Meet Craig Ogden: Our 2019 Classical Guitarist Adjudicator

Australian born guitarist Craig Ogden is one of the most exciting artists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and percussion from the age of thirteen. He is the youngest instrumentalist to have received a Fellowship Award from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

One of the UK’s most recorded guitarists, his recordings for Virgin/EMI, Chandos, Nimbus, Hyperion, Sony and Classic FM have received wide acclaim. Craig’s five Classic FM albums all shot straight to No.1 in the UK classical chart and he is one of Classic FM’s most played artists.
Craig Ogden has performed concertos with all the main UK orchestras plus many abroad. He regularly appears as soloist and chamber musician at major venues and collaborates with the UK’s top artists and ensembles. Craig enjoys performing new works for guitar and gives the world premiere of a concerto written for him by Andy Scott with the Northern Chamber Orchestra in Manchester in November 2017. Composers David Knotts and Geoffrey Gordon are also writing concertos for Craig. He has presented programmes on BBC Radio 3, BBC Northern Ireland and ABC Classic FM (Australia).

Craig Ogden is Head of Guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Visiting Lecturer at London’s Royal College of Music, Adjunct Fellow of the University of Western Australia, Associate Artist of The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Curator of Craig Ogden’s Big Guitar Weekend at The Bridgewater Hall and Director of the Dean & Chadlington Summer Music Festival.

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.

Our Music, and Speech and Drama Festivals are now both in November!

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For the first time this year, the Music Festival will take place in November over the weekend of 23rd and 24th November, rather than in June. It brings it closer to the Speech and Drama Festival which will take place on 16th and 17th November.

The Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival, which takes place annually, is now is its thirteenth year, continuing to celebrate talent and giving entrants the opportunity to perform and get invaluable feedback from expert adjudicators.

The closing date for all entries is 30th September 2019.

Miranda Shirnia, Chair of the Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival said: “2019 is a very important year for us. This year the Music Festival is moving to November to join with Speech and Drama and Classical Guitar, producing one large combined festival.

“The Music Festival has moved away from June and July to avoid the busy exam months of the summer and we hope this will mean more people will be free to share their performances with us.

“Now that Music and Drama have come together it seemed the right time to introduce a NEW class at the Festival which combines the talents needed for both. As a result, this year will see the first ever MUSICAL THEATRE classes at the Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our new Chair of the Music Section, Sarah Sumner. Sarah comes with a wealth of musical experience both in playing and teaching too.

“So, whether you are new to the Festival or have been coming back year after year we are looking forward to welcoming you to the Festival in November and hope you enjoy sharing your performances with us, taking part in the workshops and trying out the new Musical Theatre classes.”

 

RWB Arts Festival Welcomes New Chair

Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival welcomes new Music Chair and our Music Festival will change dates to run alongside Speech and Drama

Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival is delighted to announce its new Chair of Music, Sarah Sumner.

Sarah has a life-long love of music and has been playing since early childhood; enjoying the piano, oboe, viola and singing. She has a wide range of experience; from playing in numerous local festivals and orchestras to taking a range of music examinations. More recently, Sarah was validated as the Leading Teacher for Primary Music at Swindon Borough Council. She has also delivered Music Teacher Training to Graduate Students and has had an article about the importance of music in education published.

Sarah is currently Deputy Head of Westlea Primary School and a Trustee of the Friends of Swindon Young Musicians. She is also in the final year of a Master’s Degree in Education.

New Chair of Music, Sarah Sumner said: “I am really excited about this new adventure as the Chair of the Royal Wotton Bassett Music Festival and being involved in the holistic promotion of music for all ages and not just regarded as an elitist discipline. I want to use the festival as a performance platform for all participants, to experience performing in front of an audience and promote the positive aspects of music making. “   

In addition, the Music section of the Festival, which usually runs in June and July, is now being moved to join its sister section of Speech and Drama in November. The change will take effect from 2019. It could see Royal Wootton Bassett welcome over 1000 performers to the town over the Festival weekend.

Miranda Shirnia, overall Chair of the Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival said: “We are thrilled to have found such an experienced new chair with a clear passion for music and education. As she settles into her role, we are looking forward to seeing some exciting new developments in the music side of our ever-growing festival.

“We are also very excited about bringing the Music and Speech and Drama Festivals together over one huge, celebration of local talent – we can really maximize its potential.  Combining the resources of our fantastic committees means we have the skills and capacity to take the festival onto its next stage making it bigger and better than ever. We also believe that autumn will suit our performers better as it is now well away from the busy exam season.”

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