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Not to gain a prize or defeat a rival, but to pace one another on the road to excellence

About the Adjudicators

Steven Roberts: Brass & Choral

Steven Roberts has combined a career in education with work as a conductor, musical director and adjudicator. His work in education has included training musicians and actors and has worked extensively with partner schools as part of his past educational responsibilities.
Having studied piano, brass and voice, he has worked in a variety of musical settings. He is currently Music Director and Conductor with Altrincham Choral Society, Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir and Honley Male Voice Choir.
Steven has also worked as musical director for a number of theatrical productions, and this diversity reflects his music and drama training. He is Musical Director for ‘COAL’, a contemporary dance piece, choreographed by Gary Clarke which is currently touring the UK.
Steven is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals and Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Federation; he is also a member of the Association of British Choral Directors and became a Life Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2014.

Edward Caswell: Vocal

Edwaed Caswell is a versatile and widely respected choral conductor; working throughout the UK and Europe he has established a reputation for approaching choral conducting from a singer’s point of view.
Since 2008 he has been a regular guest with Netherlands Radio Choir, conducting them a capella and preparing them for concerts and recordings with Kenneth Montgomery, Ricardo Chailly, Bernard Haitink and Danielle Gatti.
Edward is a regular chorus master with Collegium Vocale Gent and was involved in their preparation for the recent Janacek recording which won the Preis der Deutschen Schalplatten Kritik.
In 2013 Edward founded Cromarty Youth Opera and in August 2016 led the company in their fourth fully staged opera, Dido and Aeneas by Purcell.
Edward is a frequently invited to adjudicate in schools and at festivals and is delighted to be returning to Aberdeen.

Penny Stirling: Strings

Penny Stirling, born in Somerset, trained at the Royal College of Music London. She ran the string department at Wells Cathedral School, was Head of the Instrumental Music Service for Wiltshire, then moved to Manchester to become Director of the internationally renowned Junior Strings Project, a Queen’s Anniversary Prize winner, for the Royal Northern College of Music.
In 2004 she moved to North Yorkshire as Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians, a DfE Music and Dance Scheme Centre for Advanced Training for highly talented children in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
Penny enjoys a busy private teaching career too and mentors teachers in their own professional development. She has been a Course Leader for the CTABRSM at home and abroad (Hong Kong, Indonesia etc), a presenter for ABRSM’s Centenary Travel Award (West Indies), Mentor for Yehudi Menuhin Foundation teachers (Bermuda) and for ESTA both at home and in Scandinavia.
She founded the chamber music course Young String Venture at Lake District Summer Music, is Course Director for Pro Corda North, a Diploma examiner for ABRSM and adjudicates many music festivals both at home and abroad.

Eva Baxter: Speech & Drama

Eva Baxter BEM, A.N.E.A, Dip L.C.M. ARags. has over 30 years experience creating and producing youth theatre. Eva set up her School of Speech and Drama, ‘Speak Up’, in 1998. In addition to teaching and examining speech and drama she travels abroad adjudicating and assessing at festivals, most recently this work has taken Eva to Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Julia Lynch: Piano

Born in Dublin, but raised in Aberdeen, Julia began piano lessons at the age of four, studying with Denis Matthews and David Parkhouse at the North East Scotland Music School.
In 1982 she won a scholarship to study piano at the RSAMD in Glasgow with Laurence Glover. Whilst a student at the academy, she won all the available prizes for piano solo, accompaniment and chamber music.
Having gained her B.A. and completed a postgraduate year, Julia joined the staff of the academy as vocal coach, a post she still holds. Julia is one of the busiest accompanists in the country, appearing in recital with many distinguished artists. Concerts have taken her all over the world.
She appears as orchestra pianist with the BBC SSO, the RSNO and SCO, and broadcasts and records regularly. She is music assistant to Eberhard Friedrich at the Bayreuther Festspiele in Germany.

Marie Fielding: Traditional

Based in Falkirk, Marie Fielding is a freelance fiddler and composer as well as lecturer at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and teaches at The Tolbooth, Stirling. She has won several awards for her compositions as well as publishing two highly successful books of tunes.
Marie is an examiner for the Traditional Graded Music Exams and travels far and wide as an adjudicator.
Self taught, Marie has played, recorded and toured with most of the top Scottish dance bands over the years from the age of 17. A regular on BBC Alba, BBC Take The Floor, Travelling Folk and Radio Nan Gaidheal, Marie’s compositions have been broadcast and recorded by many musicians including Capercaillie, Tom Orr, Jim Johnston and most Scottish dance bands. Marie has produced 4 albums on her record label, Rumford Records and two were nominees for best album including An Tra at the 2013 Trad Awards.
Strong influences in Marie’s music come from Shetland, Tobermory, Dingle, Gaelic song, pipe music, art and her place of birth, Edinburgh.

Liz Childs: Recorder & Woodwind

Elizabeth studied flute and piano at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then international engagements have taken her to the USA and Europe, and she has performed extensively throughout the UK as soloist, recitalist and orchestral player.
She has a broad and extensive successful teaching career. Her current busy teaching schedule includes Beechwood Park Preparatory School in Hertfordshire, the UEA in Norwich and students from her Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy (www.bedfordshirewoodwind.co.uk) of which she is the founder and Director.
She directs two successful Flute Ensembles: The Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy Flute Ensemble and the Hertfordshire Flute Ensemble.
She performs herself as flautist in Quintessimo (www.quintessimo.com). Liz is passionate about the Festival movement and is a Board member of the British & International Federation Festival.

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