James Squire - Northern School of Contemporary Dance


Accompanist Manager

BSc (Hons) in Music (City University)

Advanced Certificate in Performance & Communication Skills (Guildhall School of Music & Drama)

PGCE in Secondary Music (University of Huddersfield)

Role & Responsibilities:

  • Manage the team of musicians who work at NSCD, including timetabling accompanists for classes and workshops.
  • Play for classes, workshops, creative projects and performances.
  • Develop opportunities for students to engage with musical activities and enrichment.
  • Liaise with staff at NSCD and other institutions (e.g. Leeds Conservatoire) and collaborate on creative projects.

Career History

James is a highly experienced and versatile musician (primarily flute, saxophone, clarinet, percussion and voice) and is equally at home in jazz, pop, classical, folk and free improvisation.  Since studying at City University and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, he has enjoyed a varied career as a performer, teacher, and workshop leader.  In addition to working at NSCD, he is currently a lecturer at Leeds Conservatoire and guest tutor at Leeds Junior Conservatoire, in addition to performing in a number of bands (mainly jazz, pop, funk & soul).

James’ practice is rooted in collaboration and creativity, whilst his interest in different art forms and styles has led to work with organisations such as the BBC Philharmonic, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Opera North, Northern Ballet, Wakefield Cathedral and Yorkshire Youth & Music.

He has toured nationally and internationally with RJC Dance and JazzXchange Music & Dance Companies, which included playing with Zoe Rahman, Winston Clifford and members of Barak Schmool’s F-ire Collective.  Over the past 25 years, he has also performed with a number of dance and theatre companies (e.g. Welfare State International, Diversity Dance & West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Professional Activity

James was previously a member of advisory boards for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Making Music in Kirklees.

Research/Professional Interests

  • Collaborations with visual artists and musicians from diverse backgrounds have resulted in original work performed in all manner of educational and community settings.
  • Current interests include developing practical approaches to the development of musical skills and knowledge, including embodying rhythm and integrating sound and movement.

Professional and Research Artefacts

  • Co-devised and performed the site-specific work, “Mills and Moors” with Martin Kälberer for Marsden Jazz Festival (2012).
  • Musical Director & performer for “Walk the Talk” with National Youth Dance Wales (summer 2003).
  • Rehearsed & conducted the world premiere of Alvin Curran’s “Oh Man, Oh Mankind, Oh Yeah” in Huddersfield Town Hall (2009), with performers from Huddersfield Choral Society, University of Huddersfield and Christchurch Woodhouse Primary School.