Meet Andrew Hansford: Our 2019 Piano Adjudicator

Andrew, born in Berkshire, UK, holds UK music degrees from Surrey ((UniS), Guildford), Bristol and Cambridge (St Catharine’s College) universities, and with the Open University (OU) (both a BA (Hons) in Humanities with Music with First-Class Honours and a Postgraduate Certificate in Humanities with Music (PGCert (OU)) with Distinction) in addition to an MMus(Perf) from Bath Spa University (BSU), UK with Distinction in which Andrew specialised in Performance as a piano accompanist, as well as the ARCM, ARCO, LRSM, LGSM, LTCL, FLCM music-diplomas (awarded mostly in piano accompaniment/performance) and the FRSA.

A performing classical pianist, specialising in piano accompaniment* relatively early on whilst at school, he is also an organist, a harpsichordist (focusing mainly in accompaniment in both these instruments as well) and a choral singer (tenor).

Andrew is an active international ABRSM Examiner (classical/grades/ARSM performance-diploma), a former CT ABRSM Mentor (piano) and a former ABRSM Jazz Examiner, an active international BIFF Music Adjudicator and has been accepted as a panel-member (in reserve) to examine GCSE Music (appraising/listening (written) paper) with WJEC (CBAC) Eduqas. A committed and experienced piano/jazz piano tutor (at all ages/levels and in a wide variety of different learning-environments since 1990), Andrew is a permanent Visiting Piano/Jazz Piano Tutor with a part-time post at two UK independent schools in both Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, a permanent part-time Visiting Music Tutor position (in various capacities) at a Music Academy in Oxfordshire, UK and also gives piano tuition privately on a consultative/occasional basis.

In preparation for a UK university Music full-time lecturing-post, Andrew is presently researching for a PhD (in Music) at St John’s College, University of Durham, UK with a doctoral-dissertation on the musicological subject entitled: ‘A Study of the Carol’ and also continues to enjoy occasional (advanced) piano accompaniment studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM), London, UK (externally) with Gordon Fergus-Thompson, international concert-pianist as part of Andrew’s own ongoing professional development.

Andrew has always had a real affinity for both choral and vocal music, nurtured since beginning his musical upbringing as a UK Cathedral Choir School nine-year-old boy-chorister, and he continually takes special pleasure in accompanying choirs, choral-ensembles and singers, and is also one of the resident organists at a local church in Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK near to where he lives.

Particularly adept in the art of improvisation and also having periodically explored composition (which has led to a number of non-published (and personal) compositions to date), Andrew’s preferred choice of instrument for his performance as a piano accompanist is a Steinway Model D.

*and collaborative piano

Meet Elizabeth Emberson: Our 2019 Singing Adjudicator

Soprano soloist, choral conductor and voice teacher, Elizabeth began singing lessons with Betty Middleton when she was eleven years old, and quickly established herself on the Festivals circuit in the North of England, winning many prizes in the process. At eighteen she went to the Guildhall School of Music, where she studied with Joyce Newton and Anna Berenska, spending a year on the Opera Course there.

Whilst at the Guildhall she won the English Song Prize, was a semi- finalist in the Susan Longfield Award and gained several scholarships for further study.

On leaving the Guildhall, she studied with Erich Vertheer and John Kitchener. Using her maiden name (Watson), Elizabeth’s singing career took her all over England, France and Eire, before she decided to concentrate on her teaching career.

She now teaches at a highly respected girls’ school in Oxford.

Meet Carol Schroder: our 2019 Speech and Drama Adjudicator

Working in the professional theatre, television and cabaret, Carol produced her one woman show. She teaches presentation skills in commerce and industry and has taught ESL, SEN and drama at schools and colleges including Guildford School of Acting, Grandison College and, for 22 years, at Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts and, until 2007, Croham Hurst School, Croydon.

Carol is an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals and examines for LAMDA throughout the UK, Ireland and worldwide. Writing “The Discussion” 1&2 for LAMDA, she contributed to its Musical Theatre syllabus and “Musical Theatre – Exploring The World Through Song”. She was a trustee of Voice Care Network UK.

Meet Ann Newson: our 2019 Speech and Drama Adjudicator

Drama and performance have been Ann’s life’s passion. She made her first stage appearance at the age of five and has since performed in many leading roles. She studied Speech and Drama at the Royal Academy of Music for three years. She then pursued a career in teaching and lecturing in Drama Colleges and schools in London and Southern England. Her forte is directing plays and musicals for adults and children.

Ann is a member of the LAMDA Board of examiners. She has examined all the disciplines in the syllabus throughout the United Kingdom and in Australia, America, Dubai, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and Sri Lanka. She has been on several LAMDA syllabus committees and edited some of their publications. She runs her own training company specialising in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills for business people.

She strongly believes that it is so important to encourage young people to communicate verbally and confidently. This is a life skill for their future. Festivals give them such a valuable opportunity to develop this skill

As a member of the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech she has adjudicated throughout England, Northern Ireland, Eire, Guernsey and Hong Kong.

Meet Rebecca Vines: our 2019 SD & Musical Theatre Adjudicator

Rebecca trained as a journalist at Cardiff University, during which time she wrote a weekly column for The Guardian newspaper before moving to London to study with The Actors’ Company.  Appointed Head of Speech & Drama at an Independent School in Cheltenham in 2003, her pupils have been offered training places at all the major UK acting schools – working for the BBC, Channel 4, RSC and the film production company – Working Title. She is the Founder of Close Up Theatre, which has won the elite Sell-Out Status for nine years at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Artistic Director for No Prophet Theatre.

Meet Ann Bauer: Our 2019 Speech and Drama Adjudicator

Image result for ann bauer biff lamda

Ann has spent her working life in education teaching in secondary and primary schools, theatres, university and therapy teams, as well as examining drama and theatre studies. Ann ran her own drama school for many years, and has worked in mainstream education as a drama and English teacher, a SENCO and specialist teacher for pupils with SEN.

Ann trained to teach under John Hodgson at Bretton Hall, his major influence was the importance of improvisation. Ann continues to be an enthusiastic teacher of improvisation for developing all performance skills.

She believes strongly in the inclusive power of drama, that it offers confidence building, team work, and the discipline of controlling body, voice – and nerves. Combining that with her love of the written word, her first degree was English; she counts herself lucky to spend her life talking about what she loves.

Currently Ann combines her teaching with doctoral research into teaching maths to young people with complex special needs. She is also an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals. Drama skills are never far away in her strategies whichever subject she is teaching. In her spare time Ann still attends ballet and tap classes, a lifelong passion, and enjoys theatre going and precious time with her family.

RWBAF Poetry Competition

As part of our tenth anniversary celebrations, this year we are running a COMPOSE A POEM! competition either on the set theme in the Verse Speaking Classes SD1 – SD6 OR illustrating what you enjoy most about the festival and performance.

There are two categories : Ages 5 – 8 years & 9 – 11 years

You can submit any design to your taste and flair on A4 sheet of paper. To be submitted by 31st October to: Mrs. Sandra McDowell, The Chestnuts, Cleverton, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 5BT

e-mail: sj.mcdowell@btinternet.com 

Image result for writing
Please firmly attach the following details to your entry:

Your name
Address
DOB
Email
Telephone number

(You can scan and email, or post us your entry).

All poems will be displayed at the Festival in November, and there will be a winner of each group with 2nd & 3rd placings. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals will be awarded, together with a prize. Winners will also have their work printed on the RWBAF website, and in the Programme.

Good luck
The RWBAF team!

RWBAF Poster Competition

As part of our tenth anniversary celebrations, this year we are running a DESIGN A POSTER! competition to promote The Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival.

There are two categories : Ages 5 – 8 years & 9 – 11 years

You can submit any design to your taste and flair on A4 sheet of paper. To be submitted by 31st October to: Ms. Rhian Vaughan, 62 Perry’s Lane, Wroughton, Swindon, SN4 9AP

e-mail: rhian32@gmail.com

Image result for pen and pencils
Please firmly attach the following details to your entry:

Your name
Address
DOB
Email
Telephone number

(You can scan and email, or post us your entry).

All posters will be displayed at the Festival in November, and there will be a winner of each group with 2nd & 3rd placings. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals will be awarded, together with a prize. Winners will also have their work printed on the RWBAF website, and in the Programme.

Good luck
The RWBAF team!

RWB Arts Festival 2018 Success!

Over 600 people from all over Wiltshire and beyond took part in the 9th Speech and Drama Festival organised by the Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival at the weekend (17th and 18th November 2017). The event took place at the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.

Our growing number of performers meant that for the first time the Festival employed four adjudicators to give expert feedback and advice to entrants.

Students took part in over 70 separate classes from solo, group and duologue acting to mime, news reading, choral speaking and poetry recitals. The level of talent and hard work displayed was exceptional this year with over 100 trophies and medals being awarded to the top performers.

Chair, Sandra McDowell said: “We are delighted with the high level of participation and engagement from our performers, their teachers and parents this year. Taking part in a festival is no mean feat and we congratulate all those who took part. We hope they feel enriched from their experience and have gleaned some tips from our inspirational adjudicators”.

The Classical Guitar Festival took place alongside the Speech and Drama and welcomed young performers, many of who hadn’t taken part in the Festival before. Classes included were Baroque, Spanish/Latin and Modern as well as duets and ensembles.

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