James Potter 2018-2022 Musical Director, WCS
James’ wide-ranging portfolio encompasses work with professional and amateur ensembles, choral societies, chamber and church choirs, and new music groups, as well as writing.
Having read Music at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford, he went on to study conducting with Paul Brough. He holds diplomas in organ and choral direction from the Royal College of Organists, the latter as winner of the John Brook (IAO) Memorial Prize. He has received invitations to international conducting competitions in Romania and Denmark.
A keen proponent of new and under-explored music, he has premiered works by Nick Bicat, Danyal Dhondy, Solfa Carlile, Sarah MacDonald, and others, and masterminded composition competitions and commissioning initiatives. In 2022, he will conduct premieres of work by Grayston Ives, Sarah Rimkus, Ben Rowarth, and others. He works regularly with the new music commissioning charity Cantata Dramatica.
Steeped in church music from a young age, he is currently Director of Cathedral Singers at Christ Church Cathedral, running the high-achieving non-professional choir, one of the most active of its type in the country. The group’s 2019 disc ‘Henry Aldrich: Sacred Choral Music’, a premiere recording of music by a 17th-century polymath, attracted positive notices. He has also held Director of Music positions at St Mary’s, Battersea, and, while an undergraduate, Pusey House in Oxford. He is Chapel Music Advisor to Hertford College, University of Oxford, tutoring the organ scholars in all aspects of church music.
James is also the conductor of Jubilate Chamber Choir, an auditioned group giving several annual concerts, with recent highlights including Bernstein Chichester Psalms, a composition competition, and activities celebrating the choir’s 25th anniversary.
An enthusiastic musical communicator, he is frequently commissioned to write programme notes and essays for groups and publications including The Tallis Scholars, Organists’ Review, Dunedin Consort, The Eric Whitacre Singers, and others.