Dr. James Jirak, has been the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale since 1996. He is an Associate Professor of Music at Boise State University where he teaches courses in Choral Music Education and directs the award-winning BSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Jirak also co-directs the annual Hymns of Thanksgiving Chorus and Orchestra.

Dr. Jirak holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of Wyoming, and a Doctor of Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

In addition to conducting, Jirak has performing experience ranging from studio and jazz singing, to opera and musical theatre roles, as well as ballet and modern dance. He has performed as a vocal soloist on the BSU Faculty Artist Series and in January of 1997, he performed Mendelssohn's "Elijah" in Carnegie Hall as a member of the Festival Chorus under the direction of Mr. Robert Shaw.

An active clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, Dr. Jirak's professional memberships include the Music Educator's National Conference, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Idaho and Boise Jazz Societies, and he is a Life Member of the American Choral Directors Association.

A native of Nebraska, he began his teaching career in Teton County, Wyoming where he taught music to all grades, K-12, both vocal and instrumental, for eleven years.