The Choir of Saint James
The CHOIR OF SAINT JAMES is made up of amateur and professional adult musicians from the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Under the direction of Organist and Choirmaster James Buonemani, it is the first American choir to have sung in performance with the Choir of Westminster Abbey. The Choir of Saint James has been honored to serve three times as Westminster Abbey’s choir-in-residence, and has sung at many of the great Cathedrals and Chapels during their four tours of the British Isles including Canterbury Cathedral, Wells Cathedral, St. George’s Chapel Windsor, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, and in Ireland at Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral, Galway’s St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, Cork’s St. Finn Barre’s Cathedral and Tullamore’s Church of the Assumption.
As the core musical organization of St. James Church, the choir has played host to many of the world’s finest choirs during their international tours, including The Sixteen, the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, the American Boychoir, the Gloriae Dei Cantores, the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, the Choir of the Royal Holloway, the Queen’s College Choir Oxford, the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral and the Choir of Westminster Abbey. The Choir of Saint James performed the music for the official Los Angeles Memorial to Princess Diana in 1997. In July 2004 the choir was featured at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Los Angeles.
In addition to weekly services and monthly evensongs, the Choir of Saint James presents concerts featuring many of the great choral masterpieces with orchestra. Under James Buonemani’s direction, significant works have included the Requiems of Maurice Duruflé, Gabriel Fauré, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi; the Mass in G Minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams, the Lord Nelson Mass by Haydn, the Funeral Ikos and Song for Athene by John Tavener, the 40-part motet “Spem in Alium” by Thomas Tallis, the Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein and the Lux Aeterna of Los Angeles composer Morten Lauridsen.
The Choir of Saint James released its first commercially available CD on the Gothic label in December of 2018 to high critical acclaim. Entitled “O Beauty Ever Ancient Ever New,” the CD includes the music of Ēriks Ešenvalds, Vytautas Miškinis, Ola Gjeilo, William Walton, Edward Bairstow, Francis Poulenc and the premiere recording of the title work “O Beauty Ever Ancient Ever New” (written for the 100th Anniversary of the founding of St. James Church) by James Buonemani.