Dr. James Plondke brings 46 years of teaching strings and conducting orchestras to the Georgia Academy of Music, where he teaches beginning and intermediate strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass) and advanced double bass. Jim was Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities, at the University of Tennessee, where he co-founded the Knoxville Junior Philharmonia. He served as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities at Lawrence University, where he was also Professor of Double Bass. As Professor of Music at Valdosta State University, he founded the South Georgia String Project and expanded the Valdosta Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was Music Director of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra for fourteen years and Music Director of the Ocala (formerly Central Florida) Symphony Orchestra for eight seasons. In Ocala, he was active as the double bassist in the Central Florida Symphony Orchestra String Quintet. Jim began his career as Orchestra Teacher and Music Department Chairman at York Community High School in Elmhurst, Illinois and ended his career serving The Westminster Schools, teaching strings and orchestra third through twelfth grades.