St. James has long been recognized for excellence and leadership in sacred music. When it was founded, the church established what was to become one of the most well-known choirs of men and boys. In 1926, that gave way to an adult choir of mixed voices. Several leaders of American church music have led the music program at St. James, including Dudley Buck, Peter Lutkin, Clarence Dickinson, and Leo Sowerby, considered to be the “Dean of American church music” for his influential compositions.

1837-1857    Juliette Kinzie
                       Laura Rumsey
                       William Lee
                       Michael Tyng
                       Emil Rein
1857-1861    Theodore Payne
1861-1865    Edward Payne
1865-1866    Charles Knopfel
1866-1868    W. H. Chant
1868-1871    Dudley Buck
1871-1871    Arthur Creswold
1871-1873    C. H. Brittan
1873-1875    James Kelley
1875-1876    Charles Havens
1876-1877    John White
1877-1879    James Lelley
1879-1880    William Tomlins
1880-1882    Unknown
1882-1891    C. E. Reynolds
1891-1897    Peter Lutkin
1897-1898    Clarence Dickinson
1898-1899    James Watson
1899-1901    Elias Bredin
1901-1903    Curtis Barry
1903-1909    Clarence Dickinson
1909-1918    John Norton
1918-1919    Hugo Goodwin
1919-1925    John Norton
1926-1927    Percy DeCoster
1927-1962    Leo Sowerby
1962-1965    Robert Lind
1965-1968    Beverly Ward
1968-1980    Lynn Hebert
1980-1987    Lee Kolenberg, Jr.
1988-2002    William P. Crosbie
2004-2015    Bruce J. Barber II
2016              Stephen Buzard