James, a native of central Virginia, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in Music Education and Performance. He studied music under various teachers, including Richmond Symphony musicians. He has performed in community orchestras and many pit orchestras for theater productions. James has been director of a homeschool band program since 2006, and for over 30 years has been teaching private lessons, also serving as band director in two private schools. He is active in the music ministry at Bethany Place Baptist Church in Chesterfield County. Some of his hobbies include photography, landscaping, and woodworking. James is married with two teenage daughters that have been homeschooled from the beginning with an emphasis on a Christian education.