James Sepulvado

SDSMI Director

James Sepulvado is a Conductor, Professor, Published Author, President and Co-Founder of a Non-Profit Music Education Organization and leader of a community coalition working to rebuild the school music programs in the San Diego’s East County. Mr. Sepulvado currently serves as Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Cuyamaca College where he conducts the Cuyamaca College Concert Band. During his tenure he has resurrected the Concert Band and grown it into a thriving ensemble that performs major works, including three of David Maslanka’s eight symphonies for Wind Band. James was also recently appointed Interim Director of Bands at Point Loma Nazarene University.


Prior to his position at Cuyamaca College Mr. Sepulvado served as the Instrumental Music Director at Point Loma High School. During his time at Point Loma High the Band, Orchestra and AP Theory programs more than tripled in size and the program was recognized for musical excellence and community service. This was part of a community service oriented philosophy of music education which he has championed and which included performances at homeless shelters, charity fundraisers, community festivals and events, private residences, events organized by elected officials and more.


Professor Sepulvado’s first book The Joy of Listening to Music was published by Great River Learning, a division of Kendall-Hunt, in the fall of 2020. James is a co-founder and President of San Diego Winds, a non-profit music education organization centered around a professional Wind Ensemble, one of only two in the nation. He is the camp director of the San Diego Summer Music Institute. James performs as a freelance professional tuba player and has appeared with Seaside Brass, Westwind Brass and the San Diego Winds. Mr. Sepulvado is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Union, Local 325.


James holds a Bachelors degree from San Diego State University in Music Education and a Masters degree in Education from National University. His teachers have included Gregg Hanson, Eric Weirather, Kelly Thomas, Brent Dutton, David Ward-Steinman and Jay Rees. Mr. Sepulvado is a passionate advocate for the music of David Maslanka, who was a mentor and friend with whom he worked on many occasions. James has also received clinics and performed with Sam Pilafian, Anthony Maiello, Colonel Lowell Graham, Larry Curtis, Craig Kirchhoff, David Gillingham and Frank Ticheli.


Groups under Professor Sepulvado’s baton have performed in Italy, Austria, Germany, England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Switzerland. From 2018 to 2020 he co-hosted the “Band Ranting Podcast” with Gregg Hanson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona and Artistic Director of the San Diego Winds. He has presented at the San Diego Mega Arts Conference and the California All State Music Education Conference. He has been a member of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), Music Association of California Community Colleges (MACCC), Southern California Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), the California Band Directors Association (CBDA), the California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), the California Music Educators Association Southern Border Section (CMEA SBS) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).


James Sepulvado