Louisa Denby holds an MMus in Choral Studies from Selwyn College, Cambridge, as well as degrees in Music and Theology & Religious Studies. She is Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies in Music at Downing College, Cambridge, where she also holds the post of Acting Director of College & Chapel Music. Besides her academic commitments as a lecturer and supervisor she has been Director of Chapel Music & Organist at St Edmund’s College – Oxbridge’s only Roman Catholic foundation – since 2015.
Outside the University Louisa is in demand as a choral conductor, choir trainer, and animateur, and has worked with choirs of all ages and standards, including a six-month period assisting with the training of the girl choristers at Ely Cathedral. In September 2015 she was elected the Joyful Company of Singers Conducting Fellow for the 2015-16 season, including appearances at St Martin-in-the-Fields and Covent Garden, London, and at St Endellion in Cornwall, returning as Assistant Conductor for a tour of Sweden in May 2019.
In addition to her commitment to teaching at university level, Louisa has a flourishing private teaching practice, and also undertakes occasional work at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, teaching jazz and general musicianship. She has also tutored for the Royal College of Organists and on Rodolfus Foundation Choral Courses for young singers.
As a bassoonist Louisa has enjoyed working with many distinguished musicians, including soloists Tasmin Little, David Childs, and Lesley Garrett, and conductors Sakari Oramo, Sir Roger Norrington, and the late Sir Colin Davis. Her main professional playing activities involve chamber music, most often with other members of The Penguin Chamber Collective, including oboist Peter Facer and pianist Ian Tindale.
Louisa has a major role as CEO & Artistic Director of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, and also serves as Webmaster & Social Media Manager for the British Double Reed Society.
She has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 as a bassoonist, and on Canadian national radio as a conductor and organist, as well as featuring on several commercial recordings for Priory Records and others.