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Conductor and leader

Guest conductor


Tom Hammond



Paul Tysall  

Tom Hammond has been DSO's principal conductor since January 2011.

Tom is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, recognition of his progression since becoming the first Sir Charles Mackerras Fellow in Conducting at Trinity Laban (Trinity College of Music). He has conducted several prominent professional ensembles, including London Symphony Orchestra Brass, sound collective, Southbank Sinfonia, Orchestra of Opera North and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Moving within a broad variety of repertoire, Hammond dedicates equal enthusiasm to his work with professionals, conservatoire students and non-professionals, also investing energy in developing outreach projects.

He has conducted numerous world and UK premières, performing music by leading contemporary figures such as John McCabe, David Matthews, Robert Saxton, Matthew Taylor, Paul Patterson, Elena Firsova, Bernard Hughes and James Francis Brown. Soloists with whom Tom has collaborated include Elizabeth Meister and Susana Gaspar (soprano), Simon Callaghan (piano), Mia Cooper, Marianne Thorsen (violin), Matthew Jones (viola) and Øystein Baadsvik (tuba).

In 2005 Hammond was selected to compete at the prestigious Sibelius International Conductors' Competition. In 2006 Sir Charles Mackerras chose Tom as the first ever Mackerras Junior Fellow in Conducting at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London. During the appointment Hammond invested the majority of his time in opera, conducting acclaimed performances of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites and Mozart's Zaïde.

In 2009 Hammond was a prizewinning semi-finalist at the Leeds Conductors Competition and assisted for the Classical Opera Company. In 2010 he was Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master for British Youth Opera's production of Puccini's La bohème. During 2011 Tom was appointed Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in rcognition of his achievements in conducting plus his year as Principal Conductor of the Junior RAM Symphony Orchestra, and visited the West Bank to work with the Palestine Youth Orchestra.

Hammond maintains a busy schedule of rehearsals and concerts as Music Director of The Dulwich Symphony Orchestra (London), Sinfonia Tamesa (London), the Essex Symphony Orchestra and British Police Symphony Orchestra, and as regular guest with many other orchestras and ensembles, including Trinity Laban. Tom Hammond is Artistic Director of sound collective, a professional ensemble formed in 2003. This flexible group is known for its stylish, well researched performances based on the democratic ethos of chamber music.




Leigh OHaracompleted a music degree at the University of York, where he won the department prize for outstanding musical contribution. He continued his piano studies at Trinity College of Music with Simon Young, Philip Fowke and David Owen Norris before completing a Masters Degree at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has won first prize in the Weingarten Schumann Competition and has also been awarded the Gertrude Norman Prize and Cross Memorial Scholarship. His conducting teachers have included Peter Stark, Lionel Friend, Michael Rose, George Hurst and Rodolfo Saglimbeni.

Leigh was Director of Music at James Allen’s Girls’ School for nine years, and has just taken up the same position at St Paul's Girls' School, making him only the third person to have held these posts at both schools (the first two being Vaughan Williams and Holst!) Leigh has been working at Dartington International Summer School in various capacities for 20 years where he has performed as soloist and chamber musician as well as coaching chamber music, teaching piano and conducting the orchestral workshop and chamber choir.

As well as conducting the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras at St Paul's Leigh is musical director of the South London Youth Orchestra and Colet Choral Society. Alongside working regularly with the Blackheath Community Chorus Leigh has been the musical director of Blackheath Halls Orchestra since 2006 conducting many exciting  projects including the fully staged performances of Carmen, La Boheme and Orpheus and Eurydice as well as four performances of Verdi's Requiem with over 200 local singers. This summer's activities included conducting a live orchestra during a showing of The Little Mermaid at the Royal Albert Hall to launch the new DVD release. This year' plans include guest conducting the Dulwich Symphony Orchestra and working with Edward Gardner on performances of Mendelssohn's Elijah as well as the launch of the new Colet Choral Society.

Leigh is a keen cyclist and has an irrational enthusiasm for public transport and railways but he has never been a train-spotter.

Paula Tysall is the Leader of DSO. Paula studied violin at the Centre for Young Musicians (where she was awarded the Associated Board’s Silver Medal), at the Royal College of Music and the National Centre for Orchestral Studies. As a member of the New London Orchestra she has recorded for Hyperion Records, made broadcasts for the BBC and Classic FM, appeared at the Proms, and in Matthew Bourne’s award winning Swan Lake. She has played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and English National Ballet. She performs in opera, ballet, shows, orchestral concerts and chamber music recitals.

Paula divides her time between freelance orchestral playing, teaching and chamber music. She teaches at Westminster School, Eaton House the Manor, Centre for Young Musicians and Croydon High School.  She is a member of the Ashington, Beaufort and Allenby String Quartets and the Hermitage and Woodwarde Ensembles.

She also plays Viola and Baroque Violin.

As Leader of the DSO she aims to support the players encouraging their love of music and developing their orchestral skills.



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