2024 Festival Adjudicators

Vivienne Cunningham – Speech & Drama

Vivienne trained with John Holgate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and worked professionally in theatre and television. She has taught speech and drama, public speaking, and performance techniques to all ages, both privately and in schools and colleges. Many of her pupils have achieved success in the theatre, television and film industry, others have become teachers themselves. She worked for many years as Head of Drama at a school where the drama department established a strong reputation, winning numerous awards nationally and staging ambitious productions in the school’s state of the art theatre. She was an examiner for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the English Speaking Union but now particularly enjoys working as an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals. Having competed in festivals since the age of four, entered numerous students and worked as a Convener, she now takes delight in encouraging students to share their work with an audience and experience the joy of performance. Vivienne particularly enjoys writing plays and poetry and then watching them come alive on stage.

Rebecca Thompson – Speech & Drama

On graduating from Bristol University with a degree in Drama and English, Rebecca worked for BBC Radio Four’s Drama Department. After further journalism and corporate work, Rebecca studied for her Licentiate Teacher’s Diploma and has been teaching Speech and Drama privately and in schools for over 25 years. Additionally a voice and presentation skills coach in the region, she teaches in private and state schools, colleges and businesses and is a facilitator for Speaking and Listening Courses in the South Gloucestershire region; in addition she facilitates communication training in schools across the country. Rebecca has been actively involved in theatre in the South West and is an Adjudicator for the Rose Bowl Awards for Amateur Drama and Music; she also continues to direct plays with young people. Rebecca is passionate about developing communication skills amongst people of all ages and abilities; she sees the Festival movement as an excellent way of achieving this goal. Rebecca has adapted her teaching methods during recent months and is very happy to adjudicate in person or online.

Marcia Carr – Speech & Drama

Marcia trained at Royal Holloway University of London. She trained in music, dance and drama, and currently facilitates workshops and directs shows for universities, drama schools and theatre departments internationally. She is a qualified Feldenkrais Practitioner, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She’s toured internationally, winning Best Performer, Manchester Evening News and Buxton Festival and a Time Out Critics Choice. Marcia is Co-Artistic Director of Arts Outburst and Co-Director of the Creative Blast Company, delivering educational packages, training young people, developing choirs, Community Companies and producing shows touring nationally and internationally in both theatrical and non-theatrical environments. She’s an Associate Artist with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, directing shows, developing workshops, on audition panels and leading training, an Adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals and Deputy Chief Examiner for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Luise Horrocks - Music

After studies at Oxford University and the Royal College of Music, Luise’s career as a professional Soprano soloist took her throughout the UK, Europe, America and South Africa. Luise has held teaching positions in both the Junior and Senior departments of Birmingham Conservatoire and as a visiting lecturer at Birmingham University. She runs an extensive private teaching practice and regularly gives masterclasses, choral workshops, presentations and teacher sessions both at home and abroad. She has worked as a mentor on the CT ABRSM panel and as a vocal coach on residential courses for singers. She has also trained and conducted the Wyre Forest Young Voices Choir. For many years as Associate Chief Examiner in music for Trinity College London, Luise has worked on syllabus setting and leading projects for diplomas, examiner training and teacher support. Publications include a series of books on Musical Theatre repertoire and graded songbooks. Luise is an experienced adjudicating member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Maria Jagusz – Music

Maria Jagusz trained as a dancer before taking up a place at the Royal Northern College of Music where she was awarded the Ricordi Prize for Opera. Further scholarships enabled her to continue her studies at the National Opera Studio. As a singer Maria has worked as soloist for most of the leading opera companies in the U.K and Europe. Her roles include Carmen, Cherubino, Orlofsky, Hansel, Dorabella and Rosina. She has performed with many of the worlds leading singers including Domingo, Carreras, Freni and Dame Felicity Lott. Her last role was Filipevna in Eugene Onegin for Mid Wales Opera just before lockdown. She is a keen recitalist and a regular soloist for choral societies in the U.K. As a teacher Maria has specialised in training students who are hoping to have professional careers in the world of opera and musical theatre. As well as her private teaching practise she is vocal consultant for the International College of Music Theatre in London. In order to give students the experience they need to succeed in this competitive industry she formed MJ-UK Music and Arts, As part of their training Maria believes that getting as much performing experience both in concert and on stage is vital for the development of young talent. She arranges many concerts both in the Cotswolds and in Cornwall where young singers can get the chance to perform in a safe welcoming environment. For MJ-UK she has directed Carmen, Bastien and Bastienne, Dido and Aneas, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Secret Garden, Jesus Christ Superstar, Seussical and most recently a production of “The Marriage of Figaro” for Stroud Arts Festival. Maria is emerging casting advisor for Longborough Festival Opera’s Young Artists programme.Operas she has directed for them include Little Sweep, Dido and Aneas, La Boheme ,Sweeney Todd and Orfeo Ed Euridice.Last summer she directed Hansel and Gretel in a socially distanced “Playground Opera“ production which toured to over a thousand children in the South West.This summer she is directing “The Downfall Of Don Jose” an educational project to introduce youngsters to the opera “Carmen” for the company.

Mark Tanner – Music

Mark is a concert pianist, composer, writer and teacher, who has premièred, recorded and broadcast many works by prominent British composers. He has published 75 volumes of compositions and editions for Edition Peters, Faber Music, Spartan Press and Europa Edition. 50 of his pieces have been selected for the exam syllabuses of ABRSM, TCL and LCM. He has various pieces within the popular ABRSM series, Piano Star, and co-authored ABRSM’s Teaching Notes for the previous piano syllabus. His book, The Mindful Pianist, is published by Faber, translated into Chinese along with 2 co-authored books called The Advanced Pianist and 2 volumes of piano repertoire pieces entitled Teachers’ Choice. Also published by Faber, is The Piano in Black and White, an in-depth guide for the adult learner and returner. His book, Mindfulness in Music, is published by Leaping Hare Press in English and Spanish, and Mindfulness in Sound was published in 2020. Mark’s PhD featured Liszt, a topic on which he has published articles in the UK and USA, and he has written hundreds of reviews for the prominent musical press, including International Record Review, Classical Music, Piano Professional, Musical Opinion and International Piano. He has written over 50 Masterclass articles for Pianist Magazine. Mark has given 300 recitals on cruise ships and appeared in the UK’s top venues, including five appearances at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and St John’s Smith Square. He has performed on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Mark is an ABRSM examiner for grades and diplomas, also a reviewer, trainer and international coordinator, having undertaken 47 tours to all continents. Mark was a piano judge for the 2019 BBC Young Musician Competition. He teaches and has given masterclasses in the UK, China and Hong Kong.

Anthony Williams – Music

Concert pianist, writer, lecturer, examiner and adjudicator, Anthony Williams studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London and then at Reading University. Following international competition success, he embarked on a career as a concert pianist and alongside this quickly established an international reputation as a piano teacher and a passionate educator of pianistic musicianship at all ages and levels, giving piano masterclasses, public lecture-recitals and seminars on performance and the art of teaching. Anthony has given talks on piano performance for Radio 3 and is author and editor of various publications including The Best of Grade and Fingerprints (Faber), Teaching Notes (ABRSM), EPTA Piano Journal, and the highly acclaimed Piano Teacher’s Survival Guide (Faber) He is an ABRSM examiner (jazz and classical), educational consultant and a member of the examiner training and review team, he is also a member of BIFF and President of Chipping Norton Music Festival. Anthony combines his freelance career with a full-time position at Radley College, Oxfordshire as Head of Keyboard and Instrumental Music. He is Chairman of EPTA Europe and Vice Chair of EPTA UK

Jena Pang – Music

Jena Chun-Wah Pang is based in the United Kingdom and has an international reputation for teaching and judging competitions and scholarship awards. His students are based in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Beijing, Malaysia, Geneva, Milan, Vienna, New York and Calgary, regularly compete in international competitions and music festivals around the world and have won several first, second and third prizes at Clavis International Piano Competition 2018 in St Petersburg Russia; Amigdala International Piano Competition 2019, 2021, 2023 in Italy; Feurich International Piano Competition 2023, 2019 and 2018 Vienna; Carles and Sofia International Piano Competition 2023 Spain, the VI International Liszt Ferenc Competition Hungary 2023, Costa Festa International Piano Competition 2019 Spain; Canadian Music Competition 2019 (violin); Tadini International Piano Competition 2019 Italy; London Young Musician International Piano Competition 2020 and 2021; Harmonium Plus International Piano Competition Armenia 2020, Music and Stars International Piano Competition 2020; Monegro 88 Keys International Piano Competition 2021 Spain, Carmel Arts International Piano Competition USA 2022, and winners of the finals of the 2020 and 2023 EPTA-UK piano competition. Several of his students have also won the prestigious Elena Cobb Star Prize Award and have performed at the Royal Albert Hall. Mr Pang was awarded an instrumental scholarship to study Music at St Peter’s College, Oxford University and studied the violin with Lydia Mordkovitch and the piano with Lora Dimitrova and had lessons with Christopher Elton, Ruth Waterman, Keith Pascoe, Brenda Farrow, Shalinee Jayatilaka and Elsie Brown. He has been teaching the piano and violin for the last 30 years in addition to being a solicitor and partner in a law firm from 2004-2014. Now he is in high demand as a teacher and for judging competitions and scholarship awards internationally. He has given many concerts, lessons and masterclasses around the world. He is currently the Piano Convenor and a trustee of the Southend Festival of Performing Arts (established in 1911 formerly the Southend Musical Festival), and trustee of the Freda Parry Scholarship Fund Competition, both of which he has been involved with running for the last several years. Jena Pang is an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech and has adjudicated both live and online competitions.

Malcolm Green – Music

Malcolm studied clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music, where he won many prizes as well as a First Class degree and the Recital Diploma, the Academy’s highest performing award. In 2018 he relinquished his post as Head of Woodwind, Brass and Percussion at Bedford School in order to devote more time to performing and adjudicating. His performing experience includes recitals at the Purcell Room and Harrogate Festival. He has performed with the Ulster and English National Opera orchestras and is still active as a player. He has been principal clarinet in the Bedford Sinfonia for over thirty years and has performed the Finzi and Copland Concertos with the orchestra. He has been involved with the Bedfordshire Music Festival for over thirty five years and is currently a Vice President and Life Fellow. Many of his previous pupils have joined the music profession and previous pupils who have gone into other spheres include the former England test captain Alastair Cook and “Pub Landlord” Al Murray! Malcolm has already adjudicated at online Festivals and is happy to be involved with this new way of marking performances.