The Festival appoints Adjudicators for each class. These are generally nationally renowned and appointed via the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Drama & Speech.  We ask our adjudicators to give praise, encouragement and constructive criticism in appropriate balance.  We hope that all performers will be encouraged and motivated by the adjudicators’ comments to further develop and advance their skills.

Our Adjudicators for 2018 

Speech & Drama Section                       

Louise Manders

 Louise first trod the boards when only five days old. Her professional theatrical career, which included repertory, musicals, television, films and touring within the UK began with Haymarket Stage Productions. Louise is presently not only an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals and the Guild of Drama Adjudicators, but is also an adjudicator member of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama. Her work takes her all over the UK as well as to Sri Lanka. She was Artistic Director of the Phoenix Youth Theatre in Southend, formerly the New Focus Theatre for many years. Louise is the Speech Tutor at St. John’s School in Billericay.  Louise teaches all ages, including adults, and specialises in the LAMDA examinations. She runs workshops and master classes, directs plays and musicals, devises original drama compositions, writes poetry and has written many musical plays for children and students. Louise even finds time to dance flamenco! 

Music Section  


Ian Clarke – Piano and School Choirs

After studies in London and in Cambridge, as Organ Scholar of Trinity College, Ian returned to his native town of Northampton where he directed music at the town’s two famous musical churches, All Saints’ and St. Matthew’s.
Today Ian pursues an active freelance career; he has extensive teaching interests, and is on the panel of Examiners for the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music, work which takes him far afield.
​Ian plays with several instrumental ensembles as solo harpsichordist and organist, and directs three choirs, including our own and the highly acclaimed chamber group, Swarbrick Singers.

Charlotte Hill – Woodwind and OPEN CLASSES

Charlotte Hill is a music educationalist, composer and bassoonist. As a child she studied composition, bassoon and piano at the GSMD and continued her studies with Edwin Roxburgh and Edwin Fischer at the RCM, before gaining an MMus in composition at the University of London. Charlotte lectures at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and receives regular commissions as a composer, predominantly for choral music.
Charlotte enjoys a lively schedule of examining for ABRSM, and is much in demand as an adjudicator.



     - Vocal, Adult choirs


     -  Brass, Community Bands 



Rhys Matthews MMus; BMus(Hons)Percussion;Jazz & Rock Bands

Rhys graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music and is a diverse professional musician. He has enjoyed much success performing with a variety of orchestras. Professional engagements have included performing with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera and Sinfonia Cymru. As an educator, Rhys leads the Percussion & Drum Kit department at Oundle School coaching ensembles in Percussion and Steel Pans, Wind and Symphony Orchestras and Contemporary Music Groups. Rhys also has worked for “Live Music Now” presenting workshops and concert to adults and children with special needs. Recent engagements this year have been included tour of Asia with Rockschool and performing at Bryn Terfel’s 50th Birthday celebration at The Royal Albert Hall, featuring Sting.


 Percussion Adjudicator