Adjunct Instructor of Organ Studies
James Anthony Criswell is a native of LaGrange and has long been involved with music both in LaGrange and surrounding areas. He received a bachelor's degree in music education from Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia where he studied organ performance with Joseph Golden. In addition, he earned a master's degree in church music and organ performance from Samford University in Birmingham where he studied with Dr. H.E. Tibbs.
Anthony serves as Associate Minister of Music at First Baptist Church on the Square. For ten years he was concert organist at the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia and recently appeared as a soloist with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, he earned certification as a Colleague of the American Guild of Organists. He presented the dedicatory recital of a carillon installed at the corporate headquarters of Chick-fil-A in Atlanta in 1999. During the 2000 academic year, Mr. Criswell presented an organ recital as part of LaGrange College Music Department's annual concert series which featured organ music from the 1920's and an accompaniment to a silent film. During the 2001 academic year, he attended the University of Nebraska - Lincoln's Organ Conference and also traveled to Oxford University and Gloucester Cathedral in England to study symphonic organ transcriptions with Dr. David Briggs.
Mr. Criswell is an ordained Baptist minister and a member of the American Guild of Organists, the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, the Guild of Carilloneurs of North America, and the College Music Society. His organ arrangements are featured on the compact disc, "Carol of the Bells: Christmas Music for Handbells & Organ," recorded at First Baptist Church on the Square on the 1923 E.M. Skinner organ which was renovated and enlarged in 1996 by the Letourneau Organ Company of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.