The Cal Poly Pomona Department of Music will welcome Dr. Ernest (EJ) H. Harrison to its faculty as an assistant professor of music beginning in fall 2023.
Harrison joins the Department of Music as an accomplished musician and educator with a wide-ranging experience in professional choral conducting. He is currently the music director and head of education and outreach of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA), one of Los Angeles’s largest LGBTQ performing arts organizations.
“I am so excited to join the Cal Poly Pomona family. Not only does this department equip their students with the tools they will need to navigate traditional music spaces, it also values and elevates the voice and musical contributions of artists from outside of the classical western high art tradition,” Harrison said. “By making space at the academic table for bipoc, AAPI, Latinx and LGBTQIA+ stories, we validate the identity, voice and cultural contributions of our students. This is the future of music education and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.”
Music Professor and Department Chair David Kopplin said: “We are delighted to have Dr. Harrison join our Cal Poly Pomona team! He brings a deep passion for teaching and learning, not to mention an incredibly special musicality.”
In addition to GMCLA, Harrison is a member of the international Grammy Award-winning choral ensemble, Conspirare, and was previously an associate conductor for the Grammy Award-winning National Children’s Chorus and conductor of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music’s Cantare Chamber Choir.
Harrison received a bachelor’s in English liberal arts from Tuskegee University and a bachelor’s in vocal performance from Auburn University. He earned a master’s in choral conducting from the University of Missouri and his doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Southern California. Harrison has also taught as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine College, the University of Southern California, Columbia University and Loyola Marymount University.
Harrison is dedicated to the fight for social justice, equity, and inclusion in the choral classroom, on the concert stage and in the world. He will be joining a scholarly cohort in support of the new CSU/Cal Poly Pomona ethnic studies requirement and teaching a variety of classes in the music department.