James A. Holleman

Professor and Music Department Chairman, Director of Orchestras and Choirs
“I am dedicated to providing new and continued music study and performance experiences to all students on campus, regardless of their academic major.”
— James A. Holleman

Faculty Information

Additional Faculty Information for James A. Holleman


B.M. in French Horn Performance, Michigan State University, 1986

M.M. in Orchestral Conducting, Michigan Sate University, 1989


Emily Daugherty Award for Teaching Excellence (Hillsdale College, 1998)


Executive Board, College Orchestra Directors Association, National Chair of Development (2014-2016)

American Choral Director Association

Honorary Member, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association


Multiple CD recordings of the Hillsdale College Choirs and Orchestra


Professor of Music James A. Holleman has served as Music Department Chairman and Music Director of Orchestras and Choirs for the John E.N. & Dede Howard Department of Music at Hillsdale College since 1997. Additionally, he teaches courses in conducting and is the director of the Hillsdale College Professional Artists Series. During his tenure, the Music Department and ensembles have grown to new heights in all areas. Currently, over 25 percent of the entire student body participates in Music Department ensembles; one-third of the campus participates in the Music Department in some capacity. The Hillsdale College Symphony Orchestra, under his baton, was selected to perform at the College Orchestra Directors Association 2017 National Conference in Washington, D.C. In 2018, the orchestra was awarded Second Prize in the American Prize College Orchestra Division. Holleman was named as a finalist in the American Prize University/College Orchestral Conducting Category, for which he received a special judges’ citation for “Artistic Success in Exceptional Repertoire.” Under his direction, the Hillsdale College Chamber Choir, formed by Holleman in 1998, has performed in numerous venues across the country. Both the Chamber Choir and the College Choir (the oldest established college choir in the state of Michigan) have recorded multiple CD recordings and provided recordings for several Hillsdale College promotional videos. Holleman was the recipient of the Hillsdale College Emily Daugherty Award for Teaching Excellence in the fall of 1998.

Professor Holleman is twice a graduate of Michigan State University where he received a bachelor of music degree in French horn performance (1986) and a master of music degree in orchestral conducting (1989). After graduate school, he studied conducting at the Conductors’ Institute in Columbia, South Carolina (1989), the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, Oregon (1993, 1994), and at numerous workshops with The Conductors Guild and the American Symphony Orchestra League. Prior to his appointment at Hillsdale College, he was the assistant conductor of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Jackson Youth Symphony Orchestra, and music director of the Jackson Chorale (Michigan). As a French horn player, he held positions with several orchestras in Michigan and Tennessee. He is an active member of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO). He currently serves on the CODA National Board of Directors as national vice president.