James Curnow, a composer of international renown, was born in Port Huron, Michigan and raised in Royal Oak, Michigan. A resident of Nicholasville, Kentucky, he composes-arrangesfull time and is an educational consultant and composer for Curnow Music Press, Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky and Composer-in-Residence Emeritus at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky. Mr. Curnow also serves as Editor of USA South Music Publications for The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory in Atlanta, Georgia, and a member of The Salvation Army, Lexington, KY.
His formal training was received at Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan) and at Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan), where he was a euphonium student of Leonard Falcone and a conducting student of Dr. Harry Begian.
Mr. Curnow has taught in all areas of instrumental music, both on the public school level (five years) and college-university level (27 years). In 1974, he received the Outstanding Educator of America Award and the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence in 1980. In 1985, while a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Mr. Curnow was honored as an outstanding faculty member. Among the most recent honors was his inclusion in the 1991 Who’sWho In America, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.
As a conductor-clinician-composer, Curnow has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe where his music has received wide acclaim. He has won several awards for band compositions including the American School Band Directors Association/Volkwein Award in 1977 (Symphonic Triptych) and 1979 (Collage for Band), the prestigious American Bandmasters Association/Ostwald Award in 1980 (Mutanza) and 1984 (Symphonic Variants for Euphonium and Band), the 1985 Sixth International Competition for Original Compositions for Band (Australian Variant Suite) sponsored by the Cassa Di Risparmo Di Perugia of Corciano, Italy and the Coupe de Vents Band Composition (Lochinvar) Competition in 1994, and has received annual American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awards since 1979.
In 1978 he received a State Council for the Arts grant as composer in the schools of Kentucky, a Georgia Council for the Arts grant to compose a multimedia work for the Clayton County schools in 1989 and has been commissioned to compose over 200 works for band and various ensembles, including brass band. Mr. Curnow’s published work now number over 400 and include numerous compositions published for Brass Band through Salvation Army Publications and other publishers in Europe and the United States. Mr. Curnow is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, and the American Society of Composers, Arranger, and Publishers.