James Sparling received his degree in Music Education with a minor in Architecture at Miami University. He was heavily involved in the world music ensemble, Global Rhythms, where he served as Percussion Coordinator and Arranger (2004-06). This ensemble led him to perform across the globe and work with Grammy winners Glen Velez and Jamal Mohammed, Ghatam Khartick's heARTbeat, Musafir, Jeff Queen, Michael Burritt, Anthony Cirone, A.R. Rahman, Nelly Furtado, and Lenny Kravitz. He was a featured clinician at the 2012 North Alabama Day of Percussion, the 2016 Illinois PAS Day of Percussion, and the 2019 North Carolina Percussion Symposium.
James has served as the Director of Percussion at Bellbrook High School and Middle School, Assistant Band Director at Baker Middle School/Fairborn High School, Director of Percussion at Kettering Fairmont High School, Director of Percussion at Seminole High School, Director of Percussion at Plymouth-Canton Educational Park and Percussion Specialist in the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools District. He was also the 2020-21 Vice President of Percussion & Winds for the Michigan Color Guard Circuit and is a founding member and current Operations Manager of the Michigan Alliance for Performing Arts, a non-profit organization that serves Percussion and Winds ensembles across Michigan.
James marched tenors with Trinity Indoor Percussion Ensemble, Music City Mystique, Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, and Rhythm X.
He served on the percussion staff for the Glassmen (2003), the Madison Scouts (2004-06), the Carolina Crown (2007-08), The Cadets (2009-11), and RhythmX (2005-13). He also served as the visual designer for Madison Independent (2011), Eastside Fury (2011-13), Caption Head/Arranger for Infinity Percussion (2014-18) and Redline Percussion (2015-18), and Program Coordinator for Alchemy Independent (2019). Most recently, he worked with the Madison Scouts as the Caption Head/Assistant Arranger (2012-14) and Percussion Director and Arranger (2015-18), and the Phantom Regiment as the Ensemble Specialist (2019) and Battery Coordinator (2020-22).
James currently works with Spirit Winter Percussion as the Visual Designer (2006-19), Cap City Percussion as a Designer (2020-present) and World Battery Caption Head (2019-21), and as the Director of Percussion at Rouse High School and Wiley Middle School (2022-present).
James is proudly endorsed by:
Vic Firth Drumsticks and Mallets