James joined Delta in 2020 after graduate studies at Penn State, having previously taught in Missouri. He has presented both nationally and internationally on jazz pedagogy in the general music setting. His scholarly interests include access, opportunity, and equity in music education; general music methods; jazz pedagogy in general music; music as activism and social protest; musical play; rural music education; sociology of music; uses of music to cope with poverty; and world music pedagogy.
As a musician, James studied extensively with Dr. Marc Fulgham and independently pursued lead trumpet instruction from Jim Manley, a scholar and pedagogue of Maynard Ferguson’s style and technique. He directs and plays lead trumpet in his own group, Crooner & Co., a swing band that focuses on the music of jazz singers. Locally, he has performed in pit orchestras for FUSE Productions, Singing Onstage Studios, and Penn State’s School of Theatre. His most notable performances include playing lead trumpet for The Temptations and appearances with New York Voices, St. Louis Brass, and Paducah Symphony Orchestra.
James enjoys traveling the world with his wife, Audry Thompson, and playing with their cats, Warrick, Cosette, and Marius.
in progress: Doctor of Philosophy in music education (ABD), Penn State
Master of Music Education, Penn State
Master of Arts in secondary education, Southeast Missouri State
Bachelor of Music Education, Southeast Missouri State
Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance, Southeast Missouri State
Music Education (Missouri, Pennsylvania, & Virginia)
Social Studies (Pennsylvania)
Additional Certificates & Training:
Orff-Schulwerk, Levels 1, 2, & 3
World Music Drumming, Levels 1, 2, & 3
Smithsonian Folkways World Music Pedagogy
Little Kids Rock (Modern Band)