Prof. James Hontz studied at the New School of Music and received his B.M. degree in guitar performance and M.M. degree in guitar performance/music history from Temple University. In March 2006, he graduated from the Peabody Institute of Music at the Johns Hopkins University with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in guitar performance under the tutelage of Julian Gray.
He has served as a president of the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society. In addition to his many solo appearances, Hontz has appeared as a featured soloist with Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Ocean City Symphony (New Jersey), and the York Symphony (Pennsylvania). He was invited by the Malarmé Chamber Players (based in Durham, North Carolina) to conduct residency in Landrum, South Carolina, for the public school district.
As an accompanist for the Gettysburg College Choir, Hontz participated in tours of Brazil and the northeastern U.S. Along with flutist Kelly McDermott, the Hontz-McDermott Duo was broadcast in a live performance/interview on WNYC in New York City and toured the Midwest. In 2009, Hontz collaborated with renowned composer Libby Larsen to arrange her work for choir and orchestra, “Crowding North,” for choir and guitar.