James Dargan is a polymath creative artist, athlete, polyglot, musician and writer, raised in the Deep South and--after a childhood spent at the Duke University String School and NC School of the Arts--educated in New and Old England. While at Boston University, he studied violin with Nicholas Kitchen (the first violinist of the acclaimed Borromeo Quartet, still in residence at NEC), and completed bachelor's degrees in Literature, Religion, and Musicology, all the while singing and acting in various choirs and stage productions, fencing, and writing his thesis under the aegis of his advisor, the late poet Geoffrey Hill. While in the UK, he studied English Literature in the graduate programme at Leeds University, continued to play the violin, and began to find his voice as a singer, working as a Lay Clerk in the Choir of the renowned York Minster.
After York, James Dargan returned to Boston, where he sang with groups as diverse as The Choir of the Church of The Advent, Boston Baroque (Director: Martin Pearlman), and Lowell House Opera, continued to play and teach violin, and added composition and outreach work to his portfolio. He has studied voice with Dr. Lynn Eustis, Neil Semer, Peter Harvey, and Dr. Claudia Friedlander, and recently attended the prestigious Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto, on a full scholarship.
James Dargan recently moved to New York, where he sings in the choir of All Souls UU church, freelances around Manhattan (most recently with Musica Sacra, the choir of St John The Divine, and the Bard Festival Chorus) and continues to pursue social justice through the arts; in 2017, he taught composition at 4 different schools, that summer, he made his debut at Bard College's Summerfest, and he's currently at work on two books and his first opera. He is a two time alum of Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Poetry Marathon. Recent musical milestones include his first Schubert's Winterreise; multiple performances (past and upcoming) of his social justice-oriented recital “Oh, Glory!”; his Manhattan solo debut as the baritone soloist for Musica Viva NY's April 8th 2018 concert, "Infinite Hope"; four NYC premieres of songs for which James was lyricist, composer, and performer; and the in-progress writing of his first opera: “The Legend of John Henry”. James was also the artist-in-residence at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA for the MLK Day weekend, 2019, recently completed a tour of Chicago in which he sang 6 recitals in 5 days, and now teaches regularly at Phillips Academy.