For 25 years, Jim Wharton was the Music Department Chairman and Band and Orchestra Director at Catonsville High School. For the 13 years prior to his arrival at Catonsville, he was the Band and Orchestra Director at Dulaney High School. A Towson University adjunct faculty member, he has taught graduate seminars and workshops in the music education division. He is frequently called upon as a band and orchestra clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor throughout the state.
In 1991, he organized the first high school steel drum band program in Maryland. Though presently retired from full-time teaching, he continues to lead the Catonsville High School Steel Band in over 25 performances each year.
Mr. Wharton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Maryland and a Master of Music degree in Music Theory from Temple University. A former free-lance timpanist, Mr. Wharton has performed with numerous orchestras in the Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington areas. He is a founding member, arranger, and tuba player in the brass quintet, Brass Reflections.
Mr. Wharton has received numerous awards for his teaching. A former “Baltimore County Teacher of the Year” and runner-up "Maryland State Teacher of the Year,” he has been recognized by the County Executive of Baltimore County for his "Excellence in Education" and by the Maryland Music Educators Association as an “Outstanding Music Educator.” In May of 2013 following the announcement of his retirement from full-time teaching, the students, faculty, and staff at Catonsville High named the school auditorium in his honor. “Wharton Hall” has been dedicated to “a music teacher and director whose spirit has and will continue to make music ‘much more than just playing notes and rhythms.’”