The Morgan Music Company


James W. Morgan, from Willenhall, studied at the Huddersfield School of Music, where he gained their first First Class Honours Degree in Music. Following a Post Graduate Course at the Royal Northern College of Music, he took a Masters Degree at Indiana State University, the first of many educational visits to the USA, which included a year’s teaching on a Fulbright Scholarship. He began his teaching career with Kirklees in 1977 and moved to Head of Music at King James’ School, Almondbury in 1982, with several visits to the National Festival of Music for Youth including the famous 'Albert in F'. During this time he also conducted the Huddersfield Intermediate Youth Orchestra, taking them to the Schools’ Prom in 1981 and the USSR in 1982.In 1988 he went to Holmfirth High School as Director of Music and has had many musical excursions to the Schools’ Prom, the USA, Paris and Salzburg. He always involved the school in the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival ( and has hosted projects by the CBSO, Opera North, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and animateur, Barry Russell. His performing experience includes the Hallé Orchestra, the Black Dyke Mills Band and the Mastersingers, for whom he drums, sings, writes and directs. Mastersingers have so far released 6 albums – 3 recorded at Abbey Rd – and are often played on Radio 2. They performed at their second ‘BBC Proms in the Park’ in Manchester in 2005 and have recorded the only album of the choral music of Malcolm Williamson, former Master of the Queen’s Music. Maestro Sings First Messiah at 62! In 2014, James retired for full time teaching and gave both a One Man Show in July and sang the Bass Solos for the Holmfirth Methodist Messiah, in December, his first. James also sings bass in the choir of Christ Church, New Mill. He took over the Holme Valley Singers in 1982 and has had many successes both in the Concert Hall and at Competition until his retirement at Christmas 2007, many of his most successful arrangements having been written for the group. He has directed a number of Daily Services for the BBC Radio 4 and appeared as a, yes, schoolmaster, in ITV’s ‘Where The Heart Is’. In 1991, he set up the Holme Valley Orchestra, an amateur adult group which he conducts weekly. The Holme Valley Orchestra and the Holme Valley Singers have joined forces to perform, under James’s direction, the World Premier of Barry Russell’s opera, ‘Snogging Harold Wilson’ outdoors in St Georges Sq, Huddersfield as part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival – in the snow, as well as World Premiers of Barry’s orchestration of Faure’s Requiem and James’s orchestration of Stainer’s ‘Crucifixion’. James has done vocal workshops for both Sing for Pleasure and the National Association of Choirs and regularly conducts other local choirs. He lives in Holmfirth – ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ town - in West Yorkshire.
After 30 years as founder and conductor of the Holme Valley Orchestra, James laid his baton to rest in July 2021. Hopefully not the last foray with the orchestra, but who knows what other projects lay in store.
In fact, he's only gone and taken on Gledholt Male Voice Choir! As from September 2021 - exciting times ahead.