About James

James Estes has been actively singing barbershop and other forms of a cappella since 1999, when he competed in his first Barbershop Harmony Society International Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Contest. Following his Collegiate Quartet experiences, James went on to qualify for the Top 20 (semi-finals) internationally, singing lead with the 2006 Land O’ Lakes District Champion Voices Only, qualify for the international quarter-finals singing lead with Contingency Plan, qualify for the international quarter-finals singing baritone with the 2012 Dixie District Champion The Real McCoy, and most recently, winning the 2015 Land O’ Lakes District Quartet Championship singing baritone with CHORD SMASH!


James taught public high school choral music from 2003-2006, and served on the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Headquarters Staff as a Music Educator from 2006-2013, where he ran the Society’s Youth Outreach programs, coordinated the International Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Contest, and founded and coordinated the International Youth Barbershop Chorus Festival. James also served as assistant director for the 2006 5th Place International Medalist Midwest Vocal Express Chorus, and assistant director for the Music City Chorus in Nashville, TN. He is an active coach and clinician for barbershop and a cappella ensembles young and old, and is currently a certified judge for the Barbershop Harmony Society in the Singing Category.


James holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence University in Music Education, and a Master’s Certificate in Music Production from the Berklee College of Music.


James’ learning tracks have been used by hundreds of choruses and quartets, including:

  • Great Northern Union (2nd place International Medalist – Hilltop, MN)
  • The Alliance (4th place International Medalist – Greater Columbus, OH)
  • Music City Chorus (5th place International Medalist – Nashville, TN)
  • Midwest Vocal Express (5th place International Medalist – Greendale, WI)
  • TNS (International Finalist Quartet – Nashville, TN)


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