Douglas James

Professor Emeritus of Guitar, Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University

Doctor of Musical Arts, University of Arizona (1993)
Master of Music, UNC Greensboro (1983)
Bachelor of Creative Arts, UNC Charlotte (1979)

Hometown: Charlotte, NC 

Dr. Douglas James has appeared in concert as a classical guitarist throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Mexico. He has been a featured guest artist at many music series, festivals, and notable venues, including New York's Carnegie and Merkin Halls. He has won the top prize in the Arturo Toscanini Solo Guitar Competition (Italy) and twice been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowship.

When Doug studied at UNC Charlotte, the arts curricla were interdisciplinary, and visual and performing arts shared space in Rowe Arts building. "The Bachelor of Creative Arts program as it was initially conceived offered students an enormous amount of freedom and self-direction," he says."This was already the path I was accustomed to, so it served me very well and reinforced those traits in me." He fondly remembers creating music and modern dance performances with fellow student Hardin Minor.

Pursuing his guitar studies at UNC Greensboro and the University of Arizona, Doug became an expert in early 19th-century “Romantic” guitar and its performance practice. He features 19th-century instruments in his performances of the Classical and Romantic literature and has recorded three critically acclaimed CDs for the Cala Vista label on authentic period instruments. Reviewing one album, Classical Guitar (England) wrote, "Douglas James clearly has a great deal of sympathy for this repertoire and a carefully worked out approach to its interpretation ... everything is animated by concern for the life of the music on its own terms and in its own time."

The close mentorship of his UNC Charlotte guitar teacher, Michael Moseley, profoundly shaped Doug's musical path. "I would say that the personal attention students receive from faculty is most beneficial, and unusual for programs at such large institutions as UNC Charlotte."

Doug has served on the Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees of the Guitar Foundation of America and directed the annual Appalachian GuitarFest at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where he was professor of guitar. Doug retired from teaching at Appalachin in 20222. He was also named the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus in the Department of Music.