Charles MacDougall

Charles is an award-winning tenor, choral director, vocal coach, and music education specialist, known equally for his singing and his transformative work with choirs and singers. 

Formerly a member of internationally-acclaimed vocal ensemble VOCES8 (2005-12), he now sings for a number of other ensembles, such as Gabrieli Consort and Players, London Voices (appearing on numerous film sound tracks) and London Early Opera (including as a soloist on their releases Handel at Vauxhall, Vol.1 & 2, Signum Classics), as well as undertaking solo engagements internationally, including: Handel’s Messiah (Hitomi Memorial Hall, Tokyo); Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Izumi Hall, Osaka); Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (The Guards’ Chapel, London); Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion (Dalby Kammarkör, Sweden); Bach Early Cantatas (Les Inventions, Dijon Opera House); and creating the role of Richard III in John Webb’s The Last Plantagenet (Philharmonia Orchestra, De Montford Hall).  From 2014-2018 he gave recitals across France and Belgium at the Commonwealth War Graves as part of the Centenary commemorations and in 2018 he made his London Handel Festival solo debut at St. George’s, Hanover Square. 

An accomplished choral conductor and vocal coach, he has been Chorus Director for the national singing programme that is Gabrieli ROAR since 2017, and directs three adult choirs and one a cappella group in London, having previously held the post of Vocal Ensembles Coach and Tutor in Vocal Studies at Junior Trinity (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance), as well as coaching roles at Portsmouth Cathedral, Radley College, Whitgift School, and Keble College, Oxford.

Charles is extremely active as a workshop leader, presenting sessions for the BBC Singers, UK Choir Festival, Association of British Choral Directors, LSO, Philharmonia, and Stay at Home Choir. He is also the vocal coach for Pontinova Experience (Zürich), one of a team of coaches offering self-leadership coaching to corporate partners internationally. Recent directing highlights include conducting the world premieres of both Errollyn Wallen’s MAP: Songs For Children Everywhere for Britten-Pears Arts in Hull and Snape Maltings, and David Bruce’s Songs of Home for the 25th anniversary of The Voices Foundation at St. John’s, Smith Square. 

In 2018 he was part of the team that received the Music Teacher Award for Excellence in Primary/Early Years (for creation and delivery of the VF/DRET Singing Schools pilotprogramme), while in 2020 he helped devise and deliver the daily VF Virtual Sing for children and teachers at home during lockdown. In 2021 he wrote the first volume of Inside Singing, a choral resource for primary school choir leaders, which was nominated for a Music and Drama Education Award in 2023. 

A fierce advocate for the importance of music education, he is Director of Choral for The Voices Foundation, an Ambassador for Britten-Pears Arts, a Trustee of IntoOpera, and a Director and Trustee of the Choral Foundation, Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, as well as having been a key figure in the creation and implementation of singing programmes nationwide. He holds both a BA(Hons) and MA(Distinction) from Durham University and a PhD from the University of London.