Born in Wales, James began to study the piano at the age of six, and within a year had joined Newport Cathedral Choir as a chorister. He toured as a principal cast member with Music Theatre Wales, performed at the Enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was awarded a Choral Scholarship to Rougemont School in South Wales.
James gained the Dip. ABRSM in Musical Performance whilst studying for his A Levels, and subsequently graduated with First Class Honours in Music & Sound Recording (BMus Tonmeister) at the University of Surrey in 2013, where he studied piano with Margaret Roberts, and performance with Clive Williamson. Whilst at university, James won the Croser-Hughes Chamber Music prize, was awarded several performance scholarships, and was Musical Director for the University Musical Theatre Society.
James completed the postgraduate diploma in Musical Direction & Vocal Coaching at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) in July 2014. During this time at LAMDA, James studied with some of the best theatre tutors in the world, in all disciplines including acting, movement and improvisation, as well as conducting (with Stuart Morley and Jim Henson), composition & arrangement (with Anthony Ingle), and vocal technique (with Rob Archibald). As part of the course, James assisted various professional musical directors, as well as MD’ing many shows himself.
Since graduating from LAMDA, James has worked on a diverse range of projects across theatre, TV & Film, radio and live music. Most recently, James was Music Consultant for Disney’s 2019 live-action film, “Aladdin”. He also worked as a vocal coach on Disney’s 2017 “Beauty and the Beast”, as well as pianist for ITV’s production of “The Sound of Music Live”, and has performed live on BBC Radio. James conducted the UK concert version of “The Color Purple” at Cadogan Hall in 2017, aswell as the UK premiere of DISASTER the Musical at Charing Cross Theatre.
Other work includes musical direction & vocal coaching at numerous musical theatre schools (including LAMDA, The Urdang Academy, ArtsEd) and audition pianist for David Grindrod Associates, Will Burton Casting, Jim Arnold Casting, The Really Useful Group and Debbie O’Brien Casting.
For further details please see the credits page.