I have known Richard James as a guitar soloist, guitar teacher and ensemble player and singer for more than 10 years. I have heard his fine performances of classical guitar repertoire at venues in Leicestershire and Rutland.
In 2007, I asked Richard to give a recital and workshop for the pupils at Stoneygate School where I was the Director of Music from 2006 to 2012. I was keen to start providing guitar lessons for the pupils. Following this inspiring demonstration, Richard set up and established a very successful guitar teaching practice which he also now runs in other schools. Over the course of a year, Richard's lessons became an important strand in the musical provision at the school.
Richard is a high skilled and versatile musician: a performer, teacher, musical director and arranger. His pupils took part in regular concerts, organised in partnership with other music staff. RIchard arranged much of the music to suit the abilities and tastes of the pupils and, as a result, I saw many pupils perform confidently for their parents and friends with great commitment and enthusiasm. Richard instills in his pupils a sense of discipline, motivation, good performance technique, excellent ensemble awareness and the confidence to give a performance.
Richard has an excellent manner with pupils and parents and is a confident, witty presenter of concert performances. I regularly asked him to take part in whole school concerts in large venues and to organise a band to accompany the school choir. He is well organised, confident, deals well with parents, music colleagues and senior staff and is a good team player.
I have no hesitation in recommending Richard for further musical work, as a teacher, performer or director.
Any institution would be fortunate in having the services of such a gifted, energetic, dedicated musician and teacher, ever- enthusiastic and very well liked by all his pupils.
MA PGCE LRAM
ABRSM examiner for grades, jazz and diplomas.
Adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals