2023 Festival Adjudicators
Brass and Woodwind
Caroline Diffley – see piano
Caroline Diffley – see piano
A busy professional harpist for over 15 years, Harriet Adie is known for her intense musicality, creativity, and focus. Harriet is passionate about her instrument and enjoys the many opportunities her performing career has provided for sharing her love of the harp with other people.
Harriet’s introduction to the harp was far from conventional: she first began lessons in Oman in the Middle East, where fishing wire proved a suitable replacement for any broken harp strings! 3000 miles later, she was awarded a place at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music under the tuition of Daphne Boden. This was followed by reading Music at Balliol College, Oxford where she was an Instrumental Exhibitioner. Harriet then completed her studies with Imogen Barford at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, supported by awards from the Musician’s Benevolent Fund, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund.
An accomplished chamber musician, Harriet has performed with renowned ‘cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber, and was for many years, a member of the Swan Duo with ‘cellist Jessica Burroughs. Harriet is a founding member of the internationally recognized ensemble 4 Girls 4 Harps, whose music has been broadcast on Classic FM, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, as well as across the world as far as Australia and the USA.
As a soloist she has given many recitals at major London venues including St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, the National gallery and St James’s Palace. Her most recent solo recording of music by Carey Blyton received 3 stars from BBC Music Magazine, and her performance was described by MusicWeb International as ‘…could not be bettered. The young harpist Harriet Adie plays with character and total understanding.’ Harriet has also enjoyed working with many orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra (where she also performed in their Music Of Today series), the Orchestra of the Swan, London Festival Sinfonia, Covent Garden Sinfonia, and Northern Sinfonia.
Alongside her career as a professional harpist, Harriet is also a composer specializing in solo and chamber works for harp.
Chamber Music, Junior and Senior Ensembles
Michael Young – see piano
Bands and Orchestras
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.
Michael studied piano with Lilian Niblette and David Parkhouse, and composition with Charles Hutchings, reading music at Reading University , UEA and RCM. He is currently Professor of Piano at RWCMD and was previously Head of Keyboard at Wells Cathedral School.
Michael has performed widely as solo pianist, chamber musician and accompanist in UK, USA, Germany etc. broadcasting on radio, and has made a special study of the works of Korngold.
He has taught piano at RAM, RCM, TCM, Birmingham Conservatoire and the Universities of Cambridge, UEA and Liverpool and given masterclasses and lectured in numerous countries.
Michael has been an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals for over 20 years, and has adjudicated at numerous festivals, including at the Hong Kong Festival three times. He has been an ABRSM examiner for over 40 years, visiting over 25 countries, and is a member of the grade, diploma, jazz and presenter panels.
Caroline Diffley was born in Yorkshire, and studied piano at the Royal College of Music. She taught at the Kent Music School in Canterbury and at the Dragon School in Oxford before moving to the West Country. She taught piano at Wells Cathedral School for many years, working with both specialist and generalist students there.
Caroline now lives and works in Exeter, where she runs a private piano teaching practice. Her pupils have achieved many successes, including being awarded the ABRSM Gold Medal, and the Sheila Mossman Memorial Prize for the highest mark in local examinations.
Caroline is an ABRSM examiner of both grade exams and diplomas, and she has examined all over the world. She is also a moderator for Music Medals, and is a busy adjudicator at music festivals.
Primary Music Makers and Primary 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.
In her early career, Rebecca won scholarships to the Royal College of Music and Opera School and sung professionally at Glyndebourne, WNO and Opera 80, amongst others. As a soloist, she has performed throughout the UK and Europe.
Rebecca is currently chair of Education for the British Voice Association, She is currently involved in research work with colleagues at the BVA and has a busy voice studio in Oxford. She gives workshops throughout the UK on the functionality of the voice, accent breathing and vocal care and maintenance. She gives workshops and courses on voice science, tips and techniques for choral singers, maintaining the mature voice and breathing. She is an adjudicator for the International and British Federation of Music Festivals.
Rebecca has an MA in musicology and is currently nearing the end of her PhD research at UCL. Her research investigates what interventions can maintain the functionality of the mature female voice. Findings from this study are statistically significant and support the hypotheses that the vocal competency of the mature female singer can be sustained through effective pedagogy. This is leading to her current work on devising a new teaching method specifically for the mature voice and choral singers. The first presentation of this work was at the Pan European Voice Conference in Copenhagen in August 2019. In 2022 she presented at ICVT in Vienna and the Pan European Voice Conference in Tallinn
Her PhD will be complete in 2023 and she will publish a book on effective teaching methods for the mature voice and already has an agreement with a publishing company.
Sarah Jefferies (details above)
Secondary Choral Day
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.
Adult Choral Day
Tim Parker (details above)