2021 Festival Adjudicators
Please note that, due to current circumstances, some of the adjudicators are not as stated in the syllabus.
Brass and Woodwind
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 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.
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
Cancelled for 2021
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.
Michael studied piano, violin and singing at the Royal College of Music and at Cambridge where he was a choral exhibitioner at Jesus College. For the past fifty years he has taught gifted young people during which time many have gone on to professional careers in music. He was formerly consultant in piano at the Universities of Bath and Plymouth and in 2018 retired as a examiner and mentor for ABRSM after 42 years during which time he examined in more than twenty countries overseas.
Michael has also spent much of his career as an administrator: during the 1980/90s he was Chief Music Manager for Leeds City Council and General Manager of St David’s Hall, Cardiff . During his time in Leeds he was Executive Director of the Leeds International Piano Competition. For twenty years he has been an adjudicator for the British & International Federation of Festivals. Presently Michael is Director of the Devizes Eisteddfod, a five-day competitive festival in Wiltshire. Throughout his career he has directed choirs: presently Michael is Director of the West Devon Chorale, an elite chamber choir based in Plymouth and is also the conductor of the Philomel Singers, a female choir in Trowbridge.
Primary Music Makers and Primary Choral
Cancelled for 2021
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 world’s leading singers including Domingo, Carreras, Freni and Dame Felicity Lott. 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. In order to give them the experience they need to succeed in this cutthroat 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. She has been awarded honorary chairman of the Silurian Consort for her contribution to music in the Cotswolds.
Maria has worked for the education department for Longborough Festival Opera for the past ten years introducing many children to opera.
Born in South Derbyshire, Yvonne studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Catherine Wilson. In subsequent years, she studied with Norman Bailey and Ian Baar with whom she continues to study. Yvonne began her professional career in the chorus of The New D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in March 1988.
As a regular singer of the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, Yvonne was invited to appear as soprano soloist in the Centenary Gala Concert of the Philadelphia Savoy Company, the oldest Gilbert and Sullivan society in America.
Secondary Choral Day
Cancelled for 2021
Adult Choral Day
Cancelled for 2021