A native of Ann Arbor, James Christian Nissen began his music studies on the trumpet at age 7. James Nissen received his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in music from the University of Michigan. In 1984-85 he studied organ, composition, and improvisation with Jean Langlais in Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship. He has performed all over Europe, including Notre Dame in Paris, Chartres Cathedral, Ste. Clotilde, St. Germain L’Auxerrois, St. Germain des Prez, Sacre Coeur, and Coventry, as well as various churches in Germany and Denmark.
He is currently on the Humanities faculty at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and at Schoolcraft College, where he serves as the chair of the Humanities department. He has composed several concert works for band, choir, and organ. His “Requiem for the Millennium” has been performed nine times. He is the conductor of the Ann Arbor Concert Band.