James Syler (b. 1961) was born in Hyde Park, New York, and raised in New York and Florida. In 1983, he received a B.M. degree from Northern Illinois University, and in 1988 an M.M. degree from the University of Miami. In 1991, he continued his studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Syler has studied composition privately with composers Alfred Reed, Karl Korte, and Pulitzer prizewinner Michael Colgrass.
Equally at ease with modern and traditional techniques, Mr. Syler’s compositions have been noted for their lyricism, energy, and drama. His personal style is eclectic and innovative, yet communicates with a variety of audiences. Band, wind ensemble, orchestral, chamber, and choral works have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and South America.
Awards include the 1993 National Band Association Composition Award, two grants from the American Music Center in New York, the 1993 Arnald Gabriel Composition Award, and numerous commissions. Mr. Syler has been on the music faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio since 2001, and teaches private composition and courses in American music.