Jim Peterson, Choir Director at Northminster, is a true Seattle native, having been born at Virginia Mason Hospital on First Hill. When Jim was 10, he and his parents re-located to Chuckanut Bay, near Bellingham, which is still “home” today.
Jim knew from an early age that he would be a professional musician/performer, beginning piano studies at age 7. A precocious talent in piano and voice, Jim traveled to Luther College, Decorah, IA to study music, and earned BA’s in Music and German. Jim studied choral music under the legendary conductor of Luther’s famous Nordic Choir, Weston Noble. Jim returned home to continue his music studies at the University of Washington, earning a Master’s in Piano Performance under the renowned teacher/performer, Dr. Robin McCabe. Jim also continued his choral studies, under Dr. Joan Conlon, and eventually became a Washington State Certified teacher in K-12 Choral and Instrumental Music. During these years, Jim was a founding member of Seattle’s now critically acclaimed a cappella chamber choir, The Esoterics. Jim can be heard as tenor soloist on several of the ensembles commercially available recordings.
Jim was hired to rebuild a once proud choral tradition at Lake Washington High School, Kirkland, in 1996. In the 18 years Jim taught at LW, his choirs became very well known, locally, regionally and even nationally for their maturity and artistry, winning dozens of awards and accolades. In addition, Jim founded the also outstanding string orchestra program there, garnering top honors, and acclaim from 2003 till Jim left Lake Washington in spring of 2014. Jim went on to found and currently still directs, two community based youth music ensembles in Kirkland, the Carillon Chamber Singers and Carillon Chamber Orchestra. Now in their second season, these ensembles are already gaining much interest and critical acclaim for their musical excellence and artistry.
From 1992 to 2012, Jim had a wonderful 20 year relationship first as organist/pianist and then Music Director of Central Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s most musical congregations. Currently, Jim lives with his partner Jeff Walker, in a charming 1920 Mission revival house in Everett, and loves to sing karaoke and perform cabaret shows as a fulfilling, albeit much less highbrow, musical outlet.