James Druce started his musical career as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral at the age of nine and subsequently commenced lessons in singing, piano and trombone. Moving to Warwick School in 2011, James quickly progressed as a trombonist under the tutelage of Simon Hogg as well as strengthening his singing abilities as a bass-baritone studying with Llyndal Trotman and Richard Whitehouse. During his time at Warwick; James achieved both Grade 8 and Diploma ABRSM Distinctions for Trombone.
A principal study scholarship trombonist studying under Dudley Bright at the Royal Academy of Music, James’ first two years at the Academy have seen him achieve the top marks in his year as well as enjoying masterclasses from Jorgen van Rijen, Brandt Attema, Tony Plogg, regular classes with Ian Bousfield and chamber/repertoire classes with Bob Hughes. Since September, James has performed Rachmaninoff and Gershwin with the RAM Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner as well as contemporary repertoire with ensembles such as the RAM Composer in Residence project and copious composer workshops. James also receives tuition in both sackbut and singing under Adam Wolff and Raymond Connell respectively as second study at the Academy.
James has won prizes and awards such as the Rotary Young Musician Award, the Gertrude Bark Award and Leamington Competitive Music Festival prizes for both trombone and piano. James has also played at venues such as Warwick Arts Centre, St John’s Smith Square, Royal Albert Hall, RNCM Concert Hall, Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Town Hall and Dukes Hall.
James is also enjoying his role as Principal Trombone of the National Youth Wind Orchestra where he plays with other quality young musicians and receives tutoring from renowned brass players including Sarah Williams and David Thornton. Conductors at NYWO that James has worked with include James Gourlay, Rodney Winther, Mark Heron and Matthew George. Since joining the Academy in 2016, James has played many times as the principle player with the University of London Symphony Orchestra and Academy Ensembles as well as playing with London Orchestras including the Amati Orchestra, City of London Symphony Orchestra, Hornton Chamber Orchestra and Fantasia Orchestra.
James enjoys composing, arranging and developing his chamber music skills and has given several well received performances of his own material.
'James has helped me massively gain confidence with my playing and has always been patient with me. His encouraging teaching attitude has pushed me and helped me in so many aspects of playing, and his love of the trombone is obvious through his mature manner. He’s an inspirational player who I’ve had the experience of being coached with ensemble playing, as well as solo.' - Jessica Anderson, 15
James is happy to teach in homes in the central London area.