James Green

James E. Green


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James E. Green has composed music for bands and dancing ensembles in addition to vocal ensembles. He serves as an advisor to the Board of Directors for the Durham Children’s Choir and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. From kindergarten to college students, James guest conducts and gives talks on composition, wind instruments, and the music industry.

James E. Green was raised in Creedmoor, North Carolina, and went to Chowan and East Carolina Universities. In May 1993, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music from East Carolina University in theory/composition. Since that time, James has held positions as a production manager and music copy editor in the choral music sector.

Honoring His Cherokee Heritage Through Music

James is very proud of his heritage and relationship with the Cherokee Nation. He has benefited greatly from the support of MaryKay Henderson, director of the Cherokee National Youth Chorus, and Kathy Sierra, assistant director and language coordinator for the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee National Youth Choir. They were instrumental in assisting James with the creation and arranging of music utilizing the Cherokee language.

Beatrice Banks Brodie, James’ late grandmother, was a Cherokee. On the Dawes Roll (also known as the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes or the Dawes Commission of Final Rolls), James has had difficulties locating his ancestors. Beatrice wed at a young age—17 years younger than James’s late grandfather Lemuel, a black man. Beatrice’s race is reported as “black” on the census, although it is unclear whether this is because she was a young bride and assumed her husband’s race or because her father’s race was listed and it was assumed to be the same.

Granville Banks, the father of Beatrice, was recorded as “black” in the 1880 census at the age of 12 (according to the census, he was born “about” 1868). Granville was the youngest member of a large family and was described as a “laborer” on the census. In addition, Granville has a unique last name compared to the other members of the family. Granville appeared to be residing with a sharecropper/ex-slave family. Living in such structures was against the law for Cherokee, and James questions whether Granville Banks is not really his great-grandfather’s name.

It is noteworthy that James’ family origins are said to be from a county stated on the census is “Granville” County. The name Granville Banks may have been adopted to conceal the fact that the landowner had been breaking the law by allowing a Cherokee to live and work in such a structure by serving more as a description of James’s great grandfather’s home than as a real name.

When James was a young child, he had his first exposure to the Cherokee language as his grandmother would frequently sing “Amazing Grace” in her native Cherokee tongue. James unfortunately cannot be a Cherokee Nation citizen due to the way his ancestors were recorded on the 1880 census. One must demonstrate that at least one ancestor had Cherokee blood. However, in James’s heart and mind he is proud of his Cherokee heritage and is doing whatever he can to help the Nation to keep the language alive through song.

Ni go hi lv i Tsa la gi 
(always Cherokee)


James E. Green

Best Selling Chorals

De Profundis (A Choral Prelude) – SATB

The funeral for Frederic Chopin featured the playing of this piano prelude, De Profundis. The well-known phrase “from the depths, I have cried out to you, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice” is taken from Psalm 130 here and beautifully expressed by composers Green and Crescenz. The piece has a piano part, a string quartet that is optional, and an SATB chorus.

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De Profundis (A Choral Prelude) – SATB

De Profundis (A Choral Prelude) – All Products

De Profundis(A Choral Prelude) – Instr. – Instrumental Parts and Score

Cherokee Amazing Grace – SATB

David Huff’s (HMC1844) English setting of “Amazing Grace” (HMC1844) served as the foundation for this brilliant composition. Here, James E. Green heavily references the original but also adds flute or violin, a variety of possible hand percussion instruments, and a Native American Cherokee inspired setting. Cherokee Amazing Grace is perfect for the events surrounding American Music Month.

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Gloria A Dios – SATB

James Green and Valerie Showers Crescenz have had great success innovating new choral pieces together with Gloria A Dios being just one of their highlights. This “Gloria” has been translated into Spanish and given an idiomatic stylistic character that will appeal to both students and the audience. The use of handheld percussion instruments adds an incredible amount of liveliness to the performance.

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North Wind ( Cherokee Wayfaring Stranger) – 2 Part Mixed

Composer James Green has undoubtedly become fond of the Cherokee tribe’s language, music, and culture. This North Wind (Cherokee Wayfaring Stranger) is scored for two or three parts of any combination of voices and includes an optional shaker, tambourine, and hand drum. A pronunciation guide is also included.

Also available is North Wind (Cherokee Stranger) – TBB scored for TBB male chorus with optional shaker, tambourine and hand drum, the work is also available for 2 (or 3) part any combination.

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Cherokee All My Trials – SATB

One of Norman Luboff’s most well-known arrangements is for the song “All My Trials.” Composer James Green uses the Luboff arrangement in a Bahamian spiritual and adds Cherokee Native American language and artistic elements on top. Try it for American Music Month. Cherokee All My Trials is scored for SATB chorus, solo, C instrument, and optional percussion.

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Hinshaw Music

James E. Green’s Music Catalog