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Our Adjudicators

Kettering & District Eisteddfod
2017 Norma Redfearn  MA, BA, LGSM, LLAM, LTCL(Tesol), LTCL, ALCM, PGCA

Norma RedfearnNorma trained at the Northern College of Speech and Drama and Researched at Leicester University. She has performed professionally in Rep and in tours all over the UK. Examining and adjudicating has taken her all over the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. Teaching has always been her priority and Norma has taught at a variety of schools and colleges. She now teaches at her private studio. Although many of her students are pursuing successful acting careers and others are teaching Speech and Drama, her greatest joy is equipping students with life skills, and the ability to take their place in society confidently.

Norma is an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals and was awarded a Fellowship of the Federation in 2015.

2017 Rebecca Moseley-Morgan  MA(Mus), BA(hons), ARCM (hons)

Rebecca Rebecca won scholarships to RCM and Opera School. Rebecca has sung professionally at Glyndebourne, WNO and Opera 80 amongst others. As a soloist she has performed throughout the UK and Europe. She conducts ‘Cantatrici’ chamber choir. She has a private voice studio in Oxford and she teaches at St. Clare’s International College and Bath Spa University. She coaches the Oxford Harmonic Choir. She gives workshops throughout the UK on the functionality of the voice, accent breathing and vocal care and maintenance.

She has an MA is musicology and she is currently a PhD research student at UCL Institute of Education. The research is investigating what interventions help to maintain the functionality of the mature female voice.

Rebecca performs locally as an oratorio singer, also sings with a quartet called the Broadway Belles and is a regular jazz singer at venues in Oxford. She has always enjoyed being a crossover singer and being able to perform in different styles of music.
Rebecca is currently a director of the British Voice Association, she successfully combines teaching, singing, conducting, and researching.

2017 Mrs Eileen Field   ARAM, GRAM, LRAM ARCM, PGCA

EileenEileen Field studied singing and piano at the Royal Academy of Music and was appointed an Associate in 1998. She has extensive experience as a soprano soloist, piano accompanist and choral conductor, and maintains a substantial private teaching for adults and children from beginners to post-graduate level in London. She gives masterclasses for solo singers and choirs and has worked with among others, the Highcliffe Junior Choir, former winner of the Sainsbury Choir of the Year Competition, and students at the Söngskólinn í Reykjavík (The Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts) in Iceland. She selected the material and wrote performance notes for two volumes of 20th century songs for Boosey & Hawkes. Eileen is a grade, diploma and moderating examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and helps to train new examiners.

In 2007 she was appointed Consultant Moderator. She was the Lead Consultant in the selection of repertoire for the ABRSM Singing Syllabus. She has examined and presented seminars for teachers in the UK, Southern Africa, the Far East, the USA and throughout Europe. Being a long-established adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals has taken her all over the British Isles and Ireland.

2016 Marcia Carr MPhil(Lon), BA(Hons), LLCM, LLAM, ALAM

Marcia CarrMarcia is currently studying for her PhD. She trained in music, dance and drama and currently facilitates workshops and directs shows for Universities, drama schools and Theatre departments Internationally. She’s toured internationally, winning Best Performer, Manchester Evening News and Buxton Festival and a Time Out Critics Choice. She is Co-Artistic Director of Impetuous Kinship and Co-Director of the Creative Blast Company, delivering educational packages, training young people and producing shows touring internationally. She’s an Associate Artist with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and an Examiner for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, for which she’s designed and delivered workshops.

2016 Peter Wells BMus(Perf) Cert PGSt(Utrecht) LTCL

Marcia CarrPeter Wells studied music at the University of Auckland in his native New Zealand. He undertook postgraduate study in recorder in the Netherlands, with Marion Verbruggen and Reine-Marie Verhagen, on a Dutch Government scholarship. Peter has performed early and contemporary music from Canada to the Czech Republic and has commissioned and premiered many new compositions. As a singer he has toured in Europe with numerous professional ensembles. He has made a special study of Plainchant as music for a solo singer and has published many articles and editions of renaissance and baroque music as well as two books on architecture. Peter runs a series of chamber music concerts in Cambridge and is a music examiner for Trinity College, London.

2016 Sarah Jefferies  LRAM, ARMC

Sarah JefferiesSarah is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Josephine Veasey and Patricia Clarke. Whilst at the Academy, Sarah was the recipient of many awards and prizes ranging from Early Music, English Song, Opera and Lieder. In her final year she was awarded the Ann E Lloyd Scholarship to fund an advanced year of study. Upon leaving the academy, Sarah won a place to study at Sweelinck Conservatoire in Amsterdam with Margreet Honig and Elly Ameling.
Sarah has had a varied career in both the UK and Europe as a soloist in various recitals and oratorios, and has worked at both the Opera de Lyon as well as the Nederland Opera in Holland. She has also recorded with the LPO, under the baton of the revered conductor Kent Nagano, such varied works as Orf’s ‘Carmina Burana’ and Schonberg’s ‘Moses und Aaron’.
Sarah enjoys working with choirs of all ages and with choral societies, and has a thriving teaching practice, where she works with students ranging from Grade 1 through to Diploma standard. She is a visiting singing teacher at Marlborough College in Wiltshire and gives master classes and workshops all over the country.
Sarah has greatly enjoyed being an adjudicator for three years now, under the auspices of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

2015 Tish Nicoll LGSM Dip CE Mstsd FESP

Tish NicollBorn in Aberdeen, Scotland, Tish is a Licentiate of The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  She has a wide range of experience in teaching all age groups in schools, colleges and the business world. 
Tish now lives in Oxfordshire and works freelance. She is visiting lecturer in Vocal Communications in colleges in the UK and in Italy. She also examines for The English Speaking Board (International) Ltd. and was their Chief Examiner for seven years. She has travelled widely both in the UK and overseas lecturing, running workshops, examining and adjudicating and in 2007 was honoured to become Patron of “Oracy Australia Assoc.”
As well as “Voice Over” work for advertising, Tish has television experience as a performer and stage experience as a performer and director. She is also a trained singer, specialising in recitals of poetry and song. She is the Organiser/Chairman of the Chipping Norton Festival.

2015 Margaret J Smith LRAM GRSM

Margaret SmithMargaret was born and brought up in Skipton, North Yorkshire, and was an enthusiastic participant in local festivals from a very young age. She studied the piano, initially with Dame Fanny Waterman, and then at the Royal Academy of Music, with the violin as an additional first study.
She spent many years in musical education with both singers and instrumentalists as Director of Music at one of the most prestigious Girls’ Schools in Yorkshire, where pupils won many prizes in national and local music competitions.
For 14 years, she was a Moderator for the composition and performance elements of GCSE Music. She has maintained her private piano practice, teaching to an advanced level and has always had a passionate interest in vocal music and choral work in particular. She was the founder- conductor of the Chippendale Singers, a chamber choir with a wide-ranging repertoire, currently enjoying success in the Yorkshire area.
Her many associations with choral societies have resulted in performances of oratorio, cantatas and concert versions of opera, working with both adults and children.
Margaret is an adjudicator member of the British & International Federation of Festivals. Her enthusiasm for the Festival movement and its value in musical education, has resulted in an ever-increasing number of invitations to adjudicate at festivals throughout the UK with frequent visits to Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. She feels privileged to have been invited on two occasions by the Yorkshire Regional committee to adjudicate at their prestigious Yorkshire Regional Championship in 2007 and 2011.
In addition to her active musical life she enjoys walking, reading, concert and theatre-going and equestrian activities.

2015 Angela Rowley BA(Hons) PGCE ARMC

Angela RowleyAngela is a graduate in German from University College, London, and followed a career in teaching before embarking on voice training working with eminent teachers including the late Paul Hamburger.
Her first experience of public performances were at school and a Music Festivals. She encourages her pupils to enter festivals for the opportunity to perform, hear and receive professional critique.
Angela performs regularly in recital, concert and oratorio. She loves to sing Lieder but also champions 20th century English song. Angela directs and conducts Harmony ‘96, which performs major oratorios. In 2005 she founded and is MD of Eccles Community Choir, enjoying an opportunity to develop the voices of those who were never allowed in the school choir!
Until 2009 Angela was singing tutor at Eccles 6th Form College where she was also Musical Director for student productions. Angela’s students and choir have featured in Radio 3’s ‘Discovering Music’ as part of the BBC Philharmonic’s Community Programme and in the Proms at the Albert Hall. Last year a similar project celebrated in Philharmonic’s move to Media City. The resulting composition was performed for the Queen on her visit to Salford.
Angela has a thriving private practice and runs performance workshops and master classes and conducts Singing Days for choirs.
Angela holds the ARCM Diploma in Performance. In 2008 she was appointed as an adjudicator with The National and International Festivals of Music and is a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians. She also runs a charity in Kenya with her husband.

2015 Luise Horrocks BA(Hons)PGCE ARMC

Luise HorrocksLuise Horrocks studied singing on an Advanced Studies at the Royal College of Music after graduating with a degree in English from Oxford University.
She has performed extensively as a Soprano Soloist throughout the UK and Europe.  While specialising primarily in Oratorio, she has also given many Song Recitals and has appeared on the opera stage at Buxton Opera House.   She has also sung in a series of concerts and Recitals in South Africa and the USA and her wide repertoire extends from works by Monteverdi to Stravinsky.  She has made several recordings and her BBC broadcasts include performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and works by Goehr.
Luise has held positions as a teacher in both the Junior and Senior departments of the Birmingham Conservatoire and as a visiting lecturer at Birmingham University.  She runs an extensive private teaching practice and is regularly asked to give Masterclasses.  She works as a Vocal Coach on several residential courses for singers and is a mentor on the CT ABRSM panel.  She has also trained and conducted the Wyre Forest Young Voices choir.
As an adjudicator member of the British & International Federation of Festivals she has wide experience of many different festivals.  Luise has also travelled widely as a Senior Examiner for Trinity Guildhall, having special responsibility for singing, which includes working on syllabus setting, training new examiners and leading Teacher Workshops. Recent publications include a series of books of Musical Theatre repertoire with colleagues John Gardyne. She is a member of Worcester Repertory, taking part in their productions of Shakespeare in the Cathedral.

2014 Jenny Thornton AGSM ALAM Cert Ed CDECP

Cally FosterJenny trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama gaining awards for Character Acting and for Most Promising Teacher. Having taught drama and led the Performing Arts Team in a large Comprehensive for 10 years Jenny now enjoys running her own Performance Centre with ages from 4 years to adults delivering drama, dance and musical theatre and also writing. Her most recent play called "Gone" gained a Commended when performed at The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond.
She is an Assistance Principal for Edexcel visiting schools in the North London area and travelling abroad examining GCSE practical performances. Her work in a local secondary school involves taking A Level Drama and Theatre Studies and organising the after school drama club. Jenny is looking forward to visiting Kettering Eisteddfod and making it a very positive experience for all concerned.
"Drama is a life skill that changed me from a stuttering introvert to a confident individual. We can give our children no better opportunity". Jenny Thornton.


2014 Christina Thomson LRAM GRSM

Cally FosterChristina Thomson attended the Royal Academy of Music after leaving the National Youth Orchestra. A fascinating career as a horn player in Germany followed. She returned to London in 1984 to perform chamber music; she became a soloist with several chamber orchestras and taught at Harrow and the Purcell School.
In 1991 she returned to her home town of Ripon, where she teaches at the Ripon Choir School and Ampleforth College, as well as having an extensive private teaching practice, encompassing ages 5 to 70. After she was robbed of her embouchure in an incident in 2000 she retired from professional playing and concentrates on pedagogy.
She is internationally in demand as an adjudicator, and examines for the Associated Board as well as being a Brass Specialist Mentor for the Boards Professional Development Course.
She enjoys cycling and high level mountain walking in the Austrian Alps as an antidote to the hectic musical life she leads.


2014 Penelope Price Jones  BSc LRAM ARAM PGCA

Cally FosterPenelope Price Jones was a scholarship holder at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Marjorie Thomas, following a degree in Sociology at the LSE. Her performing life was mainly on the concert platform in oratorio and recital work, with a considerable number of new works written for her. She also has a special interest in American art song. In 1998 Penelope was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. She has a private studio in her garden in Devizes, Wiltshire, complete with green roof and lovely acoustics, and also teaches at Oxford University.
Gradually her teaching career has evolved into the area of Teacher Training, working for the ABRSM as a singing mentor at the Bristol Centre and then as a Teacher Training Director for the Association of Teachers of Singing. She founded and ran the Marden House Recital series in Calne and is now involved in the development of a little used Devizes church into a community and arts centre. In March 2010 she administered the European Voice Teacher’s Association Vocal Pedagogy week in Marlborough. In 2012 she hiked the Inca Trail raising money for Macmillan, and this sparked a project ’Songlines’ linking singing studios with folk song singing.
She becomes Chairman of AOTOS in the summer of 2014.


2014 Alison Mary Sutton  GGSM PGCA RegdT

Cally FosterAlison trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, gaining honours in both Graduate and Recital Diplomas, as well as winning several prizes and major awards. She has had extensive experience as a singer, having appeared at most of the major London concert halls. Performing as part of a voice/harp duo, she has fulfilled recital engagements at many music clubs and festivals, and also broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 3.
She has performed many operatic roles, and worked with a wide range of companies including Kent Opera, Pavilion Opera, London Opera Players, London Opera Factory and Opera de Lyon, touring widely in the UK, Europe and the USA. She has also worked with the Academy of Ancient Music and Monteverdi Choir. As a member of the Triple Time she has released a CD of vocal duets.
Busy as a teacher and adjudicator, Alison has also examined for the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, including several tours to the Far East. She is now an ABRSM diploma examiner and mentor for the CT ABRSM Course. As a choral workshop tutor for Making Music, she has worked with many choirs in the in the South West and also with the BBC Symphony Chorus. Adjudicating engagements have included Leith Hill and Sligo International Choral Festival, and she has been on the jury for the AESS National Junior English Song Competition. She was the External Specialist Assessor on the final recitals panel at Birmingham Conservatoire for three years, and has since returned to adjudicate and conduct a workshop there. She has been director of Music at Rendcomb, an annual residential solo singing course, which was revived as part of the International Summer School of Music at Shewsbury in 2012. She has also tutored at Hereford International Summer School and Benslow Music Trust.
Alison is the singing rehabilitation coach at Cheltenham General Hospital.


2013 Patricia Hammond - LLAM PGCA Hon FLAM

Lesley DunstanPatricia trained at the Ecole Mationale des Arts et Techniques du Theatre, Paris and at Goldsmiths College, London. She established Patricia Hammond Theatre School Kent and has trained many teachers and professional actors both in TV and theatre and given master classes in verse speaking and devised performance both at LAMDA and King’s College Cambridge. Patricia’s book, co-written with Alison Muir, ‘Mime and Improvisation’ has been published by Oberon Books and she is currently writing another. She examines for LAMDA and has travelled widely in the UK and abroad in this role. Patricia is Drama Officer and Executive Member of Bromley Arts Council.. .
As a choral conductor, Elizabeth has conducted numerous youth and adult choirs in venues including Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Tewkesbury Abbey & St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham. In 2009, Elizabeth was selected for a choral conducting Masterclass with David Hill and the BBC Singers, and in 2010 was invited to conduct a massed choir for the Music for Youth Family Prom in Birmingham.


2013 Peter Wells BMus(Perf) Cert PGSt(Utrecht) LTCL

Cally FosterPeter Wells studied music at the University of Auckland in his native New Zealand. He undertook postgraduate study in recorder in the Netherlands, with Marion Verbruggen and Reine-Marie Verhagen, on a Dutch Government scholarship.
Peter has performed early and contemporary music from Canada to the Czech Republic and has commissioned and premiered many new compositions. As a singer he has toured in Europe with numerous professional ensembles. He has made a special study of Plainchant as music for a solo singer and has published many articles and editions of renaissance and baroque music as well as two books on architecture. Peter runs a series of chamber music concerts in Cambridge and is a music examiner for Trinity College, London.


2013 Elizabeth Stafford  PhD BA(Hons) PGDip LTCL PGCE

Cally FosterElizabeth Stafford was born and educated in Birmingham. She studied for a BA (hons) in music at Durham University, following this with a PhD in Performance Studies at Sheffield University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Vocal Studies at Trinity College of Music and a PGCE in Primary Music at Birmingham City University.
As a solo soprano Elizabeth has won many competitions and awards including First Prize and ‘Most Promising Young Female Singer’ in the David Clover Competition & finalist representing Sheffield University in the Musica Britannica Competition. She has appeared as an oratorio and opera soloist with numerous ensembles in venues including Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, and most of the major cathedrals in England. She has given recitals in many prestigious locations including the CBSO Centre, the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Malta Cultural Centre, and has broadcast as a soloist on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. In 2011, Elizabeth gave a performance of Rossini's Cat Duet in the presence of Princess Michael of Kent.
As a choral conductor, Elizabeth has conducted numerous youth and adult choirs in venues including Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Tewkesbury Abbey & St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham. In 2009, Elizabeth was selected for a choral conducting Masterclass with David Hill and the BBC Singers, and in 2010 was invited to conduct a massed choir for the Music for Youth Family Prom in Birmingham.
Elizabeth has worked for numerous Local Authority Music Services as a vocal and curriculum teacher, as a music education consultant for Trinity College London, and as a professional development mentor for the ABRSM. Elizabeth now runs her own company Music Education Solutions, which provides workshops and training for schools and teachers throughout the UK. She is an Adjudicator Member of The British and International Federation of Festivals.


2012 Stephen Owen - BA(Hons) BA(Ed) PGDip(Ed) MA MEd FRSA FESB MSTSD FLCM LRAM LGSM(Perf) LTCL(Perf) LLCM(TD) LLAM(Hons) ATCL Cert Ed(Drama)

Lesley DunstanStephen trained as a teacher of Drama, Speech and Movement at the University of Leeds. He went on to study with Elinor Rutherford, gaining specialist diplomas in teaching and performing all aspects of Speech & Drama. As well as being responsible for drama at the schools in which he worked, he also taught pupils of all ages and abilities privately, from complete beginners up to Licentiate and Fellowship level.
For a time, he was also voice coach to a number of undergraduate students, who were experiencing communication difficulties in the classroom. He became an examiner for The English Speaking Board and The Poetry Society and enjoyed adjudicating at many festivals throughout the country.
In April 1985, he became head of a primary school in Derbyshire, which inevitably meant less time for examining and adjudicating. Since retiring in July 2007, he has been appointed as an examiner for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), has become a Council Member of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and has resumed his work as an Adjudicator Member of the British & International Federation of Festivals. Whilst he enjoyed headship very much, he is delighted to be once again part of a creative rather than a bureaucratic world.
When not examining or adjudicating, Stephen's leisure time consists of seeing as many plays and operas as possible, taking his two boxer dogs for long walks and teaching his young grandchildren to swim.


2012 Margaret J Smith LRAM GRSM

Cally FosterMargaret was born and brought up in Skipton, North Yorkshire, and was an enthusiastic participant in local festivals from a very young age. She studied the piano, initially with Dame Fanny Waterman, and then at the Royal Academy of Music, with the violin as an additional first study.
She spent many years in musical education with both singers and instrumentalists as Director of Music at one of the most prestigious Girls’ Schools in Yorkshire, where pupils won many prizes in national and local music competitions.
For 14 years, she was a Moderator for the composition and performance elements of GCSE Music. She has maintained her private piano practice, teaching to an advanced level and has always had a passionate interest in vocal music and choral work in particular. She was the founder- conductor of the Chippendale Singers, a chamber choir with a wide-ranging repertoire, currently enjoying success in the Yorkshire area.
Her many associations with choral societies have resulted in performances of oratorio, cantatas and concert versions of opera, working with both adults and children.
Margaret is an adjudicator member of the British & International Federation of Festivals. Her enthusiasm for the Festival movement and its value in musical education, has resulted in an ever-increasing number of invitations to adjudicate at festivals throughout the UK with frequent visits to Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. She feels privileged to have been invited on two occasions by the Yorkshire Regional committee to adjudicate at their prestigious Yorkshire Regional Championship in 2007 and 2011.
In addition to her active musical life she enjoys walking, reading, concert and theatre-going and equestrian activities.


2012 Valerie Hoppe - MBE, GGSM, LGSM, ARCM

Valerie HoppeValerie trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, specialising in Choral Conducting, Singing and Piano. She is widely known as a Choral Director, teacher and adjudicator, and is particularly in demand for her work with the development of young voices, both in solo and choral work. She has a large teaching practice, working with solo voices of all ages and levels.
She has been responsible for the organisation, training and direction of many community performances of major choral works, including Handel’s ‘Messiah’, Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’, Haydn’s ‘Creation’, and the Requiems of Mozart and Fauré. On many occasions she has organised and directed massed children’s choirs in performances of various cantatas.
Valerie has performed with many well-known artists including the opera singer Benjamin Luxon, the percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber, as well as the major Military bands in Britain, such as the band of the Welsh Guards and the Band of the Irish Guards.
She is currently director of five choirs. In addition to her work with choirs, she has a large number of singing students, ranging from beginners and many young singers to highly experienced performers.
In 2003 she was awarded the MBE for her services to music.


2012 Gaynor Keeble - BEd Hons ARCM ARAM ALCM

Gaynor KeebleGaynor gained scholarships to the University of Warwick and the Royal Academy of Music. She combines a busy performing career with teaching both privately & at Warwick University & adjudicating at many festivals. She has also worked extensively with English Touring Opera’s Education Programme
She was a member of Welsh National Opera for three years and has worked for the Royal Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, D’Oyly Carte, Mid- Wales and English Touring Opera Carl Rosa. Roles with these companies include Carmen & Delilah (Samson & Delilah), Amneris (Aida), Marchioness (Daughter of the Regiment), Baba the Turk (Rake’s Progress), Mrs Sedley (Peter Grimes), Meg Page (Falstaff), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Marcellina (Marriage of Figaro) Orpheus (Orpheus and Euridice), Tisbe (Cenerentola), Katisha ( Mikado) and Azucena (Il Trovatore)
Concert include appearances with the London Mozart Players, London Bach Orchestra, CBSO Royal Philharmonic and The Philharmonia. She was made an ARAM in 2009
She maintains a busy operatic career with recent engagements including Katisha (ENO) 3rd Lady Magic Flute & Voice of the Mother (Hoffmann) Royal Opera House Hippolyta (Midsummer Nights Dream) & Gertrude (Romeo & Juliet) both for Opera. Roles in 2011 include 3rd Lady (ROH) La Marquise (Fille du Regiment) Mistress Quickly ( Falstaff) Longborough & Annina (La Traviata) ROH.
She is director of Opera d’Amore


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2011 Anne Harris-Norman LGSM, FESB, ADB (Ed)

Lesley DunstanLooking back, Anne can trace her love of speech and drama to the inspired decision by her mother to send her to ‘elocution lessons to improve her spelling’. Being dyslexic it did little for her spelling, but it opened the magic window to an abiding love of verse, speaking, literature, theatre - and to her future career.
As a teacher, including Head of Drama, Anne has curriculum teaching experience from Kindergarten to GCSE and A level Theatre Studies. In her private studio she has prepared Speech and Drama pupils of all ages including adults to Diploma.
As an actress/director she co-founded a touring Shakespeare company and founded a touring recital group.
She has been an examiner for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the English Speaking Board and more recently she became an examiner for Poetry Vanguard.
As a Federation adjudicator since 1987, Anne appreciates the commitment and the palpitations of all competitors, teachers and parents and admires the dedication of festival organizers who continue to provide our young people with such important performance experience.


2011 Gary Sieling BMus MA FRCO

Cally FosterBorn in Bedfordshire and educated at Dunstable Grammar School, Gary read for his BMus degree at the University of London, Goldsmiths’ College. While a student he played for the debut of the London Cantata Choir with whom he is still associated. He studied the organ at the Royal College of Music and St Catherine’s College Cambridge. In 1981 he became a FRCO and in 1997 attained an MA in Performance from Anglia Ruskin University.
Gary was organist of Dunstable Priory and Assistant Master of Music at Peterborough Cathedral. During his time there he was Conductor of the Peterborough Philharmonic Society, Director of the St Peter’s Singers, and Founder and Associate Conductor of the City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra. He also taught organ and piano at Oundle and Stamford Schools. Gary played for the Cathedral Choir on two America tours in addition to regular TV and radio broadcasts and recordings.
Gary is now Director of Music at Bromley Parish Church and also directs the chamber choir ‘FineChants’, and the ‘Occasional Choir’. He works as a freelance organist, harpsichordist, conductor, adjudicator, and examiner for the Royal College of Organists. He spent the summer of 2009 as the Music Adjudicator to the Sri Lanka Performing Arts Festival and has been invited back to adjudicate for the summer of 2011.
His latest CD recording includes the organ works of Stanley Vann and the ‘Kenneth Leighton Memorial Album’ which Gary compiled and published. Organ concert venues include St Paul’s and Canterbury Cathedrals, Westminster Abbey and King’s College Cambridge . He has made ten international concert tours visiting Denmark, Germany, Italy and USA. Gary likes to relax by travelling and exploring old churches.


2011 Melanie Armitstead MA

Marilyn Hill SmithMelanie Armitstead studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio after taking a degree in Russian and French at Durham University. She began her career working with Scottish Opera, then working with Kent Opera, Opera North, Opera Northern Ireland and The Chatelêt in Paris singing roles by Mozart, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Bizet and Britten. Concerts and Recitals took Melanie to Japan, Spain, France, Holland and many Festivals and Music Societies within the UK.
Recently Melanie sang ‘Knoxville Summer of 1915’ by Barber with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and took part in a Music Festival at Sea with Richard Baker. She was the soprano soloist in Elgar’s Spirit of England, Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Bach’s Magnificat Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music. She has also produced the opera Venus & Adonis by Blow.
Melanie is the Senior Singing Teacher at Sherborne Girls’ School in Dorset. Over the last 12 years she has prepared senior students for grades 7 and 8 and the ABRSM Diploma, and helped numerous others to find a more secure technique in singing and therefore a greater enjoyment. At home she has an informal Madrigal Group, and she enjoys adjudicating at Festivals and Competitions around the country. She has twice been invited to adjudicate the Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize at the Birmingham Conservatoire and has recently returned from Hong Kong where she spent several weeks adjudicating at the Annual Schools Music Festival.


2011 Marilynne Davies BA, MEd, LRAM, Cert Ed, PGCA, FRSA

Dr Vivien PikeThe Welsh Eisteddfod provided Marilynne Davies with her early experiences of performance on piano, cello and singing. Since then she has continued as a performer, teacher and conductor and was until recently Head of the School of Performance at the College of Rippon and York St. John - a post that embraced Music, Dance, Drama, Film and Television. She now has a busy freelance career as an adjudicator at national and international festivals, as a voice consultant, teacher and conductor, and as a leader of a variety of workshops. She is also involved in arts consultancy which has taken her into the world of film archiving and led to opportunities to work with dancers in music theatre.
She has sung with professional orchestras including the London Mozart Players and has conducted choirs for BBC and ITV - the largest being a choir of 1100 school children. Her experience in teaching ranges from nursery to post-graduate levels and has involved classroom and individual teaching as well as being external examiner and assessor in performance for a number of universities at the graduate and post-graduate level. She has been Warden for the Music in Education Section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and is on the council of the Association of British Choral Directors. Marilynne Davies is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals and is involved in the selection of new adjudicators.
When not making, talking or listening to music, she enjoys collecting English enamel snuff boxes (for interest, not for use!) and walking (coastal paths and contour walks).


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2010 Lesley Dunstan BMus (Hons), BSc (Hons), LRAM, ARCM

Lesley DunstanLesley Dunstan was born in London; studying piano and clarinet as joint first instruments, she gained a diploma in each, and a BMus degree. During her early career she was the Oxford Correspondent for the Musical Times and also assisted in the production of the New Grove Dictionary of Music. As well as teaching individually and in groups in private and local authority schools, she also tutored at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Open University.
Since 1991, Lesley has been an examiner for the ABRSM. As well as the UK, this has taken her to 14 countries in five continents, most recently to the USA, Bermuda and Malaysia. She examines at all levels from Prep Test up to FRSM diplomas, and on behalf of the ABRSM also presents seminars and workshops for music teachers at international centres. On several occasions she has coordinated teams of ABRSM examiners in the Far East.
In addition to her examining work, she is currently an instrumental tutor at The Cathedral School, Llandaff and also undertakes regular performing commitments on the piano, clarinet and cello.


2010 Cally Foster LLAM, MSTSD

Cally FosterSince her first appearance in a festival at the age of five, Cally has remained committed to the festival movement and has pursued a career as a speech and drama specialist. She has been the principal of her Buckinghamshire based drama studio for the past 20 years, combining that role with travelling extensively in the UK, Europe and overseas (including Japan, Singapore, Kuwait, the Emirates, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong) as an examiner for LAMDA.

Cally believes that performing in festivals not only encourages an appreciation for the arts but also improves the presentation and communication skills that are so important in today's world. As an adjudicator member of the British & International Federation of Festivals, Cally is delighted to have been invited to adjudicate at the Kettering & District Eisteddfod. She wishes everyone an enjoyable as well as a positive experience.


2010 Suzanne Higgins MA (Music) BA Cert Ed

Marilyn Hill SmithBorn in Denmark, Suzanne grew up in Yorkshire, where she had her first singing lessons with Betty Middleton. After five years as a lecturer in Further Education she joined the chorus of the Opera Royale de Wallonie in Liège, Belgium, subsequently moving to that of Cologne Opera.

Whilst in Belgium and Germany she continued her studies, gaining her Reifeprüfung from the Cologne Musikhochschule. and later teaching singing at the Rheinisch- Westfälische Technische Hochschule in Aachen and the University of Cologne. Since her return to England she has worked as a freelance with the BBC singers, London Voices, the Britten Singers and the London Sinfonietta, as well as touring extensively with the Arena Carmen for Classical Productions. She has taken operatic roles for London City Opera and London Opera Players.
Since 1989 Suzanne has been a member of the Quartet of St. Giles Cripplegate, in the City of London. She was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1999, and became a Liveryman of the Musicians Company in the same year.
Suzanne has a long standing connection with Hertfordshire Music Services as a singing teacher in Secondary Education. For eight years she co-directed the Music Club at Meath Home, a residential home for people with epilepsy and related conditions. She also currently teaches singing at Morley College, and has conducted choirs both there and for Bromley College of Adult Education. One element in her commitment to outreach work is bringing music to audiences which might not otherwise be able to access live performance. In this field she has performed for Music in Hospitals since 1990, and finds that her interest in Folk Music, including guitar and concertina accompaniment, is of great practical assistance.
Suzanne maintains a private teaching practice and is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.


2010 Dr Vivien Pike Hon.M.Mus, GRSM, ARMCM, LGSM, FRSA

Dr Vivien PikeVivien studied music at the Royal Manchester / Royal Northern College of Music after previously studying medical sciences. She graduated with teaching and performing diplomas and a silver medal. Vivien has wide experience as a soprano soloist with many choral societies and recitalist for music societies. She has sung in choirs from the age of 7 and is a former member of the BBC Northern Singers and choir soloist with the Sheffield Philharmonic Choir.

Over the years as a peripatetic teacher of singing, she has taught hundreds of young singers, particularly in South Yorkshire, one of the first being Lesley Garrett. She formed the City of Sheffield Girls' Choir in 1979 (now Cantores Novae) and her choirs have won many prizes in national and international competitions. The choirs have enjoyed tours to Italy, Germany, Ireland, Australia (where they represented UK at the first Melbourne International Choral Festival), Canada and USA, Finland and Estonia.
Vivien is in great demand for solo singing and choral workshops and adjudicating at festivals both nationally and internationally. She has worked with singers in Sweden, Latvia, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, Estonia and has lectured for courses in Latvia and Slovenia and recently as a visiting professor at the Estonian Academy of Music. Vivien is an external examiner of singing at degree level and a visiting lecturer/examiner in choral conducting at Huddersfield University. She is a regular tutor for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and a conductor of their Northern Girls' Choir. She was a jury member for both the preliminary round and finals of the 2008 World Choir Games in Graz and is the UK member of the Choir Olympic Council. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University for her continued work with singers nationally and internationally. She is a Churchill Fellow, studying the Cultural Influences on voice development in Sweden, Finland and Estonia and has recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


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2009 Dr Eileen Bentley MBE

Dr Vivien PikeEileen Bentley was born in Oldham and studied voice, piano and organ at Tle Royal College of Music in Manchester. She has spent most of her career working with young people as singing teacher and choralist and in 1974 became one of the first peripatetic singing teachers in England working in schools with youth choirs and children's choirs.The following year she founded the Oldham Girls' Choir which went on to establish a national reputation winning major awards at many Festivals including Llangollen International Eisteddfod, The Elgar Festival the International Choral Competition in Malta and the British Federation Choir of Choirs Festivals in Warwick.

In 1982 she became Director of Music for the Oldham LEA where she continues to work with young people. During the 1980s she undertook research into the development of music education in the curriculum in England during the twentieth century and in 1989 was awarded a Doctorate from Manchester Victoria University. One important aspect of her work is the importance of getting boys singing and keeping them singing. In 1995 she became the conductor of the Oldham. Boys' Choir which was featured in the 2004 BBC2 documentary "Britten's Children". In 1999 she founded the Oldham Youth Choir. There are now fifty four members of this choir which in the past five years has made both radio and television appearances, produced three CDs and appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of the Schools' Proms. Recently Eileen has been a member of two National Executives for Music Education in this country - The Federation of Music Services and also the National Association of Music Educators. As a teacher and lecturer in vocal studies and choral work she has led choral workshops for both children's and adult choirs across the UK. In 2006 she was awarded the MBE for services to music education.


2009 Maria Jagusz GRNCM

Dr Vivien PikeMaria Jagum trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio. Since then she has worked as soloist for most of the leading opera companies in the U.K. and Europe. Her roles include Carmen, Cherubino, Nicklaus, Rosina, Hansel and Dorabella. She has sung with many international artists including Carreras, Dom-ingo, Dame Kid Te Kanewa and Mirella Freni. She is a guest artist for P&O classical music cruises and performs with Richard Baker and Henry Kelly.
 Alongside her singing career Maria has always given master classes, workshops and lessons to children and adults from all walks of' life. Since moving to the Cotswolds ten years ago she has specialised in coaching youngsters hoping to follow a career in singing and the performing arts and has helped several of them launch their careers. Maria is passionate about creating opportunities for young talented singers. With this in mind she started MJ.UK Music and Arts which puts on musicals, operas and concerts involving youngsters many of whom go on to train as professional singers. Her credits include Dido and Aneas, Little Sweep and Les Miserables (Longborough Festival Opera, Carmen for Swindon Opera, Orfeo and Eurydice (Cirencester College), Les Miserables, West Side Story. Jesus Christ Superstar and The Secret Garden (M.J.U.K.). Future work includes directing La Boheme for Longborough Festival Opera. She was made honoury chairman of the Silurian Consort earlier this year because of her musical contribution to the community. Maria has been an adjudicator for the past two years and thoroughly enjoys listening and helping festival participants.


2009 Christina Thornson LRAM ARCM GRSM PGCA

Dr Vivien Pike Christina Thomson attended the Royal Academy of Music after leaving the National Youth Orchestra. A fascinating career as a horn player in Germany followed. She returned to London in 1984 to perform chamber music; she became a soloist with several chamber orchestras and taught at Harrow and the Purcell School. In 1991 she returned to her home town of Ripon where she teaches at the Ripon Choir School, Ampleforth College and Hurworth House School, as well as having an extensive private teaching practice encompassing ages 5 to 70.
After she was robbed of her embouchure in an incident in 2000 she retired from professional playing and concentrates on pedagogy. She is internationally in demand as an adjudicator and examines for the Associated Board in England and abroad as well as being a Brass Specialist Mentor for the Board's Professional Development Course. She enjoys cycling and high level mountain walking in the Austrian Alps as an antidote to the hectic musical life she leads. Christina is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals


2009 SilvieTaylor FTCL LTCL ATCL

Dr Vivien Pike Silvie Taylor is from Dundee and has been an adjudicator member of the British & International Federation of Festivals for over 30 years, during which time she has covered festivals throughout UK, Canada, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and, on many occasions, Hong Kong. She is also a member of SASDA (Scottish Association of Speech & Drama Adjudicators) and SCDA (Scottish Community Drama Association).

These have been lifelong interests, through performing and teaching, but with family grown up she opted for the greater flexibility offered by adjudicating. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm with students and teachers alike, while, having started as an amateur, she understands only too well the festival nerves which beset many young performers. Also a freelance writer and book reviewer, Silvie was President of Scottish Association of Writers until March 2008, and is eternally fascinated by words spoken, written or read. She has judged numerous creative writing competitions and is a registered speaker with Live Literature Scotland under the auspices of the Scottish Arts Council.
She has happy memories of her previous visit to Kettering and feels very privileged to be invited to the 100th anniversary of a festival remembered with great affection.


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