James Ancona is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Delaware. He is the Assistant Director of the Blue Hen Marching Band, Director of the Basketball Pep Band and Co-Director of the Symphonic Band. James received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his Master's Degree in Performance from Indiana University where he was awarded the prestigious Performer's Certificate. His former teachers include Gerald Carlyss, Thomas Hannum, William Roberts, Peter Tanner, and Leigh Howard Stevens.
James has over 20 years of experience as an arranger and instructor for world class drum and bugle corps including The Cavaliers, Star of Indiana, Santa Clara Vanguard, The Glassmen, The Crossmen and Carolina Crown. He is currently a consultant with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps and Front Ensemble Arranger for The Madison Scouts. James' honors in the activity include having been a member of the 1990 DCI World Champion Cadets of Bergen County, having been on the instructional staff of Star of Indiana's (1993) and Santa Clara Vanguard's (2004) World Champion percussion sections and having served as the Percussion Caption Head for the 2006 DCI World Champion Cavaliers. His Vanguard Percussion Ensembles and Mixed Ensembles (with brass) have won at the Drum Corps International Individual and Ensemble Championships. Several of his percussion arrangements appear on Star of Indiana's "Brass Theater" and "BLAST" (the Tony and Emmy Award winning Broadway show) compact discs and are published by Tap Space Publications. James is the co-author of Up Front: A Complete Resource for Today's Pit Ensemble. He is an endorser and clinician for the Avedis Zildjian Company, Remo, Inc., Pearl Drums and Adams Percussion, and a Signature Artist for Innovative Percussion, Incorporated.