Buddy James is Professor of Music at California State University, East Bay where he serves as Chair of the Department of Music and the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, and was the Founding Director of the School of Arts and Media. He has taught at the University of Southern California, the University of California at Berkeley and Irvine, Whittier College, Elizabethtown College, and Millersville University, where he was named Person of the Year in 2004. Having taught all age groups in both public and private schools, he is a frequent adjudicator and clinician for competitions, workshops and festivals, and recent trips have taken him to Latin America, Europe and Asia. In March 2014 he conducted the East Bay Singers by invitation at Japan’s Fukuoka Institute of Technology. In 2007 he guest conducted Pro Musica Vilnius in Lithuania in a program of American music, and his ensembles represented the United States at the 2005 and 2008 World Choral Festivals in Puebla, México and in Vilnius in 2009 in celebration of the anniversary of Pro Music Vilnius and Vilnius’ designation as the European Capital of Culture. Conducting credits include performances for The Lancaster Opera Company, The San Francisco Bay Area Chamber Choir, Composers Inc., The University of California, Irvine Symphony Orchestra, the Whittier Bach Festival, musicanovus, the University of Akron New Music Ensemble, and he was music director of the CSU East Bay Symphony Orchestra from 2007 to 2010. His teachers include William Dehning, Joseph Hustzi, Edward Maclary, and Robert Page and he was recipient of the 2015-16 George and Miriam Phillips CSUEB Outstanding Professor Award.
In addition to conducting, he has appeared as a baritone soloist in recital and on stage, including performances with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and on national radio broadcasts of the Cleveland Orchestra from the Blossom Music Festival and Severance Hall. He has performed as a member of the Robert Page Cleveland Singers, San Francisco Choral Artists, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and Creative Voices. Dr. James holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree from the University of Southern California, and received honors and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Akron. He attended the University of California, Irvine as a Chancellor’s Fellow, receiving the Master of Fine Arts degree in Choral Music. He is the former Artistic Director for the arts organization Artists Now, is a founding member and past president of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and has served on boards for Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses and The American Choral Directors Association.