Biography


Jim Irwin (b 1939) is a musician with a wide range of musical experience and talent that has allowed him success both as teacher and performer.
     He received his Bachelor of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in horn performance from The University of Iowa where he studied with his friend and mentor, Paul 
Anderson, former President of the International Horn Society. He completed his Master of Music degree in horn performance with honors from Indiana University where he studied with internationally renowned French hornist and educator, Philip Farkas. 
     Active in composition since his high school days, Irwin’s composition teachers include Eldon Obrecht, Richard Hervig, and Philip Bezanson (University of Iowa), and Juan Orrego-Salas and Thomas Beversdorf (Indiana University).
     Mr. Irwin was a member of the horn section of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1964 until 1971 where he held the positions of Associate principal, assistant principal, and fourth horn. He has worked in the commercial recording field and has a strong background in chamber music performance, including the brass trio he formed with Dallas Symphony Orchestra musicians Mack Guderian (trumpet) and Daral Rauscher (trombone); a horn quartet he formed with former students Richard Rieves, Lea Binford and Rick Roberts; and the Liptonshire Chamber Players of which he was a founding member.
     His teaching positions have included adjunct faculty positions at East Texas State University where he taught horn and was a member of the faculty woodwind quintet, and instructor of horn at Eastfield College and Richland College.
     Mr. Irwin was a full-time faculty member at Richland College from 1980 until he retired in 2006. He was director of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, taught Music Appreciation, Music Literature, Music Theory, and French horn. He was also a member of the college
's interdisciplinary faculty teams who taught Richland's Honors Program’s Core courses -- Honors Humanities (On Being Fully Human) and Honors English (Quest for Self).
     In conjunction with teaching private horn and trumpet lessons in the Dallas area for over thirty years, Irwin was responsible for producing many high school brass sections recognized for their excelle
nce.

 The high regard for Jim Irwin by those in the musical community who know him is clearly evident in these closing quotes:

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"One of my horn students of whom l am most proud is Jim Irwin. Jim was a superior student right at the start when he studied with me at Indiana University in the 1960s. I have watched his progress over the years with interest - and a great deal of pride - until now I can say with the rest of the horn world that Jim Irwin is truly one of our outstanding musicians, whether it be as a performer, conductor or teacher. Lucky is the musician who can work with him.”

 Philip Farkas, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music, Indiana University

 

"Jim Irwin is an exceptional musician and teacher. In fact, he has the innate ability, training and experience to qualify as one of our leading teachers in the brass area. He is a performer of proven professional standing, an excellent composer and arranger, and a respected teacher of many years experience. His enthusiasm for and consuming interest in teaching, and his dedication to the ideal of improving the student's abilities in all aspects of musical performance are among his major attributes. Jim has a lot to offer, both to the student and to the teacher. I know we could all learn by listening to his ideas.”

 Paul Anderson, Professor of Horn and Head of Wind Instruction, The University of Iowa

 

"Jim Irwin is one of the master teachers of horn in the Southwest. His students have distinguished themselves as soloists and ensemble members. His thorough knowledge of music literature and theory enrich the basic skills his students obtain from private study and master classes. Mr. Irwin has been a major influence in creating the brass concepts which I use in my ensembles.”

 Eddie Green, Director of Bands, University of Houston

 

"Jim Irwin is more than a musician, he is a communicator. From a background that includes highest levels of achievement in performance, composition, and education, he has never forgotten that music, in all of its aspects, is a communication among people. Regardless of what he is doing in music, he displays an ability and a priority to relate to others. This is a very important aspect of teaching, of course, and it has been my pleasure to watch Mr. Irwin's talent in this area at work with students on many occasions. He not only has impressive knowledge and strong concepts, but he knows how to impart these to others in an efficient, enjoyable, and even exciting way. It is rare indeed to find someone so talented, so experienced, and so communicative all in one package.”

 Gordon Hallberg,Bass Trombonist, 1970-1983, Boston Symphony Orchestra