James has had a longstanding desire to play live music since a young age. Because of his disability, this has only been possible with a computer. He has often considered using his head pointer to conduct – conducting along to musicals in his room – but never took this passion seriously until adulthood.
After graduating from University College Falmouth with a first class honours degree in Broadcasting and a diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming (2008), he began a career in filmmaking and performance. One of his films was broadcast on the Community Channel in 2011 and into 2012. His performances include dancing at three of the four London 2012 Olympic ceremonies. Both practices are enjoyable but something was missing.
He then re-visited his conducting aspirations in 2012 with the Junior Choir at Oakwood Junior School (Southampton), subsequently securing a workshop with John Lubbock and a String Quartet from the Orchestra of St. John. (video: https://youtu.be/I3bI2-1OJ3M.)
For the next three years, James took every opportunity he could to develop experience in conducting whilst reading about the subject. In 2014, he made contact with Sian Edwards, Head of Conducting at Royal Academy of Music, after seeing an advert for the Conducting open day. Sian invited him to observe weekly classes on the MA Conducting Programme which he continues to do today. At the same time, James has been supported by Drake Music to develop a head baton.
His first public performance as conductor was in 2015 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park co-conducting a concert of twelve instruments built with recycled materials.
In May 2016, James ran a Conducting Development Week funded by Arts Council England at Royal Academy of Music. This was an opportunity for him to work with a string quartet under the mentorship of Sian Edwards and John Lubbock. A film documenting the project is available online – please see http://www.jamesrose.com/cdw for further details.
James is now looking forward to starting a traineeship with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in June 2017. The eighteen month traineeship is funded by Arts Council England through their new Change Makers fund. As part of this appointment, James will create a new BSO ensemble comprising of musicians with and without disabilities. He very much sees this as being another stage in his development as a conductor and is driven to progress his practice further, and to help others develop through music.