James K. Bass, the artistic director of the Long Beach Camerata Singers was recently nominated for three Grammy awards, bringing his grand total of nominations to six. Image courtesy UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music website.

Long Beach Camerata Singers’ artistic director, James K. Bass, has received three Grammy nominations for his work in Danielpour’s “The Passion of Yeshua,” a dramatic oratorio that deals with Christ’s final hours.

The nominations, announced as part of the lead up to the Grammy’s 63rd annual awards show, mark six Grammy nominations the creative director has received during his career.

“When the announcement came out yesterday morning, I was probably shaking for an hour. It was so, so exciting” Bass said over the phone from his home in West Hollywood.

The album, composed by Richard Danielpour, was a massive undertaking, involving both the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the UCLA Chamber Choir, of which Bass is also the creative director. Bass, a baritone singer, was also featured as a soloist on the album.

“It was a project that was two years in the making. The piece of music is enormous, it’s 110 minutes—just under two hours long,” Bass said. “The musical landscape of this piece is very much like a really huge movie score: big orchestra, large chorus, five vocal soloists. An amazingly immersive musical experience.”

In total “The Passion of Yeshua” was nominated for three honors in the Classical category: Best Engineered Album, Best Choral Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition which, Bass noted, is a rare accomplishment for any classical album.

Having come close to a win in years past, he was nominated twice in 2012 and once in 2016, Bass said he would be thrilled for a win in any of the categories. But, he has his fingers crossed for Best Choral Performance because, as director of the UCLA Chamber Choir, he’d be taking home the grand golden gramophone.

Through all of his successes, Bass said receiving a nomination never gets old.

“Having multiple nominations means it wasn’t just a one-time lucky strike,” he said. “It means, over the course of my career, I’ve been involved in things that are repeatedly at a high enough level to be recognized by the Grammy’s and that’s something I’m extremely proud of.”