Michael James is the Director of Bands at Ballard High School where he serves as department chair and conducts the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band 1, Percussion Ensemble and Marching Band.
Under his direction, the Ballard Band program has gained a national reputation for musical excellence and has won numerous awards and recognitions. Most recently, the Ballard Wind Ensemble performed at Carnegie Hall where they received a Gold rating for their performance in the New York International Music Festival. Ballard Jazz Band 1 has also performed on the national stage, having been invited to three of the nation’s most prestigious jazz festivals -the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival in New York City, the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California, and the Swing Central Jazz Festival in Savannah, Georgia.
In 2011, Mr. James was recognized by the 5th Avenue Theater for having the Most Outstanding Orchestra of a high school musical in the state of Washington. He has been named one of Ballard High School’s Outstanding Educators and a Symetra “Hero in the Classroom”. Aside from his duties at Ballard, he is also the Music Director of the Seattle Symphonic Band. Mr.James earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Arts in Conducting from Truman State University.