By the fifth grade, Jim knew he wanted to play French horn, but he had to put his plans on hold for a year. The school in Denver had only one horn, which was being used by a sixth-grader, so Jim started on cornet. Later that year, a horn recitalist told him that it never works to switch from trumpet to horn, which sealed his fate in an engineering career.
He pursued a college major in music anyway (along with another in electrical engineering, just in case) studying with Jack Herrick in Greeley and David Pinkow in Boulder. After a brief diversion shifting his major to music composition to avoid the marching band requirement (yet spending two summers marching in Drum and Bugle Corps), he graduated.
Jim has played with the Boulder Philharmonic, the Fort Collins Symphony, and since 1991, as principal horn with the Salt Lake Symphony, where he also chairs the Programming Committee. Time left over after music and the Idaho Technology “day job” is taken up with high-powered rocketry, cycling, Ultimate Frisbee, woodworking, and with his wonderful family of two sons and wife Hilary Coon, oboist in the Salt Lake Symphony.