James Barger is an active performer of solo and chamber music throughout the United States and is in demand as a classical and jazz saxophonist and educator. In 2014, he joined the faculty of West Texas A&M University as Lecturer of Saxophone where he teaches courses in applied saxophone, jazz improvisation, and electronic music while completing doctoral work at Texas Tech University. While in Lubbock, James serves the Texas Tech saxophone studio as Teaching Assistant, is the Adjunct Instructor of Saxophone at Lubbock Christian University, and maintains an active private studio of high school students.
As a solo artist, James has appeared with the West Texas A&M Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra on several occasions. In 2012, James was a featured soloist during the band’s Texas Tour and performance at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, performing Claude T. Smith’s Fantasia for Alto Saxophone. With the WTAMU Symphony, James has been featured in performances of Jacques Ibert’s Concertino da Camera and Pierre Max Dubois’ Concerto. Additionally, he has been recognized as a finalist in the Grand Junction Young Artist Competition and received an honorable mention in the Texas State Young Artist Competition of MTNA.
Passionate for chamber music, James Barger is a founding member and the soprano saxophone chair in the acclaimed Mirasol Quartet. This group has performed throughout the country and has competed in several national competitions, including the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition (3rd place national winners, 2014), the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition (Finalists, 2014), and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (Quarterfinalists, 2014). Additionally, Mirasol Quartet has performed at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conference, and has performed numerous public school concerts as advocates of music education. Most recently, James has been appointed as tenor saxophonist with Quartet Exordium, a saxophone consort which specializes in historical performance practice of music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
An avid fan of jazz and commercial music, James has performed regularly with many Amarillobased jazz, funk, and rock bands including the Pizzazz Band, Smooth Condition, and Thelonious Funk. He has also served as a woodwind doubler for The Amarillo Little Theatre and Lubbock Moonlight Musicals, and has performed with the Las Vegas based touring show, The Rat Pack is Back!!
Upcoming events include a performance with the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra as well as recording and performance engagements with Mirasol Quartet and Quartet Exordium.
James Barger holds degrees in saxophone performance (MM) and performance and composition (BM) from West Texas A&M University. His primary teachers have been David Dees, Stephen Jones, Don Lefevre, and Mark Alewine.
James is a Conn-Selmer artist and performs on Selmer (Paris) mouthpieces and saxophones.