Former Student Graduates from Julliard, Joins Des Moines Symphony

James Dion Blanchard, former Las Cruces Public Schools student, graduated with a master’s in flute performance from The Juilliard School on May 18. Blanchard was also recently selected to join the Des Moines Symphony as 2nd flute and will join the Symphony at the start of their 2018-19 season.

James Blanchard

James Blanchard

As a founding member of the woodwind quintet Tangent Winds, Blanchard and his ensemble placed third at the annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in May. Following graduation, Blanchard performed with the New York Philharmonic in performances of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia, and Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, conducted by Semyon Bychkov.

As an LCPS student, Blanchard attended Hermosa Heights Elementary School, Camino Real Middle School and Oñate High School through 11th grade. During his senior year, Blanchard attended and subsequently graduated from the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Blanchard later earned a bachelor’s degree in flute performance from Rice University.

During his time in Las Cruces, Blanchard participated in the Doña Ana Youth Choir, the El Paso Youth Orchestra, and the Camino Real Middle School and Oñate High School bands. Additionally, Blanchard studied with local musicians David DeWitt, Barbara Toth, Sonia Candelaria, Katie Tomicek, and Lisa Van Winkle.

James’ parents are Jim and Jessica Blanchard of Las Cruces.

-LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren,, (575) 527-5808