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Woodwind Ensemble. He served as advisor to VSU’s award winning Gospel Chorale and the HBCU IAJE All-Star Jazz Ensemble. He has also served as a faculty member at Virginia Union University and Jackson State University

Holden, a Mississippi native, received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Education from Jackson State University.  He did post-graduate studies at North Texas State University and Berklee School of Music.  A world-class educator/musician, Holden has performed with B.B. King, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Michael Bolton and Solomon Burke for the Pope Benedict Christmas Concert.

Holden continues to perform as a member of the Virginia Saxophone Quartet, the Renaissance Big Band, the Richmond Symphony Pops and the Holden/Thomas Saxophone Duo. He serves on the Petersburg Symphony Board and is active in the arts and music education throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.