2019 Festival Adjudicators
Brass and Woodwind
Robin Page – Brass
Robin Page won a Choral Scholarship to Magdalen College School, Oxford, and was later a Choral Exhibitioner at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His first instrument was the trumpet, studying with Bernard Brown, Bill Overton, Sidney Ellison, Philip Jones and John Miller.
A conducting career soon took over and he has worked extensively both in the UK and abroad, including engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish National Radio Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic, Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Amor Artis of New York and many other orchestras. He also has considerable professional choral conducting experience, including with the London Symphony Chorus and the Halle Choir in the UK, as well as many other choral engagements in the UK, Europe and the USA. He was Musical Director of the Kingston Choral Society for over 25 years. He was also Professor of Conducting at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall. He is presently Musical Director of Thames Sinfonia and the period-instrument Purcell Orchestra.
Robin has taught at the Royal Academy of Music, London, the Royal Scottish Conservatoire and Birmingham Conservatoire, and has considerable experience as an adjudicator throughout the UK. He has examined as a brass specialist on the Diploma Panel of the ABRSM for many years.
Melanie Ragge – Woodwind MA (Cantab), M Phil (Cantab), Hon ARAM, LRAM, Dip RCM
Melanie’s musical passions lie in chamber music and education. Originally a medical student, she graduated with an MPhil in Musicology from King’s College Cambridge, then studied oboe as a Leverhulme Fellow at the RCM with Michael Winfield and Edwin Roxburgh and piano with Phyllis Sellick. She now teaches oboe at the Purcell School of Music and is an oboe professor at the Royal Academy. Melanie is also an Adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals. A founder member of the New London Chamber Ensemble she has released several CDs and, nationally and internationally, has worked with leading artists such as the Dante & Schidlof string quartets, pianist Angela Hewitt and baritone Gerald Finlay.
Chamber Music, Junior and Senior Ensembles
Robin Page (details above), Kathryn Hardman (details below)
Tim Barrett, Kathryn Hardman (details below), Melanie Ragge (details above)
Bands and Orchestras
Keith Allen MMus, BA, FTCL, ARCM, PGCE
Keith was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, going on to take post-graduate studies at Birmingham, Kingston and Thames Valley Universities. He played clarinet and saxophone with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Shakespeare Company and others. His previous positions include: Saxophone Tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire; Head of Birmingham Music Service; Musical Director: Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company and Consultant Editor, Faber Music. Present positions include Musical Director, Birmingham Symphonic Winds; Artistic Director, National Concert Band Festival; Conductor, Solihull Youth Wind Orchestra and clarinet tutor of European Youth Summer Music. He is also an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals. In 2011, Keith directed University Wind Bands in Minnesota USA.
Timothy Barratt ARAM, GRSM, LRAM, ARCM, LMusTCL
Timothy studied on a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music and in Paris with Vlado Perlemuter. As well as performing as solo pianist, accompanist and chamber music player he has considerable experience of teaching at all levels. He was a lecturer and vocal coach at the RAM and TCL for many years and is now Head of Keyboard at Dulwich College and a teacher at the Junior Academy. He adjudicates for The British and International Federation of Festivals, directs workshops for teachers in the UK and abroad and is an ABRSM examiner, trainer, moderator and presenter, and a mentor for the Certificate of Teaching.
John Foster GNSM, LRAM, PGCE, FISM
John studied piano with Kendall Taylor and Dennis Matthews (masterclasses). He has worked extensively as accompanist for singers and instrumentalists and in chamber groups, including the Lydian Trio. He has performed in UK, Jersey, France, Germany and Hong Kong, (including radio broadcasts). John taught for 16 years at RNCM Junior College and is a former Director of St Cecilia Chamber Music Trust. Currently, he performs, teaches/coaches pianists and singers, is an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals and is an ABRSM grade and diploma examiner, trainer and moderator, nationally and internationally.
Primary Music Makers and Primary Choral
Tim is one of the Senior Managers for B&NES Music Service. He holds B.Mus and M.Mus degrees and is a fully qualified classroom teacher. Tim has specific responsibilities for the promotion and development of singing in all the schools in B&NES (including singing teacher and choral directoring). He also authored and managed a join-authority singing and literacy project. He directs a number of award-winning choirs and has performed on radio, TV, CD and film
Kathryn Hardman GRSM, ARMCM
Kathryn trained as a violinist at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating with distinction both in performance and teaching, subsequently working as a freelance musician, and teaching at the RNCM. She held the post of Head of Strings for the County of Avon from 1985–1991, directing senior ensembles and also teaching for the Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department. Kathryn has established an extensive private teaching practice in Bristol and also teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Bristol University. Kathryn enjoys tutoring on holiday music courses including NCO, NYCO and her own chamber music course, “Novacorda”. She is also an Adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals. Time permitting, other interests are travel, walking and Shakespeare.
Eleanor Turner is a passionate ambassador for the harp. She made her London concerto debut aged just fifteen, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Daniel Harding and broadcast live on Classic FM. Praised by The Times for her “scrupulous attention to the harp’s dynamic and rhythmic possibilities”, Eleanor has performed solo at the Berlin Philharmonie, Musiekgeouw Aant Ij in Amsterdam and the Wigmore Hall in London.
Eleanor has won numerous prizes at international harp competitions, including the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition. Her principal tutors were Daphne Boden and Alison Nicholls, and she has also benefited hugely from study courses with harpists Ernestine Stoop, Erika Waardenburg and Marisa Robles.
Eleanor composed the music for Ballet Wales’ 2007 production ‘The Bride of Flowers’, wrote pop songs with Dutch artist Angela Moyra (Dutch International Harp Festival 2013) and created an original show entitled ‘Elusive Symmetry’, with hip-hop dancer Lizzie Gough and guitarist- composer Alan Thomas. Recent projects include ‘Wild Bird’ for harp and ensemble, performing Indian-western improvised fusion music with tabla player Mendi Mohinder Singh and touring with the band Ranagrí. Eleanor has also been working with Music Interaction Designer Balandino Di Donato on their ‘HarpCI’ gesture-controlled electronic music project.
Eleanor also loves to teach and enjoys sharing her wealth of experience with students at Birmingham Conservatoire (where she is Head of Harp), Uppingham School and Stamford Endowed Schools as well as at her home in Lincolnshire.
Christopher Daly LRAM, CertEd, Honorary BA
Christopher Daly began playing the guitar at the age of seventeen, having been inspired by a recital by the great Spanish virtuoso Andrés Segovia.
Christopher read Divinity at King Alfred’s College (now The University of Winchester) and was awarded his Certificate in Education. Invited to join the staff of the Music School of Winchester College, he began to teach the guitar in 1970. In 1976 he was awarded his Licentiate Diploma by the Royal Academy of Music.
He continues to teach the guitar at all levels both in schools and privately, and performs from time to time with an emphasis on fine but lesser-known repertoire. He has also performed with singers and in chamber music.
Having for some years been a guitar Specialist Adjudicator, the British and International Federation of Music Festivals made Christopher a General Adjudicator in 2004.
In the same year he was elected to the committee of the Lennox Berkeley Society, which exists to increase public awareness of Sir Lennox Berkeley’s music. He introduced a Guitar Award for the Society in 2010, and administers this in partnership with Oxford Music Festival. The Award is now held by five outstanding young guitarists, with all three royal music colleges represented among them.
Luise Horrocks Hon TCL, MA (Oxon), ARCM, PGCA, PGCE
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.
Michael Johnson BMus, ARCM, PGCE
Michael Johnson studied violin, singing and piano at the Royal College of Music. He has taught privately for over 40 years during which time many of his students have gone on to become professional musicians.
He has been an examiner and mentor for ABRSM since 1976 and has also held a number of senior posts in music including being Chief Music Manager for Leeds City Council, where he was Executive Director of the Leeds International Piano Competition, and General Manager of St David’s Hall, Cardiff.
Michael has been visiting consultant in violin, singing and piano at the Universities of Plymouth and Bath.
He is presently Director of the Elite Chamber Choir, the West Devon Chorale, the Philomel Singers in Trowbridge and a competitive festival in Wiltshire, the Devizes Eisteddfod.
Secondary Choral Day
Michael Johnson (details above)
Adult Choral Day
Marilynne Davies BA, MEd, LRAM, PGCA, FRSA
From her early experiences of performing in Welsh Eisteddfodau Marilynne has developed a lifelong passion and enthusiasm for all aspects of performance. Having studied piano, voice and cello at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama she took a Master’s Degree in Education and became Head of the School of performance at York St John University.
As a conductor she has trained and conducted orchestras and choirs on a regular basis, some of whom have performed on BBC and ITV. The largest ensemble was a choir of 1100 school children and the smallest a Chamber Choir of 40 voices with whom she toured abroad on many occasions. She regularly works with School Choirs many of whom now compete in local, national and international festivals e.g. Lindley School Choir winners of the BBC School Choir of the Year 2017 and winners at the Llangollen International eisteddfod 2017 Currently she is Deputy Music Director of the 140+ Harrogate Choral Society, director of the Harrogate Polyphonic Choir and of a small vocal ensemble ‘Beati’.
As an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals she is well established and has adjudicated nationally and internationally. She was one of the four music adjudicators at the British Federation Festival of Festivals in Warwick and one of the presenters at the Millennium Festival in Leeds. She has been a regular adjudicator at the National Festival for Music for Youth and at the biennial Yorkshire and Humberside Championship for Festival winners. She has been a member of the Adjudicators Council and has made presentations at the Federation’s Annual Conference. Her outreach work on behalf of festivals has included encouraging and supporting Primary School Teachers to be active and confident in school music and to participate in local festivals. Many of these projects have resulted in an increase in entries at Festivals and provided the opportunities for participation in large scale performances. In October 2011 she was honoured to be made one of the first Adjudicator Fellows of the Federation.
The promotion of the arts particularly Music has been a lifelong interest and she was Chairman of the Yorkshire Region of the National Federation of Music Societies for many years. She served on the committee of a number of councils and until recently she was on the Council of the Association of British Choral Directors and Chairman of the Yorkshire Regional Committee.