Jim Yakas earned his Bachelor's of Music Education at the University of North Texas in 2000 and earned his Master's in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy from Northern Illinois University in 2002. After finishing his graduate work, Jim served a one-year appointment at the University of Central Florida as Director of Percussion Studies. He has been involved with Drum and Bugle corps since 1992. After being a member, Jim served on staff with the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps from 1999-2002, and became Percussion Director in 2003. Jim is also an active teacher/performer on steel drum, and has traveled to Trinidad and Korea as a member of the Northern Illinois Steel Band. Jim is currently Adjunct Professor of Percussion and Marching Percussion Director at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Jim has been an instructor and steel band director at the University of Minnesota and taught at the Minnetonka Public Schools, University of Central Florida, Northern Illinois Community School of the Arts, Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, and Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps before coming to UTA.