JAMES ABBINGTON is associate professor of church music and worship at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Prior to coming to Candler he was a professor of music in the Department of Fine Arts at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. From 1998-2003, he was associate professor of music at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, chairman of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and director of the Shaw University Concert Choir. He received the B.A. in music from Morehouse College in Atlanta, the M. Mus. and D.M.A. in church music and organ from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. At Michigan, he was a student of Marilyn Mason.
He was minister of music and church organist of the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, MI from 1983-1996 and National Music Director of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. from 1990-1994. He has been conference organist, assistant director of accompanying, lecturer, and clinician for the Hampton University Ministers’ and Musicians’ Conference for twenty years and was appointed co-director of music in 2000.
Dr. Abbington is an associate editor of the African American Heritage Hymnal (GIA) and is the executive editor of the African American Church Music Series for GIA Publications. He is the author of Let Mt. Zion Rejoice: Music in the African American Church (Judson Press), Readings in African American Church Music and Worship (GIA), co-author of Waiting to Go! African American Church Worship Resources from Advent through Pentecost and Going to Wait! African American Church Worship Resources Between Pentecost to Advent (GIA), editor of Wyatt Tee Walker’s Spirits That Dwell in Deep Woods: The Prayer and Praise Hymns of the Black Religious Experience (GIA), New Wine in Old Wineskins: A Contemporary Congregational Song Supplement (GIA) and Let the Church Sing On! Reflections of Black Sacred Music (GIA).
In addition, he has compiled and edited a two volume collection of organ music, King of Kings: Organ Music by Black Composers, Past and Present (GIA). Dr. Abbington is a member of the core committee for the revision of the African American Catholic Hymnal Lead Me, Guide Me and the tune and text committee for the new hymnal of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Celebrating Grace. He also is a member of the new hymnal committee for the National Baptist Convention, USA, scheduled to be released in 2011.