William James is the Principal Percussionist of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He won the position at the age of 25 and is still one of the youngest Principal Percussionists in the country. Prior to moving to Saint Louis, he was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. He graduated from New England Conservatory in 2006 with a Masters of Music as a student of Will Hudgins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Northwestern University in 2004. While attending Northwestern he studied with Michael Burritt, an active soloist and clinician around the country, and James Ross, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Will has played with many outstanding ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, and Chautauqua Festival Orchestra. In addition to his experience as an orchestral player he has performed several solo recitals across the country; as well as soloing with the New World Symphony. He has also continued a career as a chamber musician in Saint Louis; most recently with the Pulitzer Foundation Chamber Music Series. In all of these musical endeavors, Will proudly uses Zildjian cymbals and Pro-mark drumsticks. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Will visits the Old North State often where he enjoys the outdoors and still pulls for his favorite sports teams.