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American arranger, composer, conductor, musicologist and teacher James Erb was born on 25 January 1926. After serving in the US Army during World War II, he studied at Colorado College, the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Indiana University and Harvard.
From 1954 until he retired in 1994, he taught music and conducted choirs and glee clubs in Virginia at the University of Richmond. He became chair of the music department, and won the university's Distinguished Educator Award three times. He was the founding conductor of the Richmond Symphony Chorus.
He's best known for his arrangements of the folk song Shenandoah and for his musicological work on the magnificats of Lassus.
Jim Erb died on 11 November 2014, aged eighty-eight.