William J. James is the Principal Percussionist of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He won the position at the age of 25 while 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 throughout the country, and James Ross, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Will has played with many outstanding ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, San Diego 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 Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and also with the New World Symphony. In addition to these accomplishments, he has continued his career as a chamber musician in Saint Louis. He is a regular artist with the Pulitzer Foundation Chamber Music Series and plays in a Percussion and Piano Duo with Peter Henderson. Will is in demand as an educator as well. He has a studio of local students in Saint Louis and has given masterclasses across the country at numerous colleges and universities, teaching the next generation of great percussionists.
Will is very active in the Percussive Arts Society (PAS). Will has published in Percussive Notes, the PAS periodical, presented at the 2010 and 2012 PAS International Conventions, and is currently serving on the PAS Symphonic Committee. Will proudly uses Zildjian Cymbals, Malletech Sticks and Instruments, Evans Drumheads and Grover Percussion Products in all of his musical projects and performances. 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.
You can find out more about William James at www.williamjamespercussion.com