James Popejoy is Director of Bands and a Professor of Music at the University of North Dakota. Conductor of the Wind Ensemble, University Band, and Wind Ensemble Chamber Players, he instructs graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting, instrumental literature, and jazz pedagogy. Under his direction, the UND Wind Ensemble has been selected to present performances at the 2001, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2017 North Dakota Music Educators Association Conferences; the 2002 Inaugural North Dakota Arts & Humanities Summit; the 2006 College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Conference, and the 2012 Western International Band Clinic. In addition, he conducted the UND Faculty Chamber Players in concert at the 2010 CBDNA North Central Conference.
He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Missouri State University; completed the Master of Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Iowa with Myron Welch; and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of North Texas, where he was the first graduate student at UNT to complete a doctorate with a minor in Jazz Studies. At UNT, he served as a Doctoral Conducting Associate and Wind Studies Teaching Fellow with Eugene Migliaro Corporon.
Dr. Popejoy served as Director of Bands and Percussion Studies at McLennan Community College in Texas for five years, where he was also the Music Director and Conductor of the Waco Community Band, as well as the Founder/Music Director and Conductor of the Waco Area Youth Wind Ensemble. He was the Founder/Music Director and Conductor of community bands in both Raytown and California, Missouri; as well as Co-Founder of the Kansas City Band Directors Big Band. In addition to serving as Music Director and Conductor of the Greater Grand Forks Youth Symphony for three years, he was a public school music educator in Missouri for nine years in both rural and suburban school districts, and has been active as a conductor and performer with concert bands, jazz ensembles, and orchestras at the public school, community, university, and professional level. In his nineteenth year at UND, he has also served as a guest conductor on numerous occasions with both the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Greater Grand Forks City Band.
Selected as the Outstanding Graduate Student in Conducting from among the more than 1600 music majors at the University of North Texas, Dr. Popejoy has also been chosen for membership in the national honor organizations of Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Delta Pi, and Phi Beta Mu, as well as numerous “Who’s Who” organizations. Recent honors and awards include the Outstanding Faculty Award from the UND chapter of Gamma Sigma Alpha; Outstanding Professor Award from the UND Mortar Board Society; Outstanding UND Student Organization Advisor Award; Distinguished Alumnus Award from the CMSU Department of Music; Educator of the Year for the North Dakota Music Educators Association; two North Dakota Spirit Faculty Achievement Awards; the UND Faculty Award for Individual Excellence in Teaching; and the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association. Dr. Popejoy has Teacher Resource Guides published in each edition of the “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band” series, having also served as a production assistant and performer on many of the recordings that accompany this resource material. In addition, he is the author of liner notes for the compact disc set featuring the wind music of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Joseph Schwantner for the GIA Composer’s Collection Series.
Dr. Popejoy is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Jazz Education Network, Percussive Arts Society, Manitoba Band Association, North Dakota National Band Association, and the North Dakota Music Educators Association, and served as a member of the Executive Boards for NDMEA, NDNBA and CBDNA. In addition to serving as the advisor for the UND NAfME Collegiate Chapter, he is Past President for the North Central Division of CBDNA, and maintains an active schedule as a jazz vibist, clinician, and guest conductor.