2017 Festival Adjudicators

Jane Wilkinson – Vocal/Choral

Jane trained as a soprano at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and then at the Royal College of Music where she won many competitions and awards. She performs solo art song recitals across the country and has toured South Africa, Europe and America. She is Head of Singing at Chelsea Academy and singing tutor at Imperial College, London. She is a former singing teacher at St Cecilia’s School, Wandsworth and Flora Gardens School, Hammersmith. Jane is a former member of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and now conducts New Malden Voices and New Malden Youth Choir. Jane has premiered many contemporary operas and frequently works alongside composers on new works for the stage and for recordings. She has performed oratorios and concerts at Edinburgh Festival, Royal Albert Hall and many other distinguished venues. Jane leads vocal masterclasses and workshops internationally and often runs ‘audition technique’ d ays for aspiring singers. Jane has taught singers of all ages and standards and has a great passion for educating. Her voice has featured on a wide variety of albums and recordings from children’s repertoire to contemporary folk rock. Jane has been adjudicating for the British and International Federation of Festivals since 2012.

Sarah Jefferies – Vocal/Choral

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.

Margaret Smith - Piano

Margaret studied piano with Dame Fanny Waterman, then the violin and piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Following this, she held a wide variety of teaching posts culminating in 19 years as Director of Music at one of Yorkshire’s most prestigious girls’ schools, entering students very successfully for national and regional competitions and making significant contributions to the musical life of Leeds.
Margaret has a wide experience of all levels of instrumental, choral and vocal music, coaching both groups and individuals in workshops and master classes. She has worked extensively with chamber choirs, operatic and choral societies and was a moderator in both performance and composition for fourteen years with an external examining board. Margaret is an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals.

Dr Oliver Gledhill - Strings

Dr Oliver Gledhill PhD MA(Mtpp) PGCA ARCM, cellist, was a Scholar at the Guildhall School of Music and won numerous awards including the ISTEL/Redditch Music Society Competition.  He studied with many eminent cellists including William Pleeth, Edmund Kurtz and André Navarra.  He has given acclaimed recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, including three in the Kirckman Concert Society Series.  Oliver has recorded eight CDs, including the complete works for cello by Léon Boëllmann, which was awarded five stars for performance by BBC Music Magazine.
Oliver is Professor of Cello at Junior Guildhall, and also teaches at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Elstree and Mill Hill School.  He has edited music for Peters Edition and Durand.  His published writings include articles and reviews for The Strad Magazine, Musical Opinion and the British Journal of Music Education.  In 2012 he completed a PhD at the Royal Academy of Music/University of London on W.H. Squire, his cello miniatures and the ortamento. He is an Examiner for Trinity College London, for whom he has selected repertoire and revised the Cello Diploma and Grade Syllabuses. As an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, he has adjudicated at over one hundred Festivals.

Ann Francis-Ellis – Woodwind, Groups & Schools

Ann-Frances Ellis won a Junior Exhibition to study recorder and clarinet at The Royal Academy of Music, completing her musical education at The Guildhall School of Music, studying piano with Cimbro Martin, Terence Beckles and Neil Van Alan, clarinet with Yona Ettlinger and recorder and flute with Rainer Schuelein. She then spent several years teaching and examining for The Guildhall School of Music and performing as a soloist on clarinet and recorder both nationally and in Europe and America. She was also a member
She spent a number of years as the director of music at a preparatory school, and organising workshops and annually directed the South-East Essex Infant Music Festival. In addition, she conducted local school choirs, orchestras and recorder groups as well as having a thriving private teaching practice. Ann has over 30 years’ experience as an adjudicator. She is an Adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals,  a passion that has taken her all over the UK and Hong Kong. She is also currently a director of Southern Percussion. 

Rebecca Thompson – Speech and Drama

Rebecca read Drama and English at Bristol University followed by a career in Radio journalism, working in both Drama and Documentaries.  After which Rebecca moved into teaching where she developed her speech and drama skills, working at schools and colleges in the South West of England.  Rebecca continues to work in a variety of educational establishments, running weekly classes, workshops and facilitating training to assist schools implement the constructive Speaking and Listening Criteria. As well as being an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals,  Rebecca is also an adjudicator for The Rose Bowl Amateur Awards, reading and reviewing plays and musicals in seven counties throughout the south west.

Stephen Owen – Speech and Drama

Stephen trained as a teacher of drama, speech and movement at Trinity and All Saints’ College, University of Leeds. After qualifying, he studied with Eliner Rutherford. 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 to Licentiate (RAM) and Fellowship (LCM) level. Since retiring from headship in July 2007, he has been appointed as an examiner for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and is an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals.

Manorama Prasad – Asian Music

Manorama Prasad is a South Indian (Carnatic) vocalist, composer and conductor. Since coming to the UK in 1990, she has established herself as a unique and versatile artist.
A prolific performer, Manorama has also sung at many prestigious international music festivals and venues, including the Edinburgh Festival; Alchemy & Darbar Festivals at the South Bank; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Lake District and Dartington International Summer Schools and Salisbury International Arts Festival. She has also performed extensively on radio for BBC Radio 3, BBC Asian Network, and All India Radio. Her sustained excellence was recognised in 2005 by Trinity College London, with the award of a fellowship and she was conferred the title of ‘Kala Jyothi’ for her outstanding contribution to Indian Classical Music in the UK.
In 2006, Manorama was appointed as the Artistic Director of Samyo and Tarang – the UK’s National South Asian Music Youth Orchestra and Indian Classical Music Ensemble. Under her direction, Samyo and Tarang broke new ground in the Indian Music arena, leading to Tarang being invited to perform for Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace and for His Excellency Dr APJ Kalam, President of India in Liverpool, coupled with a show-stopping concert at the Darbar Festival, a stunning performance at the Royal Albert Hall, for the BBC Proms and a mesmerizing cross-genre collaboration with Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the presence of the late Pandit Ravi Shankar. Manorama’s creation ‘Prapanch’ was performed jointly by Samyo, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School of Music at Excellent! Festival, Sadler’s Wells.
In 2009, she and her son Alok Prasad created “Aarambh” – the national choir for South Asian Music, which brought together supremely talented young singers from all over the UK, for an evening of Indian ragas, improvisation, harmonies and choral music. The incredible sound of over 30 voices coming together in perfect harmony left the Purcell Room audience spellbound at this magical new dimension of Indian Music.
Recently, through her foundation ‘Manodharma’, she is taking a leading role in developing and integrating South Asian Music into the mainstream UK music scene.