James Barnes


James Barnes (Born Sept. 9, 1949 in Hobart, Oklahoma) James Barnes’ contributions to wind band repertoire span almost five decades. He has spent a large majority of his creative life providing well over one hundred pieces for wind band; from massive symphonies to works for middle school children. He served as Associate Director of Bands and Staff Arranger for The University of Kansas Bands for twenty-seven years before moving into full-time teaching in Theory and Composition. Barnes holds the distinction of being the only living composer to contribute major works for all five of the major American military bands in Washington, D.C. He is the only American composer to have the distinction of conducting and recording with all three of Japan’s best professional wind bands: Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, Sienna Winds and Osaka Shion Wind Orchestra. His numerous works for concert band and orchestra have been extensively performed throughout the world in such venues as Tanglewood, Boston Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow and Tokyo Metropolitan Concert Hall. The world-famous Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra recorded three CD’s of his works. Barnes’ more recent music can be found on a CD from Mark Records. A new recording of a live concert of his music by Sienna Winds (Tokyo) became available in 2016. The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble recently recorded his Visions Macabre on their new album released by Klavier Records. Barnes has also written works for the Kansas City Symphony, and his Cascades Suite will be premiered in April 2017 by the Central Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Along with many other awards and prizes, Barnes twice received the coveted American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award for his First Symphony (1978) and Visions Macabres (1980.) In March 2016, Barnes was awarded honorary lifetime membership in the Japanese Bandmasters Association. He has been a member of the American Bandmasters Association since 1988, and a member of ASCAP since 1974. After teaching for forty-one years, Barnes retired as Professor Emeritus of Music Composition from The University of Kansas in August 2015. He still resides in Lawrence, where he is now spending his time composing, fishing and following his beloved Kansas City Royals.



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