James Syler

From Wind Repertory Project
James Syler


James Syler (b. 1961, Hyde Park, N.Y.) is an American composer and educator.

Mr. Syler was raised in New York and Florida. In 1983 he received a B.M. degree from Northern Illinois University and in 1988 a M.M. degree from the University of Miami. In 1991 he continued his studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He has studied composition privately with composers Michael Colgrass, Alfred Reed and Karl Korte.

Equally at ease with modern and traditional techniques, his compositions have been noted for their lyricism, energy and drama. He has developed a personal style that is eclectic and innovative, yet able to communicate with a variety of audiences. His works have been performed throughout the world.

Awards include the 2016 CBDNA Young Band Composition Contest for his two-percussion concertino Wu Xing, the 1993 National Band Association Composition Award and the 1993 Arnald Gabriel Composition Award for The Hound of Heaven, two grants from the American Music Center in New York, and more than 35 guest composer residencies. To date he has completed more than 30 commissions in chamber, choral, orchestral, and wind ensemble forms.

In 2001 he was the subject of a doctoral dissertation titled The Wind Ensemble Works of James Syler by Dr. Gregg Gasuline. He was been featured in numerous articles and books including A Composer’s Insight: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band published by Meredith Music. For 15 years, between 1998 and 2013 he owned and operated Ballerbach Music, a music publishing company specializing in contemporary wind music. Notable during that time was working with composer H Owen Reed to republish his long out-of-print band works Spiritual, Missouri Shindig, Renascence, and others.

Since 2001, Mr. Syler has been a lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio where he teaches composition.

Works for Winds

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works