James Stretton was born in Warwickshire in 1967 and flourished in that county’s music system before studying at Trinity College of Music, London and went on to study at the University of Texas USA.
A professional trumpeter by trade James has worked for orchestras including the CBSO, RLPO and London Concert Orchestra. A regular performer with the Royal Shakespeare Company he has accompanied several productions, most during a tour in the Far East.
In the brass band world he was a member of both the Yorkshire giant brass bands – Black Dyke and Grimethorpe and was a member of Black Dyke when they won the European Championships in 2005.
He also works regularly as a composer, arranger, conductor, teacher and adjudicator. His freelance work frequently involves engagements overseas including New Zealand.
Formerly Head of Instrumental Music at Harrogate Ladies’ College, James left full time teaching to set up his own company Orichalcum – World of Brass; Orichalcum (Latin for brass) utilises James’ virtuoso multi instrumental skills to entertain and educate adult audiences and children of all ages about the versatile world of brass music. During the Summer of 2009 Orichalcum appeared at both the Durham International Brass Festival and the Harrogate International Festival.