James O'Donnell serves Truman State University as Professor of Music and Dean of the School of Arts and Letters. He holds a Doctor of Arts degree from Ball State University as well as an Artist Diploma from the World Federation of International Music Competitions and a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from St. Mary's College of Maryland.
He has performed as a soloist throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia with professional, civic and school groups including the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the U.S. Army Band, the Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), and the West Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. He has additionally participated as a performer on numerous recording projects, many of which receive regular air play on National Public Radio. Upon its release his recording, “The Trumpet’s Lofty Sound,” received enthusiastic review in American Record Guide, Fanfare, and The Journal of the International Trumpet Guild.
O’Donnell has broad experience in strategic planning, assessment, program development, accreditation, student recruitment and retention, alumni and community relations, and multicultural and international work. He serves the Higher Learning Commission as a Peer Reviewer, has served the National Collegiate Honors Council as a workshop facilitator for new Honors Program directors and standing committee member, and the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences as a session leader.
Before joining Truman State University O'Donnell worked as a faculty member, department chair, dean, and Honors Program director at institutions in Tennessee, Indiana, and Nebraska.