Hall Of Fame:

James Henry Mills is a graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and Masters degrees in Music Education. He has completed numerous hours of additional course work at USC and other institutions. Upon graduation, he served as a band director in Columbia with Richland District One Schools before entering military service. He spent three years as a U.S. Army bandsman, attaining the rank of Sergeant (E-5). Jimmy began playing the baritone horn during a six-weeks summer program in the Sumter schools prior to fifth grade, and became hooked on band!! He attended Crosswell Drive Elementary, McLaurin Junior High, and Edmunds High School where he was a band student of Edwn Litaker, James D. Pritchard, and Robert Simmons. The influence of these teachers and his love of music led him to teach.

For twenty-five years, Mr. Mills served Lexington-Richland District Five as director of bands of the Chapin Schools, teaching fifth graders at Chapin Elementary, sixth through eighth graders at Chapin Middle, and at Chapin High School where his band was the recipient of numerous S.C. Band Directors Association “Outstanding Performance Awards”. His marching bands consistently received “Superior” ratings, finished among the top five in their state classification twenty-two times, and twice were state champions. The CHS band participated in the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Parade in London in 1991 and 1997. The symphonic band traveled to festivals in Atlanta, Nashville, St. Louis, Philadelphia, the Festival of Champions in Panama City, and numerous other events. In 1995, the symphonic band took “best-in-class” honors at the Toronto Music Festival, also receiving the Grand Championship Award.

Upon his retirement, Jim taught for four years at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia. He currently serves as educational representative for Star Music Company’s Columbia locations, and continues to be active as an adjudicator and clinician. He is in his fifth year as conductor of the Sumter Community Concert Band, and for a number of years has served as conductor of the Columbia Summer Band and the Original Five Points Wild Irish Band.

Mr. Mills is a member of MENC, the S.C.M.E.A., Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and is a past president of the S.C. chapter of Phi Beta Mu National Bandmasters Fraternity. As a member of the S.C. Band Directors’ Association, he served on various committees including the Concert, Solo and Ensemble, Ethics, Marching, Region, and All-State Committees, hosted region band auditions and served as region and all-state chairman for a number of years. He was elected to the S.C.B.D.A. Hall of Fame in 2007. He is listed in “Who’s Who Among American Educators” and “Who’s Who in America”. Other professional honors include the Sertoma Club “Service to Mankind” Award and the National Band Association’s “Citation of Excellence”.

Jim resides in Chapin and is a member of Saint Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church. He is married to the former Vicki LaFrage Tisdale, a fourth grade teacher at Chapin Elementary School. His son Brian, daughter-in-law Michelle, and grandson Preston also reside in Chapin, while daughter Ashleigh is a resident of Greenville.