James E. Betts received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa. He also holds the Master and Bachelor of Music degrees from Southern Illinois University and the Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology and Telecommunications from Western Illinois University.  He has taught at Millersville (PA) University, the National Autonomous University of Costa Rica, the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, Black Hawk College, and Western Illinois University. Since 1989 he has been employed by Monmouth College, where he currently serves as an instrumental music director.

Dr. Betts’ interests and experiences are wide-ranging. From 1975 to 1981, he was a professional hornist with orchestras in Mexico and Costa Rica. In 1988, he was named a Wisconsin Undergraduate Teaching Fellow, and in 1995 he was granted a fellowship from The National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in the Aston Magna Academy Institute on “Cultural Cross-Currents: Spain and the New World, 1550-1750.”  He is an active performing and recording artist on horn, guitar, and bass, and was recently featured as bassist on the Coleman Harris-Robert Jennings CD, “Paths of the Heart” (Dreaming Bare Music). His instructional book, “Bass Scales in Tablature,” published by Mel Bay Music Publications, has sold nearly 6,000 copies, and several of his compositions, transcriptions, and arrangements have been performed by professional and university ensembles. He has also contributed articles to research journals and popular magazines and has given presentations at the International Association of Jazz Educators annual conferences. In addition to music courses, he has taught courses on analog and digital recording techniques, Latin American history, instructional media authoring, and video production for instructional multimedia.

His interest in classical studies and classicists developed after attending the 1989 Fox Lecture presented by Nelson Potter. With his wife, Dr. Vicki Wine, he has traveled to Greek and Roman sites in Europe and Asia (his linguistic skills in Spanish, German, French, and Italian have been useful here), and his photographs have been featured in Dr. Wine’s presentations to classics groups. He himself has presented on topics such as ´A Perfect Collaborator’: Erik Satie and Socrate,” “Basic Principles of Web Design,” and “World Wide Web Information Searching and Verification” to the Classical Association of the Middle West and South and the Illinois Classical Conference and has presided at CAMWS sessions.

Dr. Betts and Dr. Wine live in Rio, Illinois in a 95-year-old farmhouse with two dogs and two cats.

Photo of the Lecturer  / Lecture DescriptionAbout the Fox Lecture Series

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