James Naigus

About me :

Dr. James Naigus (b. 1987) is the Instructor of Horn at the University of Central Missouri. He studied horn with Jeffrey Agrell at the University of Iowa, studied horn and composition with Paul Basler at the University of Florida during his masters degree, and while attending the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree studied with Soren Hermansson, Bryan Kennedy, and Adam Unsworth.

He has played with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Orchestra Iowa, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Ocala Symphony Orchestra, Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, and soloed (on horn) with many regional professional choirs in Florida. He has toured Europe in 2017&2014 and South America in 2011 as a member of the American Chamber Winds. Naigus has been a guest clinician and composer-in-residence at American Horn Quartet founder David Johnson's summer workshop in Daytona Beach for several years. He has also performed on recitals at the 2014 MidNorth Horn Workshop, 2013 Midwest Horn Workshop, the 2016, 2014 and 2013 Southeast Horn Workshops, and the 2015 and 2013 International Horn Symposiums.

As a member of staff at the prestigious Kendall Betts Horn Camp for the last three years, Naigus has designed and taught an aural harmony music theory course. Over the last several years he has also co-developed and taught a general music course at the University of Iowa entitled "Creativity in Music." This course is an exploration into how and why music works through critical listening, composition, and improvisation. Additional teaching interests include music theory, concert and commercial composition, and film music.

Naigus' compositions have been performed throughout the United States and beyond, with enthusiastic reception and rave review. In 2013 he was the Composer-in-Residence at the Southeast Horn Workshop in Richmond, VA. In 2009 he was awarded an honorable mention award in the International Horn Society Composition Contest. He has written commercial compositions for clients such as Google, University of Michigan, University of Florida, and University of Iowa. He is currently published by RM Williams Publishing and Veritas Musica Publishing.

What others are saying :

James Naigus is one of the most inspirational composers for horn in many years. His compositions are fresh, exciting and reveal his passion for music. James' abundant creativity is most welcome to the musical world.

Paul Basler

Horn playing tradition has been blessed with a long line of players who have also been fine composers. In days of old, there was Dauprat, Gallay, Kling, and Franz Strauss, to name a few. In modern times, the big names include Vitaly Buyanovsky, Douglas Hill, Kerry Turner, Randall Faust, Lowell Shaw, Paul Basler, and others. A new star is here to join this constellation: James Naigus. Play any of his compositions for horn and you know immediately that a fresh new voice in horn writing is here: it's both challenging and fun to play and it sounds great. Play any of his works and you will have but one thought: "More, more!"

Jeff Agrell

I find the music of James Naigus to be some of the most eclectic repertoire in existence for the horn. His pieces are technically and musically challenging, yet accessible to performers of many ability levels. Naigus' harmonies are rich, sonorous, and refreshingly unpredictable. His melodies possess the ability to affect numerous human emotions - both for the performer and listener.

Patrick Smith

James began sending horn ensemble music to us in Lugano. Reading through his first quintet Three For Five, we immediately knew that this was a young man with something big to offer. His music offers a fresh and creative approach to horn ensemble repertoire. Many compositions later, we have gotten to know and respect James and his abilities even more. Almost every year he comes up with something new and exciting for both the horn class in Lugano and our summer workshops in Daytona Beach, providing wonderful music opportunities to all involved. James is truly a talent to be reckoned with.

David and Heather Johnson