John K. Cox is a Visiting Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College where he conducts Cappella Nova and Community Chorale and teaches courses in music theory and contemporary trends. He previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Reed College where he led the choral program and taught music theory. Prior to that he was Director of Performance at Union College in upstate New York, leading the college-community orchestra and two choral ensembles in addition to teaching courses in American folk music and performance practice.
As a first-year student at Oberlin Conservatory, Dr. Cox had the opportunity to sing both Mahler’s Symphony no. 8 with Robert Shaw and the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Monteverdi Vespers, a musical annus mirabilis that left him with dual passions for conducting and performance practice. While pursuing graduate studies he served as apprentice conductor of the Eugene Symphony, Eugene Opera, assistant conductor of the Eugene Symphony Chorus, and guest conducted both the University of Oregon and Illinois Symphony Orchestras.
As a professional tenor and chorister, he has performed with many renowned professional vocal ensembles including Apollo’s Singers, True Concord, and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus. He currently sings with Cappella Romana and the Skylark Ensemble (2018, 2020, 2021 GRAMMY nominees for “Best Choral Album”). Skylark’s recent Christmas album, Winter’s Night, includes his editions of music by Gregorio Allegri and Giovanni Bernardino Nanino.
A specialist in Renaissance and Baroque performance practice and advocate for forgotten repertories, Dr. Cox’s recent scholarship focuses on Roman sacred music from the late-seventeenth century. His editions have been recorded by Skylark Ensemble and performed by professional and amateur choral groups across the country. Under his direction, the Reed Collegium Musicum received Early Music America’s 2017 College Development Award for a concert of newly edited works by Alessandro Melani (1636-1703) at the Boston Early Music Festival. His most recent work investigates music written for Roman nuns during the late-seventeenth century. In its 2022-23 season, Portland Baroque Orchestra will give the modern debut of five of his editions, written for performance in Roman convents during the Anno Santo of 1675.
In addition to his activities as an educator, performer, and musicologist, Dr. Cox is active as an adjudicator and coach of high school choral ensembles. He serves on the board of Portland Baroque Orchestra and frequently provides program notes and pre-concert lecturers for their performances.