James Bowstead is Organ Scholar at Peterborough Cathedral, where he plays for some of the daily services and contributes to the training and rehearsal of the boy and girl choristers, in particular the probationers. He was educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford, where he was the Senior Organ Scholar, responsible for directing the voluntary choir, with whom he toured to Cologne, Bratislava, Vienna, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Whilst at Oxford he studied organ with Steven Grahl and choral conducting with Paul Spicer. He graduated in 2015, following which he spent a year as Organist in Residence at Pangbourne College in Berkshire and Organ Scholar at All Saints Church, Fulham.
In Summer 2014 he gained his ARCO (Associate of the Royal College of Organists), winning the Limpus Prize, Frederick Shinn Prize and Durrant Prize for the highest mark in the practical examination. He has given recitals at Jesus and Exeter Colleges, Oxford, at the 2015 Three Choirs Festival in Hereford, and as part of the inaugural recital series on the newly-restored organ at the Moot Hall in Colchester. He is also a composer, having had works recorded by the Choir of Jesus College, Oxford for Regent and published by Novello.