James enjoys a multifaceted musical career encompassing conducting, singing, and writing.

Recently appointed Director of Cathedral Singers at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, he directs the choir in over a hundred services a year. He is Musical Director for The Arcadian Singers of Oxford, a chamber choir with a distinguished 40-year history, for the 2016-17 season. He is also currently Director of Music at All Saints' Headington, where he directs the choir, one of the few parish choirs to maintain a weekly Sung Eucharist and Choral Evensong. Additionally he directs the chamber choir, Fratres.

Guest conducting engagements have included Oxford Opera, Newman Consort, Oxford Pro Musica Singers, Oxford Bach Soloists, St Michael at the North Gate, City Chambers Choir, and Oxford Youth Choirs. He has been selected for masterclasses including Paul Spicer (Birmingham Conservatoire), Peter Hanke (Copenhagen), John Traill (Oxford University), and Simon Carrington (Yale International School of Music).

Having read Music at The Queen's College, University of Oxford, where he was the recipient of the Maurice Pearton Choral Scholarship, he went on to work as a professional singer, singing as a Lay Clerk in the renowned choral foundations of Christ Church Cathedral, and Magdalen College, Oxford, as well as touring and recording with all of Oxford's major collegiate choirs.

As a writer on music, James has contributed programme notes and essays to groups including The Tallis Scholars, Dunedin Consort, the Cardinall's Musick, Vox Luminis, and others.