Since August 2012, James has been Director of Music at Chelmsford Cathedral, where he leads a vibrant music department and directs the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. He is also Musical Director of Chelmsford Singers, a dynamic mixed-voice choir with a distinguished history. James spent six years as Assistant Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral, where he helped run one of the largest Cathedral music programmes in the country. He acted as Director of Music in two separate periods and was also Music Director of Blackburn Music Society. Formerly organ scholar of Portsmouth, Durham and St Albans Cathedrals, James was a chorister at Southwell Minster and also Assistant Organist at Winchester College. His organ teachers have included Philip Rushforth, Sarah Baldock and Andrew Lucas, and he has taken part in masterclasses with Jos van der Kooy, Ben van Oosten and Piet Kee.
A published composer, whose work has been heard on BBC Radios 3 & 4 and ITV, James is also a keen horserider and enjoys photography, cookery and gardening.