MSF | Music Adjudicators
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Music Adjudicators

2022 Festival Adjudicators



Brass and Woodwind



Gill Johnston 

Gillian Johnston studied the Bassoon with Archie Camden  at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  After a period of freelance playing, she concentrated on a teaching career, before moving to Harpenden where she established her own Music School, Harpenden Musicale. From small beginnings Musicale has grown into one of the largest institutions of its’ type in this country.  As well as the day to day running of the Music School, Gill arranges Musicale Summer Music Courses around the country, Competitions and a Summer Music Festival.  Gill is the founder and Musical Director, of the National Children’s Wind Orchestra and associated groups.  She is much in demand as an adjudicator and very much enjoys the contact with the young musician, inspiring and enthusing their interest in music. She has four children, three of whom are professional musicians.





Robert Bailey

Robert is a ‘cellist, pianist and conductor. He attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has enjoyed a varied career, having held principal positions at English National Opera, the Royal Philharmonic Pops orchestra, with whom he was first ‘cellist, for ten years, and the Academy of London. He was for five years ‘cellist in the Delme String Quartet which took him all over Europe, and with them he made several CDs and broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 3.

Robert has conducted in London with the Locrian Chamber Orchestra and the English National Orchestra and he has conducted in Australia, giving the premiere of Larry Sitsky’s Symphony with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

In the field of Education Robert Bailey teaches ‘cello and piano and has worked at the Royal College of Music and The Guildhall School of Music as an orchestral and chamber music coach.  For several years, he taught at London’s Centre for Young Musicians where he was conductor of both the Symphony Orchestra and the String Chamber Orchestra. He is also much in demand as an adjudicator at competitive festivals all over the UK.





Keziah Thomas

As described by the New York Concert Review as ‘Stupendous…totally original and engaging’, British harpist KeziahThomas enjoys the international reputation of a lively and exciting concert artist. A graduate of the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Daphne Boden, Keziah holds an ARCM diploma in performance and was the winner of the 2003 London Harp Competition, the 2008 Camac Harp Competition and the 2011 Contemporary Record Society Performing Artists Competition.

Keziah made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2010 with a recital of contemporary works which she went on to record on her 2014 album ‘Crossing Waves’. As well as maintaining a busy teaching studio from her home in Kent, Keziah teaches for the Bromley Youth Music Trust and is a popular course tutor and workshop leader.



Chamber Music, Junior and Senior Ensembles


Robert Bailey/Gill Johnston (details above)



Bands and Orchestras


Rhys Matthews

After graduating from the Northern Royal College of Music, Rhys has enjoyed much success performing with a variety of orchestras.  He is a diverse professional musician, often performing in a variety of styles and concert settings.  As an educator and coach, he has worked with percussion ensembles, a Steel Pan Ensemble, Wind Orchestras, Symphony Orchestras and Contemporary Music Groups.  Rhys examines modern music exams in piano, vocals, drums, guitar and bass in this country and abroad.  He also leads masterclasses , workshops and seminars and is an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals.





Mark Tanner

Mark Tanner is a concert pianist, composer, B.I.F.F. adjudicator, teacher and writer. His performing and academic work takes him regularly to all five continents. Solo appearances include many recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre and St John’s Smith Square, as well as St George’s Bristol.  Mark’s recordings have spotlighted many previously unrecorded works by British composers, receiving widespread critical acclaim.

Mark’s PhD tackled the Hungarian composer, Franz Liszt; he was subsequently elected an honorary member of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He is a member of Mensa, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has given masterclasses across the UK, Europe and Asia. For 16 years he was Assistant Director of Music at Taunton School, Somerset. In 2018 Mark was a keyboard judge for the BBC Young Musician and the EPTA Piano Competition; he was also Composer in Residence at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School and gave workshops in the Cayman Islands. In 2019, as well as running his own ever-popular piano summer school at Jackdaws, Somerset, Mark directed a series of CPD events held at Chetham’s School and the RNCM in Manchester; he also co-directed the EPTA Teachers Course at Chichester University and performed with Gillian Poznansky on the Queen Mary 2.




John Foster

John Foster has regularly performed as soloist, accompanist and in chamber groups, throughout the UK and in Jersey, France, Germany and Hong Kong, where he also gave radio broadcasts. He was a member of staff at the Junior College of the RNCM for sixteen years and was Director of the St. Cecilia Chamber Music Trust, organising  courses, orchestras and tuition in schools.

For more than thirty years, John has been on the examiner panel of ABRSM, working as a grade and diploma examiner, trainer, moderator, coordinator on international tours, seminar presenter and as a member of the interview panel for new examiners. His ABRSM work has taken him to more than twenty countries.

John teaches piano from beginner to post diploma level and, as a member of BIFF, has adjudicated at many festivals throughout the country. He has also several times judged the Asia Pacific Youth Piano Competition in Hong Kong.


Primary Music Makers and Primary Choral


Tim Parker

Tim studied at the University of Sheffield where he was awarded B.Mus (Hons) and M.Mus degrees (being twice awarded the prestigious Julian Payne Academic Prize).  He is also a fully qualified teacher and was awarded the Cert.GSMD(A) by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


He works as a Specialist Singing teacher and Choral Director and has directed three award-winning choirs including Cantilena, B&NES Music Service’s Senior County Choir.  Tim has worked as a Vocal Consultant for Bristol Male Voice Choir, Mendip Male Voice Choir and for the Advent Choir of St Michael’s Without, Bath. He regularly works at Regional Education Conferences as a workshop leader (specialising in Choir Training, Sign Singing and ‘Singing for Children with Special Needs’).  Tim was recently awarded funding to create a specialist singing resource for helping children facing challenges with their literacy and is currently working with Trinity College London to develop resources for their most recent Singing Syllabus.


Tim was a Choral Scholar and Cathedral Lay Clerk whilst at University and most recently held the position of Senior Lay Clerk at Bristol Cathedral for 7 years (singing as a Lay Clerk and Deputy Lay Clerk for 5 years prior to this). He has toured in South Africa, U.S.A., France, Italy (including a performance at a Papal Audience), Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy with his own County Choir and various other professional choirs.  He has appeared as a soloist on several CD recordings, and has broadcast on Radio 3, Radio 4 and BBC 1; he also appears on the soundtrack to the BAFTA nominated Film The Killing of John Lennon. Tim also works as Choir Consultant and Specialist Choral Adjudicator. He has adjudicated at the internationally renowned Mid Somerset Festival for a number of years and has also adjudicated for Badminton’s Senior and Junior Music Festivals and the Longwell Green Eisteddfod.


Professional concert appearances include J.S. Bach’s Magnificat where sang the Countertenor roles along side Emma Kirkby; J.S. Bach’s St. John’s & St. Matthew’s Passion settings; G.F. Handel’s Dixit Dominus; regular performances of the G.F. Handel’s Messiah both as a soloist and with the Fitzhardinge Singers (a Bristol based professional choir) and Purcell’s ‘Feast Songs’ and the countertenor works of Couperin.  Tim was also the Chorus Master and soloist for Voiceworks (a Sheffield based Opera company) for their 1996 residence at the Edinburgh Festival.


Classical Guitar





Marilynne Davies

Having studied voice, ‘cello and piano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Marilynne began her career in education and later studied for a Masters Degree in Education. Her experience in teaching ranges from nursery to postgraduate levels and she has been external examiner and assessor in performance for a number of universities at the graduate and post graduate levels. She was, until recently, Head of the School of Performance at York St.John University –a post that included Music, Dance, Drama, Film and Television. As an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, she has adjudicated both in the UK and abroad. She frequently leads a variety of workshops across the age range and has initiated and run long term projects organised by individual festivals. Currently, she is Music Director of the 140 strong Harrogate Choral Society, founder of the Harrogate Polyphonic Choir and director of a small group of female voices called Beati. In 2011 she was honoured to be one of two Music adjudicators to be created a Fellow of the British and International Federation of Festivals. Currently, she is Chair of the Fellows. Her membership of a consortium of European Conservatoires has led her to research into the Practice of Performance. The results of that research have been implemented across the Conservatoires. In her spare time Marilynne enjoys walking – preferably contour walks – playing social Bridge and collecting enamel patch boxes.


Anne Marshall

 Growing up in a musical family on the Isle of Wight, Anne regularly took part in the music festival there as a soloist and in instrumental and vocal ensembles. Anne graduated in music BA (Hons) from Liverpool University where she studied piano, viola with Robert Braga (RLPO) and composition with Robert Orledge. She also studied singing, achieving the LRAM diploma with teacher Doreen Wedgewood.

Anne has combined a busy teaching career in UK schools with performing as a singer, writing and arranging music and examining for ABRSM. She has over 30 years’ teaching experience as a Head of Music and has been an examiner at GCSE and A level, recently spending a year teaching A level music at Cheltenham Ladies’ College.

Working with singers and instrumentalists of all ages, Anne has directed many types of ensemble and worked in a variety of musical styles from directing musicals to leading school European concert tours. She worked as repetiteur to the conductor, Jeremy Jackman, for 15 years with the East Midlands chamber choir, the Cecilian Singers, arranging and composing music for them as well as other UK choirs. Some of her piano arrangements are published in ABRSM’s series ‘Piano Mix’.

In 2013. Anne joined the panel of adjudicators for the British and International Federation of Festivals and enjoys encouraging young musicians at UK music festivals each year. She has adjudicated for many festivals including those in Lincoln, Dudley, Bury, Leicester, Kettering, Tamworth and Thornbury.

Anne’s work as an ABRSM grades, jazz and diploma examiner has taken her far and wide in the UK as well as to international centres in South East Asia, Africa, India and Nepal, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and Europe. She was recently privileged to run the first exam sessions in Kigali, Rwanda. She is a member of the trainer and moderator panels for ABRSM.




Secondary Choral Day


Anne Marshall  (Details above)


Adult Choral Day


Robert T Elliot

Rob grew up in South Wales as part of a musical family. He conducted the Massed Male Choirs at the Welsh National Eisteddfod at the age of only 21, and the English National Symphony Orchestra at the Wiltshire Music Festival in 1999. Rob is a former Trombonist of the Band of the 3rd Battalion
Royal Regiment of Wales, and former Musical Director of four Male Choirs in England and Wales.
He has formerly directed Choirs to win many prizes at International Competitions.
Rob has adjudicated at many festivals and competitions, including The National Choral Festival in Ireland, Isle of Man Festival of Choirs, Bangor International Choral Festival in Northern Ireland, The Cornwall International Male Choral Competition, The North Wales Choral Festival, Barnardo’s
National School Choir Competition at The Barbican and Royal Festival Hall in London, National Prep School Choir Competition at Cadogan Hall London, and the Manchester Amateur Choral Competition at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Rob was also Festival Director of the World’s Largest Male Choir Festival (over 60 Male Choirs taking part!), and is in great demand for his Choral workshops and Choir Coaching & Development roles.
He is currently working with Male, Female and Youth Choirs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Rob is delighted to be back at the Mid Somerset Festival once again.