Jim Yakas holds a B.M. in Music Education from the University of North Texas and a M.M. in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy from Northern Illinois University. After finishing his graduate work, Jim served a one-year appointment at the University of Central Florida as Director of Percussion Studies. After being a member, Jim served on staff with the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps from 1999-2002, then becoming Percussion Director in 2003. Jim is also an active teacher/performer on steel drum, having traveled to Trinidad and Korea as a member of the Northern Illinois Steel Band. Jim is currently Instructor of Percussion and Marching Percussion Director at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets and Sabian Cymbals.