Music is a language spoken around the world – and among the number of Waxahachie’s very talented musicians is Jim Davidson, who plays the clarinet and performs with three bands and orchestras.
Jim, his wife Mary and a friendly Yorkshire terrier named Jake recently welcomed the Waxahachie Sun into their home, with the Sun learning that Jim was born and raised in South Dakota. There, he played in the high school band, earning first chair clarinet honors in both the band and orchestra before graduating in 1967.
After high school, Jim joined the U.S. Navy, with duty stations in Italy, Alaska and Skaggs Island, California. He became a member of the 561st Air National Guard Band in California, where he continued playing the clarinet.
Military bands have been in existence since 1798, when the U.S. Marine Corps Band was formed. Currently, the U.S. Armed Services has 11 ensembles and more than 100 smaller active duty and reserve bands that play for public affairs events and often travel around the world.
During his military service, Jim achieved the rank of master sergeant and was named First Sergeant of the Year (2003) by the 129th Rescue Wing.
Now, Jim plays in a concert band made up of students from Southwestern Assemblies of God University and the Waxahachie Community Band.
“This band allows younger musicians and older musicians to play together,” he said, noting a recent concert held Nov. 25 at the Hagee Communication Center on the SAGU campus.
Additionally, Jim plays in the Waxahachie Community Theatre Band and the DMCO (Dallas Millennial Choir and Band). He has also played with the Waco Community Concert Band and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
On July 12, 2019, Jim had the distinct honor of playing with the Millennial Choir Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
“This was an honor and so exciting to be a part of this,” he shared with the Sun.
A cancer survivor, Jim was able to ring the bell recently after being cancer free for five years.
“When I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, I came to Texas to receive treatment at the best cancer treatment center in America, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,” he said, saying that he fell in love with the state and was happy when his family all followed him to Texas.
In earlier years, Jim resided in California, where he attended Sonoma State University, majoring in business management and accounting.
Jim worked for 25 years in the wine business in California, serving as chief financial officer for four different wine companies.
He has been employed for the past three years with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he serves in the Citizenship and Immigration Service.
“When immigrants take the oath to become American citizens, it is a very emotional ceremony,” he said.
Jim and his wife, Mary, have been happily married for five years. They have one son from Mary’s previous marriage and twin grandchildren, a boy and a girl aged 5. These grandchildren are a big part of their life, the couple shared, saying they enjoy spending time with them.
Jim has a pilot license to fly private planes and says he enjoys camping, especially with his grandson.
The Davidsons reside in Waxahachie, where they are members of First United Methodist Church and Jim plays in the church band.
Jim invites the public to attend performances by the three groups of which he’s a member.