James Brown has been Organist of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford, since 2007, and teaches the organ at Abingdon School and New College Choir School. James is also a tenor lay clerk in the acclaimed men and boys’ choir of New College, Oxford. With this choir he sings six services a week during University term as well as doing many overseas tours, recordings, concerts and broadcasts on BBC radio. James also conducts the Oxford chamber choir, The Cherwell Singers, which performs three concerts a year in Oxford.
James was a music scholar at Queen’s College, Taunton, before gaining the organ scholarship at Girton College, Cambridge University. After graduating he studied organ with Lionel Rogg at the Conservatoire of Music in Geneva, Switzerland, and was Director of Music at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Geneva. From 1994 to 1996 James was Guest Artist in Residence at First United Methodist Church, Lubbock, Texas, USA. Within its large music programme James played for the broadcast services, co-directed the various choirs, gave concerts in the Vesper Concert series and worked with guest conductors including Sir David Willcocks and Timothy Brown. James was also a Graduate Music Assistant at Texas Tech University where he worked as an accompanist and studied voice and conducting.
On returning to England, James was appointed Organist of Dean Close School, Cheltenham, where he played for services and concerts, and taught the organ. He held this post alongside that of Director of Music at Christchurch, Cheltenham, and a tenor lay clerkship at Tewkesbury Abbey. He was also accompanist to the Cheltenham Bach Choir (director Stephen Jackson) and played for them twice on the BBC's Songs of Praise. As an organist, James has played several times on BBC Radio, including as the organist to the Radio 4 Pilgrimage to Greece in 2005. His teachers have included Lionel Rogg, David Sanger, Stephen Farr and Martin Ennis.