Dancing Cheek to Cheek
Charles MacDougall, Tenor
Robert Mingay-Smith, Piano
The summer series closes in its usual manner with a performance of jazz songs and lighter repertoire by our resident duo, Charles and Rob. Black tie and evening wear positively encouraged.
Charles & Rob are known for their tailored musical interpretations, sharp and snappy appearance and their tightly woven friendship so visible in performance. The pair, although best of friends for many years, embarked on their musical partnership as the tenor duo in international award-winning vocal ensemble VOCES8. These two artists now work together as a collaborative duo creating and performing well-researched and varied programmes.
“This pairing has almost telepathic communication and obvious joy in cooperation; this is music-making which unites performers and audience in relishing talent and expertise… it appears effortless yet elicits admiration, and in this case, sends you away feeling privileged to have witnessed something wonderful.” – Ann Muir (Square Mile Music Series Review–June 2014)
Charles MacDougall is an award-winning tenor, choral animateur and vocal coach, known equally for his voice and his transformative work with choirs and singers. Recent solo highlights have included: creating the role of Richard III in John Webb’s The Last Plantagenet (Philharmonia Orchestra, De Montford Hall); Handel’s Messiah (Telemann Chamber Orchestra, Hitomi Memorial Hall, Tokyo); Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Telemann Chamber Orchestra, Izumi Hall, Osaka); Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (The Guards’ Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London); Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion (Dalby Kammarkör, Sweden); Harlequin in The Pioneer of Panto (Handel House, London); and Bach Early Cantatas (Les Inventions, Dijon Opera House). In 2018 he made his London Handel Festival debut with London Early Opera at St. George’s, Hanover Square. Prior to that, from 2005-2012, he was a member of VOCES8, performing over 100 concerts internationally each year. With the group, he released several successful commercial albums and made regular television and radio appearances, giving his final performance with them on Christmas Day 2012 in Shanghai. He has also sung for London Early Opera (and appears on their recent releases Handel at Vauxhall, Vol.1 & 2, Signum Classics), the Gabrieli Consort, Seraphim, Cappella Nova, Schola Cantorum of Oxford and been involved in innovative collaborations with the James Taylor Quartet (Queen Elizabeth Hall). Charles is also a highly experienced vocal coach and choral animateur, working for the LSO Discovery, London Youth Choir, as well as being Chorus Director for Gabrieli Roar and directing two choirs in London. Highlights in 2018 included conducting the World Premiere of Errolyn Wallen’s MAP: Songs for children everywhere for Snape Maltings in Hull, as well as receiving the Music Teacher Award for Excellence in Primary/Early Years 2018 for his work as choral director in The Voices Foundation/DRET Singing Schools pilot programme. Formerly the Senior Vocal Coach at Portsmouth Cathedral, Whitgift School and Croydon Minster, he is now Choral Director for The Voices Foundation, coaches for the Royal School of Church Music, and is Consultant Vocal Coach at Derby Cathedral and Radley College.
Robert Mingay-Smith began his musical career as an organist at the age of 14 and completed the ABRSM Organ Diploma for performance at the age of 19. In 1998 he became Director of Music at St Peter’s Church in Brandon, Suffolk after which he commenced his studies in organ, voice and bassoon at Trinity College of Music, London. Robert graduated with a BMUS (Hons) in 2005.
During his career, Robert has held choral scholarships at both St Edmundsbury Cathedral and St Martin-in-the-fields, and posts as Assistant Director of Music at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, and St. Michael’s Cornhill, London.
From 2009 to 2013 Robert was a member of the British vocal ensemble VOCES8 with whom he toured world-wide. During his time with the ensemble they recorded six CDs including the Bach Motets and Aces High.
Robert performs regularly as an organ soloist in the UK and at many of London’s churches and cathedrals. He has performed all over America and in concerts improvising alongside Naji Hakim. He is a founder member of the flute & organ duo INVERSION, alongside the award-winning flautist Ruth Stockdale with whom he tours internationally.
Robert founded the Square Mile Music Series and is artist director of the new ensemble Seraphim (www.seraphimconsort.com); both of which are based at St Mary-at-Hill Church, London where Robert is the Director of Music, a post he has held since 2007. Robert is also Director of Music at St John the Baptist, Wimbledon.