2019 Festival Adjudicators

Sarah Jefferies – Vocal

Sarah is a vocal 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 prizes including Early Music, Lieder and English Song. She was an active member of the opera course, singing roles by Britten, Strauss and Mozart. Upon leaving the Academy, Sarah studied with Margreet Honig at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. She has sung recitals and oratorios all over the country and was a member of the Opera De Lyon. Sarah is a visiting teacher of voice at Marlborough College in Wiltshire and an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Luise Horrocks - Vocal

After studies at Oxford University and the Royal College of Music, Luise’s career as a professional soloist, Soprano, took her throughout the UK, Europe, America and South Africa. She has held teaching positions 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, works as a vocal coach on residential courses and is a mentor on the CT ABRSM panel. She has also trained and conducted the Wyre Forest Young Voices choir. As well as adjudicating for The British and International Federation of Festivals, Luise is a Senior Examiner for Trinity Guildhall.

Melanie Spanswick – Piano

Melanie studied at the Royal College of Music where she won many prizes and graduated with a Master’s degree. She has performed at all the major UK concert halls and around the world. She has made two solo recordings and has broadcast on Classic FM, BBC Radio 2 & 3, CBC Radio, Swedish and Spanish Television. Highlights include performances for the Queen Mother and Danish Royal family. Melanie has taught the piano at Reading University, the Royal College of Music Junior Department and Blackheath Conservatoire. Alongside her work as an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals, she has examined for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and frequently gives master classes.

Nadia Hinson - Strings

Nadia Hinson, GRSM (hons) LRAM LTCL, graduated from the Royal Academy of Music after having studied the violin with Manoug Parikian and the piano with Jean Harvey. She was awarded first prize for Aural studies and her quartet won the string chamber prize in her final year. Nadia was the featured soloist playing the Lark Ascending and Bach double violin concerto for the Benslow Trust at St. James’ Piccadilly having been awarded an instrument to continue her studies. Other concertos in her repertoire include performances of the Mendelssohn, Mozart no.3 and 4, Haydn in C, De Beriot, Viotti, and works by Beethoven and Finzi. She began her career as a freelance violinist playing in many London based orchestras. As an accompanist to singers and instrumentalists, she met her musician husband Nigel and together they founded the Veloce Ensemble (string quartet and clarinet quintet) touring throughout Britain performing specially commissioned works for that genre. Appearances at festivals and stately homes inspired a regular concert series at Belvoir Castle and Holmepierrepont Hall. As a recitalist throughout the East Midlands, Nadia has been highlighted in festivals and BBC features locally. She is also currently the owner and director of the Hinson School of Music in Nottingham, and is an International examiner for the ABRSM, an adjudicator for the British and International federation of Festivals, and a member of the Royal Society of Musicians. Nadia has recently been appointed a senior consultant for the LEAD Academy trust, involved in developing music departments in schools in Nottinghamshire, and leading workshops to encourage and involve as many youngsters as possible in experiencing music and the arts in large scale productions and showcase concerts. She has set up composition workshops to inspire children to explore feelings and ideas through music and is a mentor for the Trust to develop self-confidence and communication through learning and performance.

Philip Dewhurst – Woodwind, Groups & Schools

Philip read music at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne under Professor Denis Matthews where he specialised in performance on the oboe. He completed a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and went into teaching. Philip gives occasional recitals and enjoys orchestral and chamber music playing on a freelance basis when his teaching commitments permit. He also has a passion for choral music and has conducted and directed choirs and choral societies throughout his career. As well as adjudicating around the country for The British and International Federation of Festivals, Philip is an examiner for Trinity Guildhall and an experienced GCSE and A level moderator. He is Director of Music at Cheadle Hulme School, Cheshire.

Cally Foster – Speech & Drama

Since her first festival appearance in a festival at the age of five Cally has been committed to the festival movement and has pursued a career as a speech and drama specialist. She was the principle of her Buckinghamshire based drama studio for more than 20 years, combining that role with travelling extensively in the UK, Europe and internationally as an examiner for LAMDA and as an adjudicator. Cally also delivers workshops on all aspects of communication and performance. She is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals and current Chairman of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama. Cally believes that performing in festivals not only encourages an appreciation of the arts but also develops the communication and presentation skills so important in today’s world. It should be a positive as well as an enjoyable experience.

Rosalind Taylor – Speech & Drama

Rosalind trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and at The Laban Centre of Movement and Dance, London. Rosalind has taught speech and drama for over thirty years and has led several large Performing Arts departments. She continues to deliver workshops at leading vocational schools and universities, both in the United Kingdom and internationally. In addition to her teaching credits, Rosalind has extensive experience in directing and creating original devised material for vocational and community outreach projects. Rosalind has spent over twenty years working alongside award-winning choreographers with the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain – on their Creative Team, as drama coach and répétiteur. She continues to support their Beyond Ballet initiative for new and aspiring young choreographers, applauding this opportunity to Mikah Smillie (Artistic Director of NYB).

Tish Nicoll – Speech & Drama, and Gala Concert

Born in Aberdeen, Tish trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has a wide range of experience in teaching all age groups in schools, colleges and in the business world and is visiting lecturer in vocal communications in colleges in the UK and in Italy. Tish examines for the English Speaking Board (International) Ltd. As well as ‘Voice Over’ work, she has experience as a performer and a director and is a trained singer, specialising in recitals of poetry and song. From an early age Tish took part in festivals and, as well as being an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals, still works closely with Chipping Norton Festival after stepping down as their Organiser and Chairman in May 2016.

Gill Johnston – Gala Concert Music Specialist

Gillian studied the bassoon with Archie Camden at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and, after a period of freelance playing, concentrated on a teaching career, before moving to Harpenden where she established her own Music School, ‘Harpenden Musicale’. As well as running the Music School, Gill arranges Musicale Holidays, Competitions and a Summer Music Festival. She is the founder and Musical Director of the National Children’s Wind Orchestra and associated groups. Gillis an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals and very much enjoys contact with young musicians, inspiring and enthusing their interest in music.