James Latten

Professor of Music

Phone: (814)641- 3471
Email: latten@juniata.edu
Office: Swigart Music Hall 103
Office Hours: [Hours]


James Latten, professor of music (percussionist/conductor), first joined the Juniata faculty in 1997 as an adjunct percussion instructor. In 2002 he returned in a full-time role as Director of Instrumental Music and Director of the College Wind Symphony, and was named Outstanding Faculty Member in 2008. In addition, he directs the "Percussion at Juniata" program, and instructs academic music courses including a team taught Musical Acoustics course in the Physics department. Originally from Wellsville, New York, Latten holds a Ph.D. in Music Education (2003) from Penn State University, a Master of Music Education with wind conducting emphasis (1990) from Indiana University Bloomington, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (1986) from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, where he performed as soloist on the Creston Concertino with the college Wind Ensemble. At Penn State he served for three years as graduate assistant with the band program, including the famed Penn State Marching Blue Band and both basketball pep bands, Latten studied percussion with Richard Talbot, Rob James, William Roberts, and Dan C. Armstrong, and wind conducting with Ray Cramer, Dennis Glocke, Mark Scatterday, Rodney Winther, and Jack Stamp.
Latten taught high school bands and grades 5-12 percussion in New York State public schools, and has guest conducted bands and percussion ensembles in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and served as an instructor with the Penn State Indoor Drumline during 1997-2000 (including their 2000 WGI Percussion Independent Open championship year), the Juniata Valley HS (PA) drumline, the Wellsville (NY) HS drumline, as well as the Syracuse Brigadiers and Rochester Crusaders drum and bugle corps. He performed as a percussionist with the 1985 world champion Garfield Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, which included a masterclass performance with Leigh Howard Stevens, and has twice performed the Yuyama Divertimento for Alto Saxophone and marimba (4- and 6-mallets).

Dr. Latten is currently a member of National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, New York State School Music Association, Percussive Arts Society, and College Band Directors National Association, in which he served (2007-2013) as national chair of the Small College/Community College Task Force and (2017-2020) co-editor of the publication The Small Band Program: A Collegiate Director’s Resource. He serves as an adjudicator for New York State School Music Association, Music In The Parks, and  Tournament of Bands. In addition, he performs as Principal Percussionist with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and the Raystown Woods woodwind ensemble, conducts the Raystown Wind Orchestra, and teaches in the State College Concert Percussion Academy, which he founded in 2006. Spare time is dedicated to researching and learning of Christian truth, family board games and activities, disc golf, sightseeing, and woodworking.