Music Instructor, High School
James Allen has a B.A. in music performance and a diploma of education. He joined the Perpich faculty in 1999. He teaches music theory, improvisation, music history, and music styles as well as directing a jazz combo and coaching ensembles. In addition to teaching at the arts high school, he is on the guitar faculty at MacPhail Center for Music.
James was the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Boards Artist Initiative Grant in 2011 to study Brazilian music in Brazil and California.
James has previously taught at a number of high schools and colleges in Minnesota and Australia. He has performed as a professional musician throughout the Twin Cities and the Midwest for the last 25 years both as a solo artist, a member of a number of bands, and as a freelance musician. He is featured on several recordings, including a duo album with local jazz singer Vicky Mountain.
“Perpich is the best school for me because it provides a diverse student population, artistic environment, and academic opportunities that can't be found anywhere else in the state.”
“My teachers encourage me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and to always strive to better my art, never settling for good enough.”
"For 17 years I’d carried the bulk of my children’s education myself. Sending the two oldest away to Perpich was a huge step of faith and I have not been disappointed. The teachers, in particular, have been fabulous!"
"[Perpich] was a hugely formative experience for me and I think gave me many of the tools to get to this point of doing meaningful work that I love."
“From the moment I came to Perpich, it was like a college campus, with an emphasis on independence and finding your own self, with training in academics and becoming an artist.”