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 – Hon ARAM, M Phil (Cantab), MA (Cantab),
Oboist Melanie Ragge has performed nationally and internationally as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral player in venues as far flung as Vancouver Island, Malta, & northern Sweden as well as UK venues such as St John’s Smith Square, the Royal Opera House and Wigmore Hall. A founder member of one of the UK’s leading wind ensembles, the New London Chamber Ensemble, she has released several CD’s, including Nielsen’s Wind & Piano Chamber Music “…performances and sound quality are outstanding in every regard.” International Record Review
Originally a medical student at King’s College Cambridge, Melanie ultimately graduated with a Master of Philosophy degree in Musicology before going on to study as a Leverhulme Fellow at the Royal College of Music. She has since collaborated with numerous artists including the Dante, Schidlof and Emperor string quartets, pianists Ann Martin-Davis, Michael Dussek and Angela Hewitt, and baritone Gerald Finlay. Over the last few years, her performances have included recitals with Angela Hewitt and the New London Chamber Ensemble at Wigmore Hall, with the NLCE and Dante Quartet at the Cheltenham Festival, touring and recording Mahler’s 10th Symphony at Philharmonie Hall in Berlin with the International Mahler Orchestra, and recitals at the Royal Opera House with the Ellipsis Ensemble. Coinciding with the 2016 Roald Dahl centenary, she recorded a disc of Martin Butler’s chamber music, including settings of Dahl’s ‘Dirty Beasts’ narrated by Simon Callow, with the NLCE. 2017 included performances in the Hull City of Culture season, with both the NLCE and Ellipsis Ensemble with guest tenor, James Gilchrist. Forthcoming projects include a side-by-side film with the NLCE and students from the Royal Academy of Music, and a film-short for Classic FM.
A committed educator, Melanie regularly adjudicates, coaches and gives masterclasses; she has been a guest tutor for numerous projects, including Chamber Music International, Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater and the Penderecki Musik Akademie, and the Associate Director and woodwind tutor for the National Youth Chamber Orchestra. She is an oboe professor at the Royal Academy, where she currently sits on the governing body, and also teaches at the Purcell School of Music. Her scientific interest continues in the form of ongoing research into the use of Electromyography to help to reduce strain injuries in musical training.
Chamber Music, Junior and Senior Ensembles
Robin Page (details above), Kathryn Hardman (details below)
Timothy Barrett, Kathryn Hardman (details below), Melanie Ragge (details above)
Bands and Orchestras
Keith Allen MMus, BA, FTCL, ARCM, PGCE
Keith Allen studied at: Royal College of Music, London; Birmingham University, Kingston University, with a Master’s Degree from the University of West London.
He worked professionally with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Previous positions include: Clarinet/Saxophone Tutor: Birmingham Conservatoire; Head of Birmingham Music Service.
Current positions include: Music Director: Birmingham Symphonic Winds; Festival Director: National Concert Band Festival (UK); Conductor in Residence: Birmingham University Wind Band; Conductor: Solihull Youth Wind Orchestra; Consultant Editor: Faber Music Ltd. Adjudicating/guest conducting in America, Spain, Latvia, Ireland, Hong Kong, Australia, China and the UK.
Timothy Barratt ARAM, GRSM, LRAM, ARCM, LMusTCL
Timothy Barratt studied on a Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, winning many major awards, and completed his studies with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris and Geoffrey Parsons. He has toured and broadcast extensively in the UK and abroad as soloist, accompanist and chamber music player. Whilst still a student he developed a special interest in song accompaniment through playing for Masterclasses at Aldeburgh, subsequently partnering such artists as Dame Felicity Lott and Robert White. In addition, instrumentalists he has worked with include Jack Brymer, Bradley Creswick and Haaken Hardenberger. Teaching forms a major part of his musical life and he works with pupils of all ages and levels from beginner to post-graduate. He was Head of Keyboard at Dulwich College for almost 25 years whilst also teaching at the RAM and TCM and now pursues a busy freelance career.
An ABRSM examiner since 1991, he is also a Trainer, Moderator and Mentor. Other work for the AB includes selecting the graded Piano pieces and presenting Seminars. He frequently directs Masterclasses for performers and teachers’ workshops and is in demand as a Competition and Festival adjudicator.
John Foster GNSM, LRAM, PGCE, FISM
John studied piano with Kendall Taylor and, in masterclasses, with Dennis Matthews. He has worked extensively as accompanist for singers and instrumentalists and also in chamber groups, including the Lydian Trio. He has performed throughout the UK and in 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 also an ABRSM grade and diploma examiner, trainer and moderator, nationally and internationally.
Primary Music Makers and Primary Choral
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. Tim is Vocal Coordinator (part of the Senior Manager for Bath & North East Somerset Music Service).
He works as a Specialist Singing teacher and Choral Director and also has specific responsibilities for promotion and development of singing within the Local Authority. He directs 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.
Kathryn Hardman GRSM, ARMCM
Kathryn Hardman trained as a violinist at the Royal Manchester (now Royal Northern) College of Music, graduating with Distinction both in teaching and performance. She worked subsequently as a freelance musician in the North-West, performing in chamber and orchestral ensembles, and also teaching at the RNCM. She held the post of Head of Strings for the former County of Avon for six years, since when she has established an extensive and highly successful teaching practice in Bristol. Many of her students have gained places in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and won scholarships to major music colleges.
Kathryn taught violin for many years at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and also for Bristol University Music Department. She is in demand as a festival adjudicator, and as a tutor on many courses in the UK, including the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestra, and others. Kathryn also directs her own well-established chamber music course, “Novacorda”, held annually in Bristol.
Her other interests (time permitting) are travel, Shakespeare, art galleries and walking.
Eleanor Turner is a musician of exceptional skill, recognized internationally for the warmth and passion she brings to the stage. Making her London concerto debut at the age of fifteen, under the baton of Daniel Harding at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Eleanor is now one of the most sought-after harpists of her generation. As Head of Harp at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire she teaches and curates a programme of events whilst also being an active researcher in the fields of electronic music, gesture controlled sound and sound spatialization.
Eleanor studied with Daphne Boden and Alison Nicholls, leading up to her solo recital at the Wigmore Hall in 2005. She won the European Harp Competition in 2007, which kick-started her career across Europe, supported by Salvi Harps. In that year she also composed a score for Ballet Wales and in the years that followed, wrote and performed a hiphop show, attended a masterclass with RM Schafer and Judy Loman in Vancouver, performed with Deborah Henson-Conant in Sydney and New Orleans, collaborated with Circustheater TENT in Amsterdam, presented her own composition at the International Computer Music Conference in Shanghai and recorded for Decca, Naxos, Champs Hill Records, Guitar Classics and her own label, Arts In Fusion.
This year, Eleanor’s band ‘Ranagrí’ have released their fourth studio album with Stockfisch Records in Germany, to great critical acclaim, which they are now touring extensively (whilst writing the next one!) Eleanor has performances with the Orchestra of the Swan and Harborough Collective, both led by David Le Page, as well as acoustic and electric harp sets at the Serbian and Singapore Harp Festivals this year. She is busy writing and performing her own music, including with ‘Tāla Tarang’, her harp and tabla duo with Mendi Singh.
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 early studies on the piano and clarinet, Luise Horrocks graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English before moving on to study singing on an Advanced Studies Course at the Royal College of Music in London.
She has performed extensively as a Soprano Soloist throughout the UK and Europe. While specialising primarily in Oratorio, she has also given many Song Recitals and has appeared on the opera stage at Buxton Opera House. She has also sung in a series of concerts and Recitals in South Africa and the USA and her wide repertoire extends from works by Monteverdi to Stravinsky. She has made several recordings and her BBC broadcasts include performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and works by Goehr.
Luise has held positions as a teacher 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 and is regularly asked to give Master classes, choral workshops, presentations and teacher sessions both at home and abroad. She has worked as a Vocal Coach on several residential courses for singers and as a mentor on the CT ABRSM teacher training course. She has also coached and conducted the Wyre Forest Young Voices choir and worked as an external moderator for Artis, a company providing performing arts projects in schools.
As Associate Chief Examiner in Music for Trinity College London, Luise travelled extensively and worked on syllabus setting, training and standardising the examiner panel, planning and delivering conferences and designing Aural and Improvisation tests. Now working as a freelance consultant, she continues to have special responsibility for singing at Trinity and is leading projects with diploma examiners and teacher support. Latest publications include a series of books of Musical Theatre repertoire with colleague John Gardyne and choosing songs and writing the teaching notes for a new series of graded song books. In 2016 she was awarded an Hon TCL.
She is a highly experienced adjudicator member of the British & International Federation of Festivals and was recently privileged to be an adjudicator for the inaugural Olga and Jules Craen Young Musician of the Year award in Mumbai, India and for the first Maltese Islands Festival in Valletta, Malta as well as adjudicating and running workshops at the Singapore Performing Arts festival.
Luise is also an actor member of Worcester Repertory Company, taking part in their productions of Shakespeare in the Cathedral.
Michael Johnson BMus, ARCM, PGCE
Michael studied singing, violin and piano 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 Singing and Piano at the Universities of Bath and Plymouth and in 2018 retired as a practical 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, General Manager of St David’s Hall, Cardiff and Director of Plymouth Pavilions in Devon. Presently he is Director of the Devizes Eisteddfod, a five-day competitive festival in Wiltshire.
Throughout his career Michael has directed choirs: presently he is the conductor of the West Devon Chorale, an elite chamber choir based in the South West and The Philomel Singers, a ladies’ choir based in Trowbridge.
Secondary Choral Day
Michael Johnson (details above)
Adult Choral Day
Marilynne Davies BA, MEd, LRAM, PGCA, FRSA
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 post-graduate 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 the York St.John University –a post that included Music, Dance, Drama, Film and Television.
She now has a busy freelance career as an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, as a voice consultant, teacher and conductor, and as a leader of a variety of workshops. She is Deputy 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 the first of two Music adjudicators to be created a Fellow of the British and International Federation of Festivals.
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.
As a singer she has performed in opera and oratorio and as a recitalist. She has sung with a small professional choir of 20 voices with whom she gave first performances of newly commissioned works.
In her spare time Marilynne enjoys walking – preferably contour walks – playing social Bridge and collecting enamel patch boxes!