James Clanton is the percussion instructor on the faculty of Pittsburg State University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate percussion majors and non-majors, directs the PSU Pride of the Plains Drumline, and directs and conducts the PSU percussion ensemble.
As a performer, he has appeared with several orchestras, including the Kansas City Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Signature Symphony, Kansas City Ballet Orchestra, St. Joseph Symphony, Southeast Kansas Symphony, Springfield Symphony (MO), Kansas City Civic Orchestra, and the Northland Symphony Orchestra of Kansas City, where he served as principal timpanist for seven seasons. Clanton has also participated in several festivals and chamber ensembles across the United States, including the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas, the Puccini Festival Orchestra in Kansas City, Missouri, the Mahlerfest Orchestra in Boulder, Colorado, the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Fountain City Brass Band, the Chamber Music Society of Kansas City, and the Percussion Plus Project (IN).
As former member of Marimba Yajalón, and Marimba Sol de Chiapas, Clanton has traveled internationally performing and lecturing about the traditional marimba music of Mexico and Guatemala, and educating audiences about the history and culture of the folkloric music of Mexico. In the summer of 2009 Clanton taught a World Music course at the National Catholic University in Asuncion, Paraguay. While there, he performed and gave master classes as a guest artist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Asuncion. In addition to traveling to South America, Clanton also performed as a guest vibraphone soloist of the Associazione Culturale Colleionci in Velletri, Italy. While in Italy, he also performed at the first and second annual Grumo Music Festival (Grumo, Italy).
James received a Bachelor's degree in music education from Oklahoma City University. He holds a Master's degree in percussion performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he also completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance. In the summers he has served as a faculty member of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan and writes and clinics competitive High School Marching Ensemble music. James is an educational endorser/clinician for Sabian cymbals, Pearl/Adams percussion, and Vater sticks. James serves as vice president for the Kansas chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.
D.M.A. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
M.M. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
B.M.E. Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma, U.S.A.