James Thomas is the Cathedral's Director of Music (Organist and Master of the Choristers). He directs the provision of music in the worship at the Cathedral, trains the Cathedral Choir, the St Cecilia Chorale and the Colts Choir, and conducts the majority of the choral services.
Born in 1963, James Thomas read music as Organ Scholar at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, receiving tuition on the organ from Nicolas Kynaston. During this time he gained the FRCO, winning the Dixon prize for extemporisation. After graduating, he spent a year at Homerton College, then, armed with a PGCE, lived in France for two years, teaching in Caen and learning the organ Rouen with Louis Thiry. James returned to England in 1988 as Assistant Organist at Blackburn Cathedral, and then moved to Chichester in 1991 as Assistant Organist at the Cathedral and Director of Music at the Prebendal School. Here he met the daughter of one of his music staff: Katharine and he were married in the Cathedral in 1993. (Katharine is herself an accomplished musician, having been Organ Scholar at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.) They have three daughters. James was appointed Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in September 1997. Since then, the choir has made a CD and sung a dozen times on national radio. In 1998 he was appointed conductor of the Cambridge Choral Society.