Instructors

Raleigh, NC

hugo-dowlen-photo

Hugo Dowlen

Hugo is an enthusiastic singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and proud Beach Boys superfan, who moved from his native UK to Durham in 2021 and is enjoying his new life in the USA. 

He grew up in a musical family and was classically trained on violin and piano, spending his teenage years in an award-winning youth orchestra and performing in prestigious venues all over the UK and Europe. He also met his future wife in this orchestra, which is solid proof of music’s power to bring people together!

However, Hugo’s greatest musical passions are rock, pop and musical theatre, and his love of singing was inspired by the gift of a Beach Boys cassette from his dad on his sixth birthday. Many subsequent hours were spent in rapturous enjoyment of this incredible music, singing along at top volume, deconstructing the intricate vocal harmonies and marveling at the sophisticated arrangements and chord sequences. He studied Music at the University of Southampton with a performance major in Jazz & Pop Voice, and gained valuable experience and training in skills such as songwriting and transcription. After graduating, he qualified as a schoolteacher and taught Music to middle and high school age children for more than a decade, allowing him to develop a wide range of teaching strategies and styles to ensure a positive connection with each individual student.

Hugo has performed with many different musical ensembles including rock bands, acapella and close harmony vocal groups, orchestras, choirs, and even a Toto tribute band! He has had the honour of playing and singing at hundreds of events ranging from classical concerts to rock gigs to weddings, and is also a keen singer-songwriter, having recorded and released his own original music. In recent years he appeared in a number of musical theatre shows in the UK, taking on a variety of principal and supporting roles – the highlight being Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (photographic evidence of Hugo in this particular costume and make-up is available upon request).