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A Transatlantic Alliance: Choir and Organ

The Choir of St James Episcopal Church, Los Angeles
James Buonemani, Director
David Grealy, organ

The CHOIR OF SAINT JAMES EPISCOPAL CHURCH, LOS ANGELES 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 during the months of August, 1999, 2006 and 2010. As the core musical organization of Saint 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 Choir of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, and the Choir of Westminster Abbey, etc. The Choir performed the music for the official Los Angeles Memorial to Princess Diana in 1997. In addition to weekly services and monthly evensongs, the Saint James Choir presents concerts featuring many of the great choral masterpieces with full orchestra. Under James Buonemani’s direction since 1995, significant works have included the Requiems of Maurice Duruflé, Gabriel Fauré, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giuseppe Verdi, Mass in G Minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Lord Nelson Mass by Haydn, Funeral Ikos and Song for Athene by John Tavener, the 40-part motet Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis, Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein and Lux Aeterna of Los Angeles composer Morten Lauridsen. The Choir of Saint James has recently released a new and much acclaimed album entitled O Beauty Ever Ancient Ever New on the Gothic label.

James Buonemani began his musical career at age 13 when he was appointed assistant organist at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Rochester, NY. An early interest in composition won him first prize  at age 15 in a national competition for composers sponsored by Baylor University. Since then he has composed music exclusively for the church. His music is published by Paraclete Press and MusicaBellaLuna, and has been performed throughout the US and in England and broadcast worldwide by BBC’s Radio 3 and NPR. He has performed as solo organist and/or conductor in such notable venues as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, and Church of St. Paul the Apostle at Lincoln Center, Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), and in England at Westminster Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral, St. George’s Chapel Windsor, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, Wells Cathedral and in Mexico City’s Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe and on Mexican National Television. He has appeared before regional and national conventions of the AGO, the American Choral Directors Association, the Association of Anglican Musicians, and the Organ Historical Society, and has guest conducted the William Ferris Chorale of Chicago and the Chicago Choral Artists. Since 1995, James Buonemani has been Organist & Director of Music for St. James’ Church, Los Angeles. In June of 2015, Mr. Buonemani conducted a choir of over 200 voices in Walt Disney Concert Hall marking the 150th anniversary of Episcopal Ministry in Southern California, at which time he was conferred with the title Honorary Canon of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, acknowledging his extraordinary contributions to the musical life of the Episcopal Church.

David Grealy, a native of Galway, is organist at St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, having previously held positions at Westminster Cathedral, St. Bartholomew's Church, Ballsbridge, and Galway Cathedral. In 2017 he completed a Masters in organ performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Cologne, during which time he was also an organist in the church of St. Peter & Paul, Ratingen, where he studied improvisation with Ansgar Wallenhorst. He is a first-class honours graduate of Maynooth University (2008), where he studied organ under Prof Gerard Gillen, and where currently works as a tutor. He was recently awarded the diploma of Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO). David is in regular demand as an accompanist, both in Ireland and abroad, and has featured in broadcasts for RTÉ and WDR (Germany).



J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547


Ēriks Ešenvalds (b. 1977)

Magnificat (Merton College, Oxford)

Cristóbal de Morales (c.1500-1553)

Salve Regina for Five Voices (Part 1)

William Walton (1902-1983)

A Litany

Pierre Villette (1926-1998)

Hymn à la Vierge


Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

Sonata in F Minor, op.65 no. 1

Allegro moderato e serioso


Andante (Recitative)

Allegro assai vivace


Ēriks Ešenvalds

Nunc Dimittis (Merton College, Oxford)

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

From Quatre Motets pour un temps du penitence

Timor et tremor

James Buonemani (b. 1956)

My Love (A Celtic Prayer)

Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943)

Ubi Caritas

Performer photo
The Choir of St James Episcopal Church, Los Angeles
David Grealy