Hymns of Thanksgiving 2018


James JirakJames Jirak is co-director of the Hymns of Thanksgiving Choir and Orchestra, and has been the Artistic Director of the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale since 1996. He is an Associate Professor of Music at Boise State University where he conducts the University Singers, and teaches courses in Music Theory, Music Education, Conducting, and Jazz Techniques.

Dr. Jirak holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Colorado State University, a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of Wyoming, and a Doctor of Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado.

In addition to conducting, Jirak has performing experience ranging from studio, jazz singing, to opera and musical theater singing roles, as well as ballet and modern dance. He has performed as a vocal soloist on the BSU Faculty Artist Series and is a charter member of the local Critical Mass Vocal Arts Ensemble.  He sings with the Kings of Swing Orchestra and in 1997, he was chosen to perform Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” in Carnegie Hall as a member of the Festival Chorus under the direction of Mr. Robert Shaw.  But the largest audience he has performed for was at a football game in Albertson’s Stadium at Boise State University.

An active clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, Dr. Jirak’s professional memberships include the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the National Association for Music Education, the Jazz Educator’s Network, and life membership in the American Choral Directors Association.  In September, 2017, Dr. Jirak was honored to receive the Boise Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts Education.

A native of Nebraska, he began his teaching career in Teton County, Wyoming, where he taught both vocal and instrumental music to all grades (K-12) for eleven years.

Marvin E. Stallcop is in his twelfth year as Associate Music Director of the Hymns of Thanksgiving Choir.

He is Emeritus Professor of Music at Northwest Nazarene University where he taught for 40 years.  He taught courses in Music Analysis, Music History, Music Education, Church Music, and directed several choirs, including the University Concert Choir.

A native of Montana, he earned his BA degree in Music Education at NNU, and his MME degree from the University of Montana, where he studied and did historical research on Idaho music with Joseph A. Mussulman.  He holds an Ed. D. from Arizona State University, where he worked with Douglas McEwen in choral conducting.  He was fortunate to have taken workshops with Robert Shaw and Roger Wagner.

Marvin has directed church choirs for 20 years, and was often an adjudicator for high school choral/vocal festivals in Idaho, the northwest states, and Arizona.  He is a member of the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale and holds membership in the American Choral Director’s Association.

He is married to Judy. They have one son, one daughter and her husband, and two grandsons, whose activities keep them very busy.

Marcellus BrownMarcellus Brown, is the Director of Band Organizations and teaches instrumental conducting at Boise State University.Professor of Trumpet.  He is the conductor of the University Symphonic Winds and the Treasure Valley Concert Band. This year will be Mr. Brown’s fourteenth year as the Artistic Director of the Hymns of Thanksgiving Orchestra.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Brown holds a Masters of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance and Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Michigan where he took conducting classes with Elizabeth Green. He has done doctoral work at the University of Illinois where he studied conducting with Harry Begian, Professor Emeritus of Bands and Paul Vermel Director Emeritus of the Northwest Symphony, Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Brown has served as President of the Northwestern Division of the College Band Directors National Association.  He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association.  He is currently serving on the selection panel for the National Band Association’s William D. Revelli Composition Contest.  He serves as the Director of the BSU Summer Chamber Music Camp, and has done extensive work as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States.

Mr. Brown has done extensive work as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. He has been recognized for his work and dedication as an educator at Boise State University as the recipient of the 2002 Excellence In Teaching Award presented by the LDS Student Association, the 2002 Faculty/Staff Larry G. Selland Humanitarian Award presented by the University Women’s Center and one of ten honored faculty to receive the Top Ten Student Scholar Awards in 2003 & 2013.