Jim Graczyk, like many band members, started playing trumpet at an early age – in 6th grade, in Pennsylvania – to be specific. His mother asked him what instrument he wanted to play (not if he wanted to play an instrument) and he promptly answered “saxophone”, to which his mother replied “You’re playing trumpet”…. and that was that.
Jim has played nearly continuously since then. In high school he played lead in all the bands (marching, concert, stage and pit) from sophomore year on. Since high school, so long ago, he’s only put down his horn for 2 years during the more strenuous final years while pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. He and a group of fellow ex-high school players formed a community band in his hometown and assisted his former H.S. band director to attain a graduate degree in conducting. Jim has performed in community bands in Augusta, GA, and Catawba College (many years ago and more recently with Dr. Etters), at his church, Union Lutheran, and many other churches in the area over the last 20-something years. Growing up, “Stage Band” (as it was called), was always the most fun and exciting, but it was only relatively recently that Jim has been able to pursue Big Band and Swing – with Dr. Etters and the Salisbury Swing Band and formerly with Dr. Ron Turbyfil and the Rowan Big Band All-Stars.
Jim’s a firm believer in the value of music education and the positive impact is has on the development of the human mind - so he forced his two children, Andrew and Emily, to play the trumpet throughout middle and high school (Emily did wiggle her way out of band as a H.S. senior – something about running track….but Andrew still plays). Both children are now pursuing degrees in science and math related fields and Jim contends that music education had a lot to do with this.
Jim originally came to Salisbury 23 years ago with the Hoechst Celanese Corporation, working as a Process Control Engineer. For the last 14 years, Jim has operated a Computer Infrastructure Consultancy company, Netway Solutions, Inc., here in Salisbury, providing service to customers in the US and abroad.