Director of Music Ministries
For the past nineteen years, Ascension has been blessed with superior organ and choral music under James Graham Garvey’s direction. Since arriving in Knoxville in November 1990 from St. John's Cathedral in Denver, Colorado, where he was the assistant organist for five years, Jim has developed a music program that is widely recognized as being of the highest quality. Jim was born in Farmingdale, New York, the youngest of Tom and Helen Garvey's five children. He has three sisters, Cathy, Helen Marie, and Anne, and a brother, Tommy. His father was in the petrochemical industry and moved the family to Malvern, Pennsylvania, when Jim was an infant and then to Houston, Texas two years later. Jim graduated from Rice University with both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music. He then moved to Denver, where he was able to enjoy working at the cathedral which had a virtually unlimited music budget and the opportunity to hear and learn from outstanding musicians, such as John Rutter and David Willcocks. When asked what career he would have liked to pursue, if not music, he replied that he would have enjoyed being an airline pilot and has even taken flying lessons. Thankfully for Ascension, music continues to be his first love.