Jim Cowan was born and raised in Gunnison, Colorado. As a boy Jim was an avid sportsman, enjoying skiing, golf, baseball, hunting, and the outdoor life of Colorado. After High School, he attended Western State College on a music scholarship and later, Kansas State Teacher’s College. It was here that Jim began searching for a deeper spiritual life which eventually led him to Our Lady of Guadalupe Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico. This is where he converted to Catholicism and also met his wife, Mary. This is also where Jim began to experience music as prayer, and where he began to write his prayers into songs. After a year at the monastery, Jim and Mary went back to Colorado, and were married. Soon after, they moved to Boston, Ma. where Jim attended the New England Conservatory of Music. Here he earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Voice.
He later went on and did Master’s work in Sacred Music at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, Pa., studying piano, voice, liturgy, and conducting. Jim and Mary raised their three children in Steubenville, Ohio where Jim was the Director of Music for the Summer Conferences at Franciscan University from 1981-2004. Jim and Mary led the music for several Franciscan University pilgrimages, including one to the Holy Land in November 1992. The entire Jim Cowan family was asked to lead music for the Fire in Rome pilgrimage in March 1995, and it was on this trip that Jim had the honor to sing at the private Mass of our beloved Pope John Paul II, now St. John Paul II. For over 10 years, the Jim Cowan family continued to travel and sing for conferences, concerts, and Eucharistic Holy Hours around the U.S. and Canada. Jim has been the Music Director at several parishes, including St. Mary Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pa., St. Dominic in Panama City, Florida, St. Stephen Martyr in Chesapeake, Va., and in February of 2016, he began employment at Resurrection Catholic Church in Miramar Beach, Florida.