With both parents being brass players and members of Kettering SA band and the GUS band, there were always instruments to hand and it was no surprise that at 3 years old James was playing his first notes on the cornet.
James received his first cornet tuition from his dad and joined the Kettering Young Peoples band at The Salvation Army. Later James received lessons through the County Music Service and his main teacher there was Geneva Instruments very own John Hudson. During this time James joined the County Training brass band before moving into the main County Youth Band. At 14 James joined the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain under the direction of Bramwell Tovey and sat principal cornet of the band for 8 consecutive courses.
As a teenager James played principal cornet with the GUS band before achieving a childhood dream when he joined Grimethorpe and sharing the Principal Cornet
James has now returned to the principal chair at his home band GUS and features as soloist with the band at concerts and CD recordings.
James is currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and under the guidance of Paul Beniston of the LPO, Paul Cosh, Steve Keavy, Will O’Sullivan as well as having established tutors such as Paul Mayes, Anne McAneny and Chris Deacon as members of his teaching staff.
As well as his brass band commitments James is a member of the Stratus Brass quintet and in demand performing recitals in the London area. James is also in the process of forming a new dectet ensemble made up of players from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
James recently performed as soloist at the Derek Watkins tribute concert at Fairfield Halls in Croydon and performed with famous artist such as Chuck Findley and the Super C Big Band and felt very honoured to play a part in celebrating the great performer’s career.
“The Geneva Symphony cornet is so free blowing and warm, throughout all the register. Switching between trumpet and cornet, this instrument is great for me because it's such a traditional British instrument it produces that fat cornet sound I'd like without me having to change too much from what I do on a trumpet. I am so happy with the instrument and am delighted to promote what I feel is the best cornet on the market.” James Fountain