SSG James Hettinga
Hometown: Elyria, OH
Joined the Band: 2022
Ensemble: The U.S. Army Strings
Bachelor's Degree: Cleveland Institute of Music
SSG James Hettinga, an Ohio native, began studying cello at four years old. Throughout his childhood, he performed regularly in his community alongside his four older siblings, giving him a love for sharing music with others. Hettinga was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra during high school with whom he made his concerto debut at Severance Hall. In his junior year, Hettinga joined the prestigious Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Dr. Melissa Kraut. Through this program, Hettinga’s quartet won the Silver Medal in the Junior Division at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Hettinga was a prizewinner of both the renowned Klein International String Competition and the Mondavi Center National Young Artist Competition in 2019. He also was a winner of the CIM Concerto Competition and was given an honorable mention in the 2020 Schadt String Competition. He completed his bachelor’s degree at CIM with academic honors in the spring of 2021. Hettinga has had the privilege of performing with distinguished musicians including Jinjoo Cho, Matthew Allen, members of the Cavani and Ariel String Quartets, and cellists of The Cleveland Orchestra. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and exploring the D.C. area with his wife.