James Whitis is an assistant professor and joined the UMHB College of Visual & Performing Arts as Director of Instrumental Activities in 2007. Mr. Whitis teaches courses in pedagogy, literature, and education. He directs the Bell County Symphonic Band, a community band made up of area musicians and maintains a low brass studio both at UMHB and locally.
He received his BMEd from Wayland Baptist University in 1979 and his MM in Trombone Performance from East Texas State University in 1981. He was a trombone student of Dr. Neill Humfeld, one of the founding members of the International Trombone Association.
Prior to coming to UMHB he served as a band director in the public schools of Texas for 26 years. His experiences range from working with students in grades 6 – 12 and with bands in numbers from 50 – 275. In addition to having taught in public schools, Mr. Whitis has served as adjunct instructor of low brass for Wayland Baptist University and for UMHB. He is also trombonist for the Chisholm Brass Quintet which performs here in Central Texas.
Bands under Mr. Whitis’ direction have received superior ratings in University Interscholastic League concert, sight reading, and marching contests. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician for bands across the state.
Mr. Whitis’ professional affiliations include International Trombone Association, College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha, and Kappa Kappa Psi. Mr. Whitis also serves on the Texas Bandmasters Association College Advisory Board.
Mr. Whitis is a native of Belton, Texas and is married to Jessye Whitis, Associate Professor of Piano here at UMHB.