Philip Frederick Wright James (May 17, 1890 – November 1, 1975) was an American composer, conductor and music educator.
James was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. At an early age he began piano, violin and theory lessons, and served as choirboy in several New Jersey churches. From 1904 to 1909 he studied organ with J. Warren Andrews and in 1907 began advanced harmony and counterpoint lessons with Homer Norris. He also studied composition with Rubin Goldmark, Elliott Schenck, and Rosario Scalero, as well as organ with Joseph Bonnet and Alexandre Guilmant in Paris.
In World War I James played in and subsequently became bandleader of the American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Band.
In 1922 he co-founded and became the first conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and in 1923, began a long teaching career at New York University, serving as head of the music department from 1934-1956.
Though he remained active as a composer until his death in 1975, James' larger-scale compositions were infrequently played after the mid-twentieth century. However several of his early sacred compositions, including "Meditation a Ste. Clotilde" for organ and the anthem "By the Waters of Babylon" remain in the sacred repertoire.
His first important job was at St. John's Episcopal Church, only about a mile away from where I live.
"Pantomime" was published by H. W. Gray Co. in 1941. It is dedicated: "To Carlos DuPré Moseley". Mosely (1914-2012) spent many years working with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra as its Managing Director, President, and Chairman of the Board.
Pantomime is a type of musical comedy stage production designed for family entertainment. It was developed in England and has a long theatrical history in Western culture dating back to classical theater.
I found it this work to be unique, & not "churchy," yet not without its appeal.
Several photos of Philip James, Carlos DuPré Moseley, and some of St. John's Church in Jersey City are attached below.