Mr. Bittner is a 1976 graduate of Springfield High School, PA. He was involved in multiple Pennsylvania District and Region Bands and Orchestras, culminating in his performance as principal trumpet of the All-State Orchestra his senior year.
He went on to study trumpet performance at both Temple University and the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. While at Curtis, Mr. Bittner had several opportunities to perform and record with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In 1981, Mr. Bittner was appointed by audition as a Cornetist with the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. - a position he held for 25 years. During that time, James earned his Masters Degree in music from Catholic University of America.
He performed in:
He performed numerous times as the featured trumpet soloist, and was selected for the privilege of performing “Taps” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. He also served in the official memorial service at the hallowed ground of the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Bittner retired from the Air Force Band in 2006 with:
Since 2007 Mr. Bittner has been teaching full time in Fairfax County, Virginia as a brass instructor in seven different schools, and as a private instructor. As a result, as of 2019, 2 alumni of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras (AYPO) in the DC area listed themselves as having studied with Mr. Bittner as a private instructor.