His love of music has brought him before enthusiastic audiences throughout the United States, Canada, Russia, Brazil, and India. Highlights of these performances include extensive tours of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; concerts in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia (Canada); concerts in Moscow (Russia); concerts in Salvador Bahia (Brazil); concerts in Rajasthan, Bangalore, and Goa (India). Symphony performances include solos with the Spokane Symphony, the Coeur d’ Alene Symphony, the Gonzaga University Symphony, and several other regional northwest ensembles.
Awards include national recognition as a recipient of a Jacob Javits research grant for his study of Russian music, in particular the music of Sergei Ivanovich Taneev; a Presser Scholarship for outstanding musical and scholastic work; the Graduate College Fellowship at the University of
Arizona; as well as prizes and distinctions in several national and international classical guitar festivals and competitions including the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the Stotsenberg International Guitar Competition, the Great Lakes Competition, and the Norman Sholin Memorial Competition.
An in-demand teacher, Michael maintains studios at Gonzaga and Eastern Washington Universities, as well as nurturing a private studio. He is a regular host/director of the Northwest Guitar Festival, and has been a featured performer for numerous regional festivals including the Northwest Guitar Festival, the Northwest Bach Festival, the Festival at Sandpoint (in concerto with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra), and Northwest Folklife’s guitar showcase in McCaw hall, among others.
Michael has been profiled in the magazine Acoustic Guitar and is a regular contributor to the same. He has also written for Guitar Teacher and Play Guitar! magazines. Michael has worked as either an alpha/beta testing endorser or performing artist for Elixir strings, Lowden Guitars, Schoenberg Guitars, Hill Guitars, L.R. Baggs electronics and AER amps among other companies. His duo (with his wife, vocalist Keleren Millham) regularly performs at venues ranging from wine bars and house concerts to radio shows, theaters, universities and festivals: over 2,000 performances to date. They have released 3 CDs featuring their own compositions and completed their first documentary film soundtrack. Michael was recently featured in performance and on record with the Montana choir Dolce Canto (2011 recording). He is a graduate of the Lionel Hampton School of Music-University of Idaho.
Michael’s students have won multiple gold and silver medals at Musicfest Northwest, including concerto performances in the young artist division. He has had students go on to respected schools for bachelors and masters degrees, and his former students have themselves been hired to teach at the college level, including Gonzaga and SFCC.
Both an acoustic guitar amplifier (L.R. Baggs A-Ref) and an acoustic guitar pickup (L.R. Baggs M1) designed with/around Michael’s input have won MIPA awards (Musikmesse International Press Award; the “Grammy” of the musical instrument/pro-audio industry). The M1 pickup, in particular, has been adopted by many players at the pinnacle of the pop/acoustic music industry including Tom Petty, David Gilmore of Pink Floyd, Cold Play, Jakob Dylan, Old Crow Medicine Show and Oasis among others.
In 1999, Michael was one of eight recipients selected nationally for Jim Beam Brand Worldwide’s Benefiting Emerging Artists in Music grant.
Since the 1970s James Reid has performed hundreds of concerts in the United States and Canada appearing in concerts for guitar societies, colleges and universities, and for arts councils. He has been a featured artist at numerous festivals including the Sun Waves Guitar Festival in Miami, Guitar New Orleans, The Portland Guitar Festival, The Elkhorn Festival, The Guitar and Lute Institute in Arcata, California, and the Fairbanks Summer Music Festival. Mr. Reid is also the founder of the Northwest Guitar Festival, an annual festival that rotates among different cities in the Northwest.
Reid has released eight solo recordings that have been reviewed favorably both in the U.S and abroad. He has commissioned works by Bryan Johanson, Maximo Diego Pujol, Gwyneth Walker, and Andrew York. His repertoire includes recent compositions as well traditional repertoire by composers ranging from John Dowland to Joaquin Rodrigo. Mr. Reid has given presentations at three different international guitar festivals on the music of Abel Carlevaro, on the music of Maximo Diego Pujol, and on the music of Bryan Johanson. In 1998, he was the recipient of a grant from the University of Idaho Research Council to record the music of the 19th century virtuoso-composer Johann Kaspar Mertz. In September of 1999 his recording, Sounds of the Bard, was featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today program. Most recently, Mr. Reid has released, Guitarra Americana, which features a world premiere recording of his own composition, Homages.
Aside from his activities as a performer and teacher Mr. Reid served for eight years as the Review Editor for Recordings for Soundboard, the quarterly publication of the Guitar Foundation of America. He has also served as a judge for numerous state, regional, national, and international competitions.
In 2020, James Reid retired from the University of Idaho where he had directed the guitar program since 1978. In retirement Reid continues to perform and also enjoys reading, playing golf, hiking, and cooking.
“…it was wonderful to see Mr. Reid possess a perfect mastering of his fingerwork. Both his left and his right hand stroked the strings seemingly effortlessly, betraying years of dedicated practice.” –Kootenay News
“Reid is a Northwest treasure who deserves more national attention.” –Moscow-Pullman Daily News
“Reid brought a nice elegance to the music with very clean ornaments and quiet squeak-free playing.” –Seattle Classic Guitar Society
“Reid invested his program with rare qualities of restraint and taste.” –Ellensburg Daily Record
On the recording Higher Ground:
“The classical guitar has seldom had a more elegant steward, and here Reid performs a rich array of classical and contemporary pieces.” –Canon Press
Eli Schille-Hudson is a guitarist from Bellingham, Washington, and the new guitar professor at Western Washington University. He completed degrees in classical guitar and taught as an associate instructor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied under Maestro Ernesto Bitetti. Eli has participated in numerous masterclasses with such world renowned artists as Jorge Caballero, Zoran Dukic, Nigel North, Goran Krivokapić, Marcin Dylla, and Tilman Hoppstock.
As a passionate performer of new and rarely-heard music, Eli has premiered numerous works for guitar, most recently giving the North American premiere of two works for solo guitar by Marcos Vieira Lucas, and contributing the electric guitar part in the world premiere recording of composer Craig Michael Davis’ one-act opera Letters to a Terrorist. Eli also regularly performs his own compositions and arrangements of repertoire ranging from the renaissance to the romantic piano literature. He remains active as a composer and songwriter, and his debut release with collaborator Ross Martinie Eiler, Signs & Seasons, is expected Summer 2022.
Recent highlights as a performer include a solo recital and recording for the Lafayette Symphony Guild, a solo recital for the Lafayette Museum of Art, a duo performance with bassist DaXun Zhang at the International Society of Bassists 2019 Convention, a solo recital on the Great Spaces Concert Series at Grace Cathedral in Topeka, Kansas, and a solo recital for the Bellingham Festival of Music’s 7th annual “Welcome Home” concert series.