James Cortright is a music educator, performer and writer based near Traverse City, Michigan. Between 2012 and 2015 he worked with Jeff Queen at Carmel High School as the front ensemble coordinator and assistant arranger.
During this time, the percussion program initiated a new competitive winter percussion ensemble, and the marching band was named ISSMA State Champion and BOA Grand National Champion in 2012 as well as the Muncie Regional Champion, Indianapolis Super Regional Finals Champion and AAAA Class Champion, ISSMA State Runner-up, BOA Grand National Runner-up in 2013, and the Indianapolis Super Regional AAAA Class Champion, ISSMA State Runner-up, and BOA Grand National AAAA Class Bronze Medalist in 2014. Prior to teaching at Carmel, James served as percussion director at other Indiana schools, including Plymouth High School, Fairfield High School and Crawfordsville High School.
He currently teaches private piano, guitar and percussion lessons to students around Traverse City and is pursuing his degree in Music Technology full time at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. He was a full time music education major at Butler University in Indianapolis between 2010-2012 and was listed on the Jordan College of Art Dean's List multiple times for academic achievement before transferring away from Butler and taking courses part time while teaching full time between 2012 and 2015.
James has performed seven seasons with independent WGI and world class DCI ensembles. In WGI, he performed two years with Rhythm X playing xylophone in 2013 and marimba in 2014. In 2013, Rhythm X was the PIW World Champion setting a score record with a 98.263. In 2014, Rhythm X received 1st place in the music caption and the Bronze Medal. Prior to Rhythm X, James played guitar for the 2012 Fan Favorite NorthCoast Academy, and synthesizer for the 2011 PIA record setting World Champion Madison Independent.
In DCI, James performed for three years with The Madison Scouts, playing synthesizer in 2011, xylophone/glockenspiel in 2012 and marimba in 2013, when the percussion section received 5th place at DCI finals. In 2013, he placed 3rd in the DCI I&E keyboard solo division competition with a score of 94.8.
As an arranger, James has studied jazz, classical and contemporary music through Butler University, private instructors such as Jeff Queen, Jacob Harpster, Jon Crabiel, Craig Hetrick, Jon Crabiel, Gary Walters, Julianna Lockeman, Matthias Stegmann as well as week long music seminars at Indiana University and Berklee College of Music among others. His works have been performed by ensembles of all sizes, instrumentations and styles for audiences as large as WGI and BOA finals events.