Jim (James T.) Young began his musical studies on clarinet with Valentine Anzalone when he lived in Pittsford, New York through 1974. Then he studied saxophone with Dennis Bamber in South Bend, Indiana through 1979. While in high school at St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend, in addition to playing in all of the school bands there, he also began playing in the Tony Barron Orchestra (a Big Band based in Mishawaka, Indiana that played in the style of Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians). Throughout his studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana , Jim played in the IU Marching Hundred from 1979-1982, and continued to play in the Alumni Band of the Marching Hundred for Homecoming football games through 2002. Following his graduation from the law and graduate business schools at IU in 1987, Jim began playing in two Big Bands based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, called “The ITT Conglomernotes” and “The Little Big Band.”
In late 1994, Jim Young, Bruce Scott (a retired teacher and tenor saxophonist), and Chuck Surack (the founder of Sweetwater Sound and a saxophonist) formed “The Stardust Dance Band,” which began its rehearsing in the large recording studio of Sweetwater Sound. From 1995 through 2003, this Big Band played over 300 performances in American Legion Posts, VFW Posts, the AmVets Post in Marion (Indiana), most of the country clubs and reception halls in the Fort Wayne and Warsaw areas, Buck Lake Ranch, festivals in Fort Wayne and New Haven, The Foellinger Outdoor Theater in Fort Wayne, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, and for various private parties. Probably the two most distinguished venues for the Band’s performances were the Embassy Theater in Fort Wayne, and the Paramount Ballroom in Anderson, Indiana.
While playing in The Stardust Dance Band, Jim had the good fortune of being asked to play in the Sammy Kaye Orchestra (“SKO”), then directed by Roger Thorpe. Jim occasionally also provided musicians for the SKO when it played in Indiana and Ohio from 1998 through 2002. The various venues played by the SKO when Jim was in the band included several performances at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, both the Paramount Theater and Ballroom in Anderson, Bearcreek Farms, and the Foellinger Theater and two venues in Ohio.
The Big Band arrangements donated by Jim to the Foundation were acquired by him over about 40 years from various sales he attended, purchases from other bands and collectors, and several custom arrangements written for Jim’s bands by Dick Spencer (a former Big band saxophonist from the Boston area) and Tom Cherry (the guitarist and other saxophonist in Boots Randolph’s band).
Jim now plays saxophone and clarinet in the Robin Run Big Band (in Indianapolis, Indiana) and cello in various small string ensembles and chamber music groups. Jim has studied cello for several years with Dennis McCafferty, a retired music professor from the University of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.