James Jirtle began the study of the violin at age four and he currently is a member of the Chamber Ensemble of the Duke University String School. At age six, he was accepted into the Boychoir of Duke University Chapel and began formal study with James H. Lazenby, his present vocal coach. In 1995 he enrolled in the Durham Magnet Center for this Visual and Performing Arts and is a member of the Chorale at the Magnet Center.
James has appeared as a soloist in performances of Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Duke Chapel Choir and the Raleigh Oratorio Society. In 1995, he sang the title role in five performances of Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors at Duke University. He has been invited to appear as a soloist in Duke University Chapel on several occasions, including appearances with the summer choir, at a traditional Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols, and in May 1995 he was guest soloist for the principal University worship service.
Recently, James earned the highest honor given by the RSCM to a boy-chorister, the St. Nicolas Award, after scoring a perfect 200 on the vocal and liturgical exam. In 1998 James started a website-design company called WebWiz Design.