James Biddlecome has had a long and varied career. He began his musical studies with Claude Shappelle at Somerville (NJ) High School. He attended the Juilliard School of Music from 1956 to 1960 where he majored in trombone performance with the late Roger Smith. From 1961 to 1963 he was a member of the US Army Field Band. In the fall of 1964 he became a member the New York City Opera Orchestra. He has also played with the American Ballet Theater Orchestra, the Goldman Band and the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Group for Contemporary Music, the Brooklyn Philharmonia and was, for eight years, principal trombonist of the Caramoor Music Festival. Mr. Biddlecome was also personnel manager for the National Grand Opera and held the same position for the New York Grand Opera for more than twenty-five years. In 1974 he was asked to form a concert band at Mount Saint Mary Academy in North Plainfield, NJ where he remained as band director until 1980 when playing commitments required his resignation. It was there that he developed a keen interest in teaching and conducting and, for many years taught privately. In January of 2002 Mr. Biddlecome was appointed Music Director of the North Jersey Philharmonic where he remained until the demise of the orchestra in 2007. It was there that he conducted a number of outstanding concerts, including popular concert opera performances of La Boheme and Carmen and several innovative Children’s Concerts. Retiring in 2006 after 42 years as a member of the NYCO Orchestra, he remained as the Assistant Orchestra Librarian for several seasons While a member of the orchestra, he created the NYCO Education Department’s Opera in a Nutshell, a program for young instrumental musicians for which he was the director and conductor.

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