James R. Tapia

Associate Professor, Department of Applied Music and Performance; Director, Orchestral Activities, Setnor School of Music

Applied music and performance

405A Crouse College


D.M.A., University of Texas at Austin

James Tapia is an associate professor of music and director of orchestral activities at the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music. He is music director of the Syracuse Summer Festival Orchestra. He is conductor of the Central Winds and conductor of the Syracuse Youth Orchestra. He served the previous four years as associate director of ensembles and held the Donald R. Shepherd Chair in Conducting at the University of Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, he was also the music director/conductor of the renowned Michigan All-State Orchestra and Band. He began his professional conducting experience with the Tampa Bay Symphony as assistant conductor and has conducted the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Bach Festival Orchestra, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, and the Dallas Wind Symphony along with numerous conducting experiences in the academic arena. He has worked with distinguished conductors and teachers Pierre Boulez, Gustav Meier, Fiora Contino, Louis Lane, Jerry Junkin and Fred Fennell. Dr. Tapia has received praise from composers Leslie Bassett, Michael Daugherty, Karel Husa, Donald Grantham and Andrew Meade for his insightful interpretations of their works. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator.


Conducting, Orchestral Studies