World Projects Faculty Member

James Bankhead

Director, School of Music, Sam Houston State University (USA) Dr. James M. Bankhead is Director, School of Music at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. He is involved with all aspects of the artistic, academic and administrative life of this outstanding institution.

Dr. Bankhead received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC; his Master of Arts degree from Central Michigan University; and, his Bachelor of Music degree at Utah State University.

Before coming to Sam Houston State, he was the Chair, Department of Music at California State University, Chico. In addition to his administrative leadership, he was director of bands, masters degree advisor and conductor of the Opera Workshop orchestra. He was principal guest conductor of the Shasta Symphony Orchestra in Redding, CA, and he is a frequent guest conductor, clinician and music specialist at music events throughout the country.

Prior to his appointment at CSU, Chico, Dr. Bankhead was Executive Director of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and Producer at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. He developed budgets; implemented long and short-range plans; scheduled hundreds of annual performances, rehearsals and special events. He produced shows, concerts and festivals involving artists ranging from Bill Cosby to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Bankhead studied conducting with Herbert Blomstedt, Jon Robertson, John Paynter, and Jerold Ottley. He has conducted performances with many artist from all facets of the arts and entertainment worlds including Leona Mitchell, Robert Merrill and Sherril Milnes from the Metropolitan Opera; Victor Borge, Richard Carpenter, Barbara Mandrell, Peter Graves, and Roy Clark from the entertainment world to name a few. Concerts include “command performances” for The President and many world leaders.

Dr. Bankhead completed 22 years of military service retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. He served as Commander/Conductor of the United States Air Force Band in Washington 1985-1991 and Deputy Commander/Assistant Conductor of that organization from 1976-1985. Prior to that he was Chief of Bands and Music for the Air Force stationed at the Pentagon. He has conducted in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries.

He is a member of The American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, the American Symphony Orchestra League, the International Jazz Educators Association, the California Music Educators Association and Music Educators National Conference.

He is a Past-President of the University Music Administrators of California and state representative for the College Band Directors National Association.

Performance Tours

Music Festivals

New Music

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