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James Scott's musical career embraces over four decades of accomplishments as a performing musician, a teacher, and an administrator. He began his distinguished professional career while still a first-year student at Emory University, winning a position as flutist in the Atlanta Symphony at a time that made him one of the youngest musicians in the history of the orchestra.
Scott earned degrees in both flute and piano from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Peabody Conservatory with a doctoral thesis in the area of music theory, dealing with structural aspects of pre-serial Schoenberg and their relationship to late Brahms works. He served for many years as a faculty member and head of the music program at Rutgers University. During these years he gave recitals throughout the metropolitan New York area, in Canada, in the Far East, and throughout the United States. He also performed with the Woodwind Repertory Group of New York, the Schola Cantorum Orchestra, Princeton Pro Musica, Princeton Ballet Orchestra, Opera Theater of New Jersey, Metro Lyric Opera Orchestra, and the Camerata Chamber Orchestra. Much of his performing career has been in the service of new music and reviving neglected works from the past.
Scott later became associate dean for instruction and professor of flute at Indiana University, performing as principal flutist of the Indiana University Festival Orchestra with which he appeared as soloist in Lukas Foss' Renaissance Concerto under the direction of the composer. He also served as Director of the School of Music at the University of Illinois before beginning his current work in 2001 as Dean of the College of Music at the University of North Texas. Teaching has remained central to his interests, and a number of his former students hold tenured and tenure-track positions in various universities. He continues to give master classes in this country and abroad.
Other professional activities include his recent chairmanship of the Commission on Accreditation of the National Assn. of Schools of Music; and his presidency of Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society; chairmanship of the College of Music Society Committee on Leadership and Administration; and membership on the boards of the Dallas Symphony where he is Chair of the Education Committee and Dallas Chamber Music where he also serves as Vice-President. He is frequently asked to serve on evaluation teams for music programs in this country and abroad.