The Dulwich Chamber Choir was founded in 2011 by Richard Mayo and sang its first concert with the English Heritage Orchestra on 29th October 2011 at All Saint’s Church West Dulwich.
Both “Dulwich Chamber Choir” and “English Heritage Orchestra” are working names of a registered charity and company called Heritage Orchestras, founded in 1986 by Richard’s father Graham Mayo, with which the Choir amalgamated in November 2018.
The Choir performs
- Choral Services in our Cathedrals and Churches
- As a single recital ensemble
- Concerts with orchestral accompaniment
Conductor – Richard Mayo
Richard Mayo began his musical education as a chorister at St. John’s College, Cambridge under the direction of Dr. George Guest. While a Music Scholar at Uppingham School he began his studies as an organist with Nicolas Kynaston. He then won organ scholarships to Wells Cathedral and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge where he directed the College Choir for two years making recordings and giving a recital tour of Hungary. Having graduated with degrees in Music he continued organ tuition with John Scott and has given recitals in venues including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, King’s College and St. John’s College, Cambridge, Coventry and Truro Cathedrals. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
As a conductor, Richard has directed a number of choirs including the Cambridge Chorale and the Choral Societies of Uppingham, Godalming and Cranleigh. He has also been an assistant conductor for the Philharmonic Choir, the Guildford Choral Society and the Guildford Chamber Choir. Concerts have included performances of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, the St. John Passion and the Mass in B minor by J.S.Bach, Verdi’s Requiem and A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams as well as works by Beethoven, Britten, Bruckner, Howells, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Arvo Pärt, Jonathan Dove and Eric Whitacre.
He has been Director of Music at Dulwich College since 2004 where he conducts the College Symphony Orchestra and Chapel Choir. The Chapel Choir released its CD of seasonal Christmas music and College Songs in October 2008 and it has also sung at Westminster Abbey, Trinity and Jesus Colleges in Cambridge. Richard is Conductor and Musical Director of the English Heritage Orchestra and in 2011 he founded the Dulwich Chamber Choir.
Assistant Conductor- Clair Cousens
After her early musical education at Methodist College, Belfast, Claire Cousens moved to England to complete a pre-degree course at The Royal College of Music where she studied organ with Margaret Phillips. During this time, she held the organ scholarship at Hampton Court Palace, working with Carl Jackson. Following this year, she took up the organ scholarship at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where she read Music. During this time, she directed the Chapel choir in services and on tours to Germany, Hawaii and Mexico. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, she studied the organ with David Sanger at Cambridge. After graduating, Claire spent a year as organ scholar at Truro Cathedral where she worked with Robert Sharpe and Christopher Gray.
Claire joined the Dulwich College Music department in 2017 having previously been Director of Music at Rochester Grammar School and Teacher of Music at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School. As a conductor, Claire has directed a number of choirs and orchestras with highlights including performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana and Mozart’s Requiem. Whilst at Haberdashers’ Claire founded a Joint Boys’ and Girls’ Chamber Choir and directed them in Evensongs at Pembroke and Gonville and Caius College Chapels.