Nailsea Festival of Music



The adjudicators will be:


Ailsa Howarth BA, PGCA

Ailsa studied at the Royal Academy of Music, Oslo University and the University of East Anglia and she has been teaching the piano for almost 30 years.  She has taught at Downe House, Berkshire, Cheltenham College Junior School and Dean School, Cheltenham.  Presently she has a private teaching practice and also teaches piano at Cheltenham Ladies/ College.  Her performance experience includes solo recital and accompaniment work in the UK and Europe.  She examines for the ABRSM and is an Adjudicator member of The British and International Federation of Festivals .


Maria Jagusz GRNCM

Maria Jagusz trained as a dancer before taking up a place at the Royal Northern College of Music where she was awarded the Ricordi Prize for Opera.  Further scholarships enabled her to continue her studies at the National Opera Studio.


Since then she has worked as soloist for most of the leading opera companies in the U.K and Europe.  Her roles include Carmen, Cherubino, Orlofsky, Hansel, Dorabella and Rosina.  She has performed with many of the worlds leading singers including Domingo, Carreras, Freni and Dame Felicity Lott.

She is a keen recitalist and a regular soloist for choral societies in the U.K. and future work includes recitals in Wiltshire and Cornwall.

As a teacher Maria specialises in training students who are hoping to have professional careers in the world of opera and musical theatre.  She runs the highly successful MJ-UK Music and Arts, which helps showcase young talent in both operas and musicals.  She is advisor for Longborough Festival Opera’s Young Artist Programme.  She travels all over the country leading workshops and masterclasses for singers.  She has been awarded honorary chairman of the Silurian Consort for her contribution to music in the Cotswolds and is an Adjudicator member of The British and International Federation of Festivals.

Penelope Price Jones BSc, ARAM, LRAM, PGCA

Penelope Price Jones is Chairman of the Association of Teachers of Singing from July 2014-6, having been their Teacher Training Director for the past few years.  She has a particular interest in developing training for singing teachers having also  mentored the Certificate of Teaching at the ABRSM.  She has a flourishing private practice as well as teaching Choral Scholars at Worcester College, Oxford University.

A scholarship holder at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Marjorie Thomas, she was appointed an Associate in 1998.  She enjoyed a busy career on the concert platform, particularly specialising in the baroque repertoire.  Alongside this she had a longstanding recital partnership with the pianist / composer, Philip Martin, and together they commissioned new works and evolved programmes combining works for voice and solo piano.

A Blue Ribband winner herself, from the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Penelope is delighted to be involved with the Festival movement as a vocal Adjudicator with the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Andrea Calladine ARCM, ABSM

Andrea has a varied career as performer, teacher, conductor and adjudicator.  As a singer, she has performed extensively from her wide concert, oratorio and operatic repertoire.  Andrea’s teaching commitments are divided between a busy private practice, coaching many professional singers and a leading Independent School.  Other positions held have been at Birmingham Conservatoire and Birmingham Junior Conservatoire. She is also the Central Area Representative of the Association of Teachers of Singing.  As an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals, Andrea brings her wealth of experience, love of singing, encouragement to the competitors, and above all a sense of humour!


Rebecca Thompson BA(Hons), LLAM

Rebecca read Drama and English at Bristol University followed by a career in Radio journalism, working in both Drama and Documentaries.  After which Rebecca moved into teaching where she developed her speech and drama skills, working at schools and colleges in the South West of England.  Rebecca continues to work in a variety of educational establishments, running weekly classes, workshops and facilitating training to assist schools implement the constructive Speaking and Listening Criteria. As well as being an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals, Rebecca is also an adjudicator for The Rose Bowl Amateur Awards, reading and reviewing plays and musicals in seven counties throughout the south west.


Ann Newson LRAM, DipRAM

Ann Newson 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 and then pursued a career in teaching and lecturing in drama colleges and schools throughout England.  She has also directed many plays and musicals for children and adults.  She runs her own training company specialising in public speaking and presentation skills for business people.  As we as being an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, Ann is a member of the LAMDA Board of Examiners and has examined and adjudicated throughout the UK and around the world.


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