Becky is one of the co-founders of the choir and its Musical Director. She has been a musician from the age of seven, starting off as a girl chorister before going to music college (Trinity Laban) to study percussion, voice and piano. She was in the West End show, Stomp!, has her own music school, performed at Glastonbury, regularly appears on the BBC and has been given awards for her humanitarian work (Amnesty International) and her business skills (Top 100 female entrepreneurs in the UK). She throws a mean shape on the dance floor and loves Gorecki as much as Disney.
Meg is a vocalist, cellist & pianist and the Assistant Musical Director of Citizens Of The World, working with the choir since it’s genesis in 2017.
Outside of COTW she works as a songwriter, composer and session musician, recording and performing with the likes of Jools Holland, Nitin Sawhney, Laura Mvula, Wolf Alice, Basement Jaxx, The Staves and many more.
Maddy Hamilton is a professional cellist, collaborator and educator. Her long-standing passion for community music has led her to work within a wide array of projects with organisations such as the Wigmore Hall, Trinity Laban and Creative Futures. Maddy has been happily part of the COTW community since September 2019.
Tess Berry-Hart (they/them) is a writer, musician and refugee rights activist, who helped found the Choir in 2017 after two years spent volunteering for the Calais Jungle. Their novels and plays are highly influenced by refugee stories and themes. Tess has also advocated for refugee rights on the BBC, ITV and news media. Their favourite song that the choir has performed is Sure On This Shining Night.
Rachel is the Citizens of the World Choir Members Manager and is in touch with all our singers, new and old. Her kindness is the glue that holds our family together.
She is a teacher, an active volunteer in aid of the refugee crisis and is studying for a Degree in counselling.
Australian Tom Donald is a piano virtuoso and came on board as the Vice Musical Director and pianist for Citizens Of The World Choir in 2017 when it first began. His classical roots, mixed with a strong interest in all styles including Latin, folk, classical, soul, rock, jazz help form the foundation of our unique sound.
Tom is regarded as a master of improvising these styles by critics and audiences alike who have witnessed his solo piano concerts. He has played a string of international concerts both solo and with his band, has composed for film and is the founder of the London Contemporary School of Piano.
Tom remains strongly connected to COTW and during lockdown masterminded, composed and produced an extraordinary EP in collaboration with the choir - recording us over Whatsapp alone.
Barny joined the Citizens Of The World family as our pianist in early 2021.
After completing his Undergraduate degree in classical piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2017, he then traveled to Italy to earn his Masters and now works as a session musician across a variety of genres.
When he's away from the Citizens team, Fran is a singer-songwriter (under the alias Heren Wolf) & session singer.
Since he was 6 years old, he trained as a ballet and contemporary dancer in Italy but after a serious injury he devoted himself to music.
He moved to London in 2016 where he attained a Bachelor Degree in Songwriting and joined London Contemporary Voices and Citizens of the World choirs. He has performed with Stu Larsen, Ian Shaw, Basement Jaxx, Elena Tonra and more in some of London’s most prestigious venues.
With his own music he tries to raise awareness on political and social issues such as LGBTQIA+ and migrant rights, transfeminism, racism etc and writes wonderful cinematic, emotive music.
Acclaimed by Dance Europe Magazine as one of the finest Indian classical dancers of his generation, Ash was handpicked by the This Is It! team to dance a duet with Michael Jackson at London’s O2 Arena in 2009.
He then went on to appear in BBC 3’s Move Like Michael Jackson and worked with choreographer Lavelle Smith Junior (choreographer Dangerous Album World Tour) to create a dance solo which married Indian classical temple dance to Michael’s iconic song Man In The Mirror, which was watched by over three million viewers nationwide.
Ash has been with the choir since it’s inception in 2017. He is currently touring with his one person play Vishnu’s Got My Back, a queer coming of age story set in post colonial Kolkata and London.
Lord Roberts is a patron, sponsor and the heart and soul of COTW. The choir was his brainchild and having been a methodist minister in North Wales, a Peer for over ten years in the House of Lords and a humanitarian force to be reckoned with, few can claim to have a similar record in tirelessly campaigning on behalf of those less fortunate than himself.
"I always remember the remark of the youngest choir member following the choir performing at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod - "the best day of my life".
The choir didn't quite come about by accident! The desperate plight of the Syrian people, continuing to this very day, led us to look for a way to help Syrian refugees - the government's response was less than we'd hoped for and a number of us wondered how we could help and bring a little hope to the lives of some from many countries. "Let's form a choir!" - a Welsh response!
And a choir was formed with scores of folk from over 20 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe uniting to sing. They were joined by britons led by Becky Dell, the most inspired volunteer possible, as a musical director. The choir goes from strength to strength and sings at a wonderful variety of venues. Of all projects I've been involved in over many years - the Citizens of the World choir is a very special place!"
Emily Watson is a celebrated British actor and a vocal humanitarian campaigner. She has been a supporter of the choir since it's genesis, has run workshops with our members. performed along side us and has even contributed words for one of original compositions.
Click HERE to her BBC Sounds Loose Ends interview where she talks about the acclaimed series Chernobyl and Citizens Of The World Choir.
"It's like taking a bath in the opposite of hate". - Emily Watson
Gulwali Passarlay is the author of The Lightless Sky, TEDX Speaker and award nominee. His acclaimed autobiography The Lightless Sky; A Twelve-Year-Old Refugee's Harrowing Escape from Afghanistan and His Extraordinary Journey Across Half The World, was published in 2017. Gulwali is also Politics major at the University of Manchester, and was nominated for the 2016 Nansen Refugee Award by the UNHCR.
Ian Shaw is a highly acclaimed British jazz singer and musician and an indefatigable campaigner and hands on volunteer in the support of the Refugee and Calais Crisis.
"I met COTW Choir [musical] director, Becky Dell, in the Calais unofficial refugee camp, known as 'the jungle' - a difficult, unpredictable microcosm - a unique and lawless community, marked by hurt, rage, hope, despair, love - and very often - music.
To watch the COTW Choir grow from this, endorsed by Lord Roberts of Llandudno - and to be a small part of a unique and ever-expanding new musical family, whose voices and spirits are equal, is an immeasurable thrill. Equal in song. Equal in world citizenship. We are all from somewhere else. And when you hear music as joyful, varied and moving as the COTW choir, that's a very good place to come from."
Ann Mitchell is a celebrated British actor, a vocal campaigner and advocate of refugee rights and a proud supporter of humanitarian organisations including TRAUMA FOUNDATION SOUTH WEST, a psychotherapy and counselling service for highly traumatised refugees and asylum seekers, of which she is also a patron.
“I’m honoured to have been asked to be a Patron of the Citizens of the World Choir a choir for migrants, asylum seekers and their friends, the brainchild of Lord Roger Roberts, the Liberal Democrat peer of Llandudno
On a balmy night last June, I attended the launch of the choir at the House of Lords. To see so many men and women, some newly arrived from war-torn countries and some elders who had escaped earlier conflicts in Africa and Asia singing together, at first tentatively and then building in confidence under the direction of Becky Dell moved me deeply. In times of such darkness as the world is facing, to experience such joy and committment was uplifting. The atmosphere was one of immense joy and gratitude .. Everyone sharing their stories, their dreams and hopes for the future.
As Sonia, a 32 year old from Iran said “We say to the world we are one, we are citizens of the world”. Proud to stand with them."