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James E. Mack began the study of clarinet at age 8 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended high school in Oconomowoc, WI, where he gained experience in the high school groups and the local American Legion Band. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from Northwestern University, served as soloist and first chair clarinetist in an Army band in Monterey, CA, and remained in California to study at UCLA and Cal. State Los Angeles where he received teaching credentials and an MA degree. While playing professionally in the Los Angeles area, he began a teaching career with five years as band and orchestra director at Franklin High School followed by two years at Los Angeles High School. Mack was then appointed to the position of Director of Instrumental Music at El Camino College in Torrance, CA, where he remained for 34 years while directing all of the instrumental groups at various times and teaching clarinet and saxophone in the Applied Music program. Since retiring from full time teaching, he has continued to teach clarinet students at the college and direct a Clarinet Choir, while performing professionally and appearing as soloist and recitalist. Mack’s teachers in arranging and composition included Glenn Cliff Bainum, John Paynter, Robert Delaney, John Vincent, and Lukas Foss.