Dr. James R. Davidson joined the Boys Choir of Springfield as Artistic Director in the 2017-2018 season. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Drury University, Executive Director of the Springfield-Drury Girls Choir, Assistant Director of Music Ministries and Organist at First and Calvary Presbyterian Church, and Chorus Master of the Springfield Regional Opera. Previous appointments include Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Springfield Chamber Chorus, Korrepetitor of the Neue Eutiner Festspiele in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and Director of Choral Activities at Ozark High School and Hazelwood Central High School in Missouri. His choirs have toured extensively, both domestically and abroad, and frequently collaborate with other choral, symphonic, and non-profit organizations throughout the region. He has conducted two invitational performances for the Missouri Music Educators Association convention, with the Ozark High School Chorale (2009) and the Springfield Chamber Chorus (2012). In addition to his conducting duties, Davidson is in demand as a collaborative keyboardist, vocal coach, clinician, and chorister. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Education (Vocal/Choral Emphasis) and Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Missouri State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Kansas School of Music, where he was awarded the Sandra Keller-Daugherty Outstanding Choral Conductor Award. His professional affiliations include the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, ACDA, NAfME, and MMEA.
James (Jimmy) Benecasa is a collaborative pianist who has served the Springfield area for the past 9 years. He is a 2012 graduate of Evangel University with a degree in Music Industry, and more recently earned his graduate degree in piano performance from Missouri State University. Over the last decade, James has received numerous opportunities to rehearse and perform with a variety of music groups including the Evangel University Chorus and Opera workshops, Ozarks Technical Community College Choirs, Reed Academy Choirs, and the Missouri State University Opera program. He has been actively involved in coaching and performing alongside vocalists and instrumentalists in the majority of music departments in the Springfield area. He has been the staff accompanist for the past two seasons with the Springfield Regional Opera (SRO), performing notable works such as Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Donizetti’s Elixir of Love, and many others. More recently, he has toured with the SRO’s education program, introducing opera to every kindergarten and first grade student in Springfield. James has performed solo works in over 40 states, and had the privilege of playing for two European tours. Aside from the piano, James enjoys composing and recording works of his own, with six albums to date and a number of film scores. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Katrina, and their two highly energetic dogs.