James Ripley

  • Director, Instrumental Music Activities; Professor of Music
    Email Address:
    Office location:
    Johnson Arts Center 125

    Professor James Ripley conducts the Carthage Wind Orchestra, Carthage Band, and the chamber winds group AMATI. He is the immediate past-president of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) and is an active member of the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, and The International Society for Research and Promotion of Wind Music. He also served as music director of the Wind Philharmony and as guest faculty at Kurashiki Sakuyo University in Japan from 2001-2011. Prof. Ripley was recognized for distinguished service in the field of instrumental music by Luther College with the Carlo A. Sperati Award in 2012. In 2018, he became music director of the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band.

    Prior to his appointment at Carthage, Prof. Ripley served as assistant professor of conducting and ensembles at the Eastman School of Music, where he was the associate conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Wind Orchestra, and as conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at the River Campus of the University of Rochester. He is an active arranger and editor of wind ensemble music. He has appeared as a guest clinician and conductor throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan.

    Prof. Ripley joined the Carthage faculty in 2001. He earned his D.M.A. in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, his M.M. in wind conducting from Northwestern University, and his B.A. in Music Education from Luther College. In addition, Prof. Ripley taught for 11 years in the public schools of Minnesota and Iowa.

    Hear from Prof. Ripley: Why music?

    “It was evident to me quite early in life that music ‘chose me’ to be a conduit for others to find the joy of music-making. Whether it was being the only male voice in the congregation hoping other men would join in, experiencing the wonder of seeing young students change from ‘technician’ to ‘musician,’ or leading the United States Marine Band in one of my own arrangements, I’ve always felt the need to teach, conduct, energize, and give safe passage.

    “My life as a college professor has been to assist others in finding their own way as teachers and to inspire them to foster and develop the love of music — and how it brings people together — in their own students.”

    • D.M.A. — Conducting, Eastman School of Music
    • M.M. — Wind Conducting, Northwestern University
    • B.A. — Music Education, Luther College
    • MUS 0050 Wind Orchestra
    • MUS 0051 Concert Band
    • MUS 0650 Private Conducting
    • MUS 2060 Brass Techniques in Schools
    • MUS 2070 Percussion Techniques in Schools
    • MUS 2710 Psychoacoustics of Music
    • MUS 2750 Band and Orchestra Pedagogy for Vocalists 
    • MUS 3100 Instrumental Conducting and Techniques
    • MUS 400T History of the Wind Band
    • MUS 4200 Instrumental Music Methods
    • American Music from the 1930’s-40’s “Golden Era”
    • Native American Music
    • Psychology of Music

    Wind Orchestra/Concert Band arrangements:

    Refer to website for complete listing

    • 2022 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles 19th International Conference (Prague, Czech Republic) - President and Conference Organizer Guest Conductor - United States Marine Band - Wallenstein Gardens, Prague - July 20, 2022
    • 2024 North Central CBDNA Conference (Columbus, Ohio) - Chosen Gems Session, presenting “Vocalise” of Sergei Rachmaninoff, arranged by Donald Hunsberger