James Barger is an active performer of solo and chamber music throughout the United States and is in demand as a classical and jazz saxophonist and educator. In 2016, he joined the faculty of West Texas A&M University as Assistant Professor of Saxophone where he teaches courses in applied saxophone and jazz improvisation. Additionally, he maintains an active private studio of high school and junior high students. Previous appointments include Adjunct Instructor of Saxophone at Lubbock Christian University and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Texas Tech University.
Passionate for chamber music, James Barger is a founding member and the soprano saxophone chair in the acclaimed Mirasol Quartet. This group has performed throughout the country and has competed in several national competitions, including the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (Gold Medal Wind Division, 2015), Enkor Chamber Music Competition (Grand Prize, 2015-2016), Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition (3rd place national winners, 2014), the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition (Finalists, 2014), and the Coleman Chamber Competition. Additionally, Mirasol Quartet has performed at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conference, and Midwest Clinic and has performed numerous public school concerts as advocates of music education.
An avid fan of jazz and commercial music, James has performed regularly with many Amarillo-based jazz, funk, and rock bands including the Pizzazz Band, Smooth Condition, and Thelonious Funk. He is a woodwind doubler for The Amarillo Little Theatre and has performed with Lubbock Moonlight Musicals and the Las Vegas based touring show, The Rat Pack is Back!
James Barger holds degrees from Texas Tech University (DMA) and West Texas A&M University (MM and BM). His primary teachers have been David Dees, Stephen Jones, Don Lefevre, and Mark Alewine.
James is a Selmer Performing Artist and D’Addario Performing Artist and Reserve Method Clinician. He performs on Selmer Paris saxophones and mouthpieces and D’Addario reeds.