James Coomber

James Coomber - The Sound & Music Designer

I was born in Grimsby, a small-ish town between Hamilton and St. Catherines in Ontario. My mother, Janny Struyk, was born in Hamilton, to parents Jane and Harry Struyk, who are both from the Netherlands. Their families go back several generations there. My father, George Coomber, was born in Hagersville. His birth name was John Robert Patton, and his birth parents’ families were Algonquin and French-Canadian. He was adopted when he was 8 years old by Vic and Mary Coomber, whose families were both British.

My older brother, John Eric Victor Coomber is a Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces and works as the Operational Planner for 32 Canadian Brigade Group. My grandfather Hurbert Victor Coomber joined the Canadian Navy in 1942, with the rank of Stoker 2nd Class. He served on the HMCS Nene and the HMCS Swift Current, which focused on mine sweeping and anti-submarine operations. My grandmother, Mary Margaret Stewart Coomber was a volunteer with the Red Cross Nursing Division with the rank of Sergeant Major. Her brothers James, David and William were also in the Navy. William died in the sinking of the HMCS Athabascan. Vic’s uncle, Joseph Coomber, was a soldier in WWI and was involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. My other grandmother, Jane Struyk, worked on a farm in the Netherlands during WWII, which saw heavy gunfire from planes as it was close to a railway.

I’m the sound designer for the show. I’m responsible for what the audience hears (aside from the actors, though sometimes there is overlap) and how they hear it. A lot of my job is finding the right sound for the right moment, which involves a lot of research and experimentation in rehearsal.