Pianist James Pick is a versatile musician equally comfortable on a concert stage, in an orchestra pit, and at a theater studio. His performances take him all across the Northwest as a collaborative pianist and music director in a variety of professional, academic, and community situations.
A facile and sensitive performer, James enjoys sharing the stage with a wide variety of partners, ranging from the soprano to the trombone. Recent recitals have included Shostakovich’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Schumann’s song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben, and Sulek’s Sonata (Vox Gabrieli) for trombone and piano. Performance partners have included flutist Dr. Sophia Tegart, soprano Maggie Daane, saxophonist Nathanael Ankeny and violist Dr. Rebekah Hanson. James is sought after as a choral pianist across Oregon and Washington with groups such as the Pacific Youth Choir and Oregon State Honor Choir.
James’s professional work in opera and musical theater is extensive. While at Portland State, he performed his own piano arrangement of Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias in 2018 and served as coach and pianist for the 2017 production of Britten’s Albert Herring. As music director for the VOXnorthwest Young Artist Program, each year James prepares singers through an intensive week of rehearsals culminating in a staged performance of opera and musical theater scenes. In 2018, he performed VOXnorthwest’s One Act festival featuring Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Duke’s Captain Lovelock. In musical theater, he works regularly as a music director, conductor, and pianist. Previous productions include Tuck Everlasting, The Addams Family, Bye Bye Birdie, Beauty and the Beast, The Music Man, Oklahoma, Into the Woods, and Annie. In 2014, James was recognized as conductor for Parade with the Outstanding Musicianship award from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
As an award-winning composer and arranger, James’s compositions showcase his diverse interests and flexible style. The Tube, winner of the John “Jack” Kenneth Cole Composition Prize, was premiered by the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra at Reed College in 2016. His score to feature film Gabby’s Wish, is available on Amazon Prime. For Elegy for Solo Violin and Three Excursions for Solo Clarinet, James is a two-time recipient of the Iron Composer Award at George Fox University. Other credits include Pied Beauty (for voice and piano, arranged for voice and band), a commission for Cadenza for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in c minor, Op. 31, and co-composer of the musical O Little Town: Stories of Newberg, performed by Valley Repertory Theater in 2014.
James completed his Masters of Music in Performance with an emphasis in Collaborative Piano from Portland State University in 2019 as a student of Dr. Chuck Dillard. He also has degrees in Piano Performance and Theory/Composition from George Fox University studying under Dr. Kenn Willson and Dr. Brent Weaver. While a student, James was selected to perform for international artists including Lawrence Brownlee, Dr. William Westney, Benjamin Appl, and Dr. David Riley. He currently is a member of the adjunct faculty at George Fox University where he serves as a staff pianist. Former positions include instructor at Opus School of Music and music director at Bethel Lutheran Church. When not sitting at a piano, James enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with his beautiful wife, Hannah.