Introducing James M. Brown, New Choir Section Leader

We welcome our new alto section leader, James M. Brown!

How did you end up in DC?

I was looking to move to move somewhere central to the East coast with access to multiple cities after being in Canada for the past few years.  My best friend happened to have a room open in her home and I joined her in the DC area as we continue our musical adventures.

How did you start singing countertenor?

As it turns out, I was singing countertenor all through middle and high school without realizing it.  I was singing in choirs as an alto using what I knew as my true voice.  By the time I was working with a professional voice teacher I was using so much of my head voice that she thought it best that I continue training with classical music written for the countertenor voice.

Are you looking forward to anything specifically about Western or the DC area?

I’m so excited to pursue new and interesting musical ventures in the DC area while exploring the complicated nature of our nations capital.


A Maine native considered by the Portland Press Herald as “a countertenor with a pleasingly warm, powerful tone…”, James Brown has been seen performing repertoire of diversity while completing his graduate degree at McGill University under the esteemed Dominique Labelle.  He recently completed the Opera McGill season as both Polinesso in Handel’s Ariodante and an “irresistible” Old Lady in Bernstein’s Candide.  James also found a place on the concert stage with McGill’s University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra season debuting as a soloist in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah.  Recent engagements include a presentation of staged Britten art song in collaboration with the Montreal Rose Festival and work with Tafelmusik’s Summer Baroque Institute that consists of Charpentier’s Missa Assumpta est Maria and the role of The Huntsman in Blow’s Venus & Adonis.

Mr. Brown has been hailed by L’Opéra as “a voice well controlled in the whole range for playing the cold menace” whilst portraying the role of the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas simultaneously with the North American Premiere of East O’ the Sun, West O’ the Moon by rising opera composer James Garner.  Noteworthy work consists of Arnalta (The Coronation of Poppea) and Queen of the Fairies (Iolanthe) in the University of Southern Maine’s opera productions along with previous performances of Bach’s Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe and Mass in B Minor and, Purcell’s King Arthur with the American Bach Soloists Academy, and with the University of Southern Maine as the soloist for Mozart’s Requiem.  Joined by notable talent in the New England concert scene, he has been involved with the Portland Rossini Club, Bay Chamber Concert Series, and White Mountain Music Festival with works by Britten, Bolcom, and Bach.