Brought up in a small town in Cornwall, Southern England, James Foster began his career playing percussion in his local village brass band before going on to become Principal Percussionist of the Cornwall Youth Brass Band. He later became a tutor with the CYB before moving commencing his studies at Bristol Law School.


Throughout his time in Bristol James regularly performed with the New Bristol Sinfonia, Bristol Concert Orchestra, and the University Orchestra. It was whilst in Bristol that James became a regular on the professional musical theatre circuit at the Bristol Hippodrome, together with playing and recording with various big bands around the country.


James was privileged to be the Principal Percussionist of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain for many years under the baton of noted conductors Elgar Howarth and Bramwell Tovey, former Musical Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He also enjoyed recording and performing at the NYBB with leading soloists Jens Lindemann, Joseph Alessi and Ian Bousfield.


James has performed with many of the premiere brass bands in the UK. It was during his time with the National Youth Brass Band when he met Dr Robert Childs who invited him to play with the Cory Band in Wales during his time at University. Particular highlights of his period at Cory was winning the 2011 Welsh Regional Championships and travelling to the Netherlands to perform at the prestigious Holland Brass Festival.


Although James now spends most of his time as a criminal defence lawyer, he still enjoys playing with the All Souls Orchestra in London, who regularly perform at the Royal Albert Hall, and with whom he recently performed at Wembley Stadium. James is a member of the Woodfalls Band and the North American Brass Band Summer School's highly respected Administrator.


Take the first step to book your place on the 2021 North American Brass Band Summer School (late June - early July; dates to be confirmed) through registering your interest by submitting this online form.


Please note that all participants must be a minimum of 19 yrs-old on June 24, 2021, unless accompanied by an adult (19 yrs or over) for the duration of the course. For all inquiries relating to NABBSS please email:


A member of our team will respond to you.

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