“The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band”
James Joseph Banim (Jim) passed away peacefully at the age of 74 on May 7, 2019 in Torrance, California following a brief illness. Jim was born March 13, 1945 in Stuart, Florida to James and Miriam (Smith) Banim. He graduated from Lake Worth High School, Florida in 1964 before attending Florida State University as a Music Education Major. After college he taught for 8 years in Boca Raton, Florida before moving to California. There he taught for 3 years at Alhambra High School, then moved to Torrance to become the Band Director at West High School in 1979, where he stayed until his retirement in 2008. Throughout his career, he also raised three boys as a single father.
As a teacher, Jim was loved and respected by his students, their families, his administrators, and his work colleagues. His long career was filled with honors, awards and recognitions including Teacher of the Year awards, countless Superior ratings at music festivals, and performances in the Macy’s and Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parades and Rose Parades. He led the West High Band on many successful performance tours throughout the Unites States and Europe. Jim was completely dedicated to his students and became a father-figure to many. After his retirement, his biggest joy was caring for his grandchildren and helping out at Towers Elementary School in their classrooms.