About James Westerfield

"A versatile musician and teacher, Nashville-born musician James Westerfield is dedicated to music through education, performance and personal growth."

James has a diverse background in the musical arts. He has served as violinist and principal violist in many orchestras and ensembles. As a vocalist, James has sung in opera, oratorio, master-classes and recitals as a countertenor soloist. He has served as director of the Clarksville Youth Orchestra at Austin Peay State University and currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries and choirs for a local Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. He maintains a private studio in Nashville, TN and is on the faculty of the Allegro School of Music.

James has studied with many experts in vocal science and pedagogy and has had the wonderful opportunity to study with Linda Ferrara, D. Lance Respess, Richard Miller, world-class early music expert Nancy Zylstra, twentieth-century vocal music expert Sharon Mabry, and Jennifer Lane. He has had masterclasses with the Metropolitan Opera’s Bodo Igesz, Metropolitan Opera Singers Daniel Taylor, Jennifer Lane (with whom he still studies), Suzie LeBlanc (CM), Max von Egmond, French-diction coach Elvia Pucinelli, vocal pedagogue Richard Miller and Thomas King, director of the AIMS Gratz program. He has also attended the Teacher Mentoring Program by world renowned vocal pedagogue David Jones. As a violinist and violist, James has studied with music-education specialist Sara Johnson, Francis Elliot, Nashville Recording-Artist Randall Olson, and concert violinist Stefan Petrescu.


As an educator, he has served on the faculties of the Cumberland Arts Institute, W.O. Smith School of Music, Murfreesboro City School System, School of the Arts at Austin Peay State University, Allegro School of Music and the East Nashville School of Music.

He has taught hundreds of students in various formats ranging from one-on-one studio settings to entire youth symphony orchestras and choirs. He is active as an adjudicator, participant, and member of various competitions and education-related conventions. He also maintains membership with various educational organizations such as the American String Teacher’s Association, Music Educator’s National Conference, and Early Music America. James has been a Clinician for the Tennessee State Music Education Association Conference in 2015 (Improvisation) and 2016 (Baroque Performance Practice Primer), providing lectures and resources to Tennessee’s top music educators.

In addition to working with and coaching Grammy award-winning and nominated artists and professional opera, musical theater, and songwriters, James’s pre-college students have auditioned for, been selected and have performed in the:

  • Tennessee Mid-State and All-State Choir (principal positions)
  • Nashville Children’s Choir
  • Street Theater Company,
  • MET Singers
  • Tennessee Mid-State and All-State Orchestra Festivals (violin,viola and cello)
  • Ethos Youth Orchestra
  • Music City Youth Orchestra
  • Philharmonia Orchestra 
  • Curb Youth Symphony at Blair School of Music (Vanderbilt University).

His students have also performed in professional and amateur performances across the Southeast and the United States. James’s professional students have performed with such groups as:

  • the Nashville Symphony
  • Nashville Opera
  • Chicago Lyric Opera
  • Metropolitan Opera
  • Nashville Repertory Theater
  • Heartland Symphony
  • Minnesota Opera
  • Illinois Opera
  • Buffalo Opera
  • Artpark Opera Theater
  • Nashville Jazz Workshop
  • Nashville Jazz Orchestra

Non-professional students have also gone on to major in music earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships from prestigious conservatories and colleges across the country. Many of his students have become professional musicians across many genres, educators themselves, or satisfied amateur hobbyists