Who’s who?

Musical director: Hilary Campbell

Hilary Campbell is a freelance choral specialist based in London. As well as being Musical Director of the West London Chorus, Hilary is also the founder and director of professional chamber choir Blossom Street, and Musical Director of the Bristol Choral Society and the Music Makers of London. She is currently also working as Associate Conductor of Ex Cathedra. Her guest work includes ensembles such as BBC Symphony Chorus, whom she prepared for a performance of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor at the Proms, the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Chorus, Trinity Laban Chamber Choir, BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service Singers, the University of Greenwich Choir and the New London Singers.

In 2018, she undertook her first project as guest conductor of the BBC Singers. She also runs an annual project with Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir at the Royal Academy of Music, in conjunction with Blossom Street and the RAM composition department, and began working there in 2017 as a BMus Lecturer. In addition, she is conductor of P&O Ferries Choir, the group which won the BBC2 series The Choir, whom she met whilst filming for the series.

Hilary gained a Distinction for an MMus in Choral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music; she was also awarded the three choral conducting prizes. At the Academy, she studied choral conducting with Patrick Russill, Paul Brough and Cathal Garvey, singing with Julie Kennard and composition with Ruth Byrchmore. She gained a Distinction for an MA in Vocal Studies at the University of York, and undertook an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in singing at Trinity College of Music.

Following her studies, she returned to the Royal Academy as the Meaker Fellow 2012-13, the first choral conductor to have been thus honoured, and this year was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM). She now works there, too, as a BMus tutor. In addition to her regular conducting work, Hilary also acts as an adjudicator, choral workshop leader and guest conductor. She is a founder member of the Voices of London Festival, and cofounder of music workshop scheme VOCALIZE. With Blossom Street, she has released two award winning Naxos recordings, and she is also a published and prize-winning composer.

There’s more about Hilary on her own website.

Accompanist: Marija Stručkova

Lithuanian pianist Marija Stručkova is active as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, and has won numerous accolades at international piano competitions and festivals. After receiving her master’s in piano performance at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Marija worked as a repetiteur at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre as well as the Vilnius City Opera.

In 2014, Marija was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to study a Master’s in Repetiteurship under the tutelage of Paul Plummer and Jonathan Plowright. In 2016/17, she was a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist where she worked on La Bohème and Le Nozze di Figaro, as well as playing with the Scottish Opera Orchestra in productions of Bluebeard’s Castle and Glass’s The Trial. Most recently, Marija worked on Opera North’s season of Six Little Greats, where she was chief repetiteur for Osud and Cavalleria rusticana.

Marija joined the West London Chorus as its accompanist in 2019.

Patron: Cecilia McDowall

In 2022, the well-known choral composer Cecilia McDowall agreed to be the choir’s Patron.

Born in London, 1951, Cecilia has won many awards, been short-listed eight times for the British Composer Awards and in 2014 won the Choral category of the British Composer Awards for her haunting work, Night Flight, which celebrates the pioneering flight of the American aviatrix, Harriet Quimby, across the English Channel. McDowall’s distinctive style speaks directly to listeners, instrumentalists and singers alike. Her most characteristic works fuse fluent melodic lines with occasional dissonant harmonies and rhythmic exuberance. Her music has been commissioned and performed by leading choirs, including the BBC Singers, The Sixteen, Oxford and Cambridge choirs, Kansas City Chorale, ensembles, and at festivals worldwide.

Recent commissions include When time is broke (Three Shakespeare Songs) for the BBC Singers and Adoro te devote for Westminster Cathedral Choir, London. Three Latin Motets were recorded by the renowned American choir, Phoenix Chorale, conductor, Charles Bruffy; the Chandos recording, Spotless Rose, won a Grammy award and was nominated for Best Classical Album. The National Children’s Choir of Great Britain commissioned a work focusing on ‘children in conflict’, called Everyday Wonders: The Girl from Aleppo. This cantata is based on the real-life escape of Nujeen Mustafa (who is wheelchair-bound) and her sister from war-torn Aleppo; it tells of their harrowing journey across 3,500 miles, through seven countries, eventually arriving in Germany with relief and great gratitude.

In May, 2019, Wimbledon Choral Society and the Philharmonia Orchestra premiered McDowall’s large-scale choral work, the Da Vinci Requiem, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death. The work received its first performance on 7 May in the Royal Festival Hall, London. McDowall’s works are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio and readily available on CD.

In 2013 Cecilia McDowall received an Honorary Doctorate from Portsmouth University and in 2017 McDowall was selected for an Honorary Fellow award by the Royal School of Church Music. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from West London University. In 2021 the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, released a CD of her choral music on the Hyperion label. In 2020 McDowall was presented with the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for ‘outstanding music collection’ for a ‘consistently excellent body of work’. This was a ‘Gift’ from The Ivors Academy (formerly the British Composers’ Academy).

In 2021 McDowall was given the coveted annual commission by King’s College, Cambridge, to write the carol for the Choir of King’s College and their music director, Daniel Hyde, to be part of the much-loved Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast world-wide on Christmas Eve. The carol, There is no rose, is published by Oxford University Press.

In April 2023, the West London Chorus performed Cecilia’s work A Time for all Seasons.


The Chiswick Choir is registered as a Charity No 278765 whose objectives are to educate the public in the arts and sciences, and in particular the art and science of music, by the presentation of concerts and other activities. It is managed by a Committee of members who meet formally each term and host an Annual General Meeting in October.