James Barger has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and is in demand as a classical and jazz saxophonist and educator. He holds degrees in saxophone performance (MM) and performance and composition (BM) from West Texas A&M University where he served as Graduate Assistant for the saxophone studio and jazz ensembles. For the 2012 - 2013 school year, James joined the faculty at WTAMU as adjunct instructor of electronic music and jazz improvisation while maintaining an active performance and teaching schedule in Canyon and Amarillo. Currently, James is a doctoral student at Texas Tech University where he serves as Teaching Assistant for the saxophone studio and studies with Selmer Performing Artists David Dees and Stephen Jones.
James has performed with the critically acclaimed Dallas Wind Symphony and Metropolitan Wind Symphony and performed George Gershwinʼs Rhapsody in Blue with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. He has also performed regularly with the Pizzazz Band in Amarillo, Thelonious Funk, The Amarillo Little Theatre (Les Misérables, 9 to 5, The Ego Has Landed), the Las Vegas based touring show The Rat Pack is Back!, and has performed on stage with The Temptations. As a chamber musician, James was a founding member of the Solstice Saxophone Quartet that was active in performing and presenting chamber music recitals, public school and nursing home outreach concerts, and saxophone masterclasses and workshops. James appeared with the Texas Tech Saxophone Ensemble at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region IV Conference in 2013.
As a solo artist, James was the featured soloist with the West Texas A&M Symphonic Band during their 2012 Texas Tour, culminating in a performance of Claude T. Smith's Fantasia for Alto Saxophone at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference. Previously, he was a finalist in the West Texas A&M Concerto Competition in 2007 and won in 2008 and 2010, performing Pierre Max Dubois’ Concerto and Jacques Ibert’s Concertino da Camera with the WTAMU Symphony Orchestra. He was also featured as a finalist in the 17th Annual Grand Junction Young Artist Competition. You can hear James on the WTAMU Percussion Ensemble album, “Home-Grown,” performing Gregg Koyle’s Kumbengo with marimbist David Caballero.
James Barger's primary teachers have been Mark Alewine, Don Lefevre, David Dees, and Stephen Jones. Additionally, he has studied composition with BJ Brooks, clarinet with Doug Storey, and flute with Helen Blackburn. He has received additional instruction from Daniel Loudenback, Wildy Zumwalt, and the Mana Quartet.