Established in 1911. Over one hundred years of music, speech, drama and dance.

About the Adjudicators

 Marilynne Davies

is a musician whose experience embraces performance, education and conducting. Her experience in teaching ranges from nursery to
post-graduate level and she has been external examiner and assessor in performance for a number of universities at graduate and postgraduate level. Currently she is Deputy Music Director of the 140+ Harrogate Choral Society, Director of the Harrogate Polyphonic Choir, and of a small vocal ensemble “Beati”
As a conductor she has trained and conducted orchestras and choirs on a regular basis, the largest a choir of 1100 school children and the smallest a Chamber Choir of 40 voices with whom she has toured abroad.
Her outreach work on behalf of festivals has included encouraging and supporting primary school teachers to be active and confident in school music and to participate in local festivals.
As an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals she has adjudicated nationally and internationally and has made many presentations at the Federation’s annual conference. She was honoured to be made one of the first Adjudicator Fellows of the Federation.

Donal McCrisken

is a Belfast-based teacher and musician with many years’ experience as pianist, accompanist, conductor, examiner and adjudicator. He
holds a BMus degree from Queen’s University Belfast and a Masters in music theory and analysis from University of Ulster.
He is committed to the development of choralism and singing and has studied singing with Russell Smythe, one of London’s leading vocal teachers. With Russell, he has organised vocal workshops in Belfast involving members of the British Voice.
Since 1999, he has conducted Cappella Caeciliana, a renowned chamber choir, which, under his direction, has given concerts and sung liturgies all over Northern
Ireland, and in Dublin, Germany, Austria, Italy and the USA.
He has also organised and delivered many vocal workshops, working with voices of all ages and stages of development. He works extensively with Northern
Ireland opera as repetiteur, accompanist and workshop facilitator and teaches classes in performance in the music department of Queen’s University Belfast.
Donal is much in demand as an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

 Charlotte McGirr

began her musical career by studying piano and singing. She gained her LRAM after studying piano with Mary Moore and Janette Lamb.
Her singing studies were with Marie Thomson Tainsh and Dame Isobel Baillie. Charlotte has taught music in both primary and secondary schools and was for a number of years a Head of Music. She has studied clàrsach with both Isobel Mieras and Sancha Pielou, and is a former prizewinner at the National Mod. In recent years, she has been the Musical Director of the Clackmannanshire
Primary Schools Singing Initiative. In addition to teaching piano, singing and clàrsach, Charlotte performs throughout central Scotland. She currently teaches
piano and clàrsach at Dollar Academy.

 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 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.
Ann is a member of the board of examiners of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and has examined and adjudicated throughout the UK and
around the world. She is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

 Jimmie Hill

started country dancing at school in Millport and Rothesay. Following a career in teaching, he qualified as a country dance teacher at the annual Summer School of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) held in St Andrews and has taught children and adults from beginners to very advanced. He has taught at the RSCDS Summer School, at the TAC Summer School in Canada and at the Thistle Summer School in North Carolina as well as at weekend workshops in the UK, Europe and North America. He was awarded the RSCDS Branch Award by Brighton Branch, which he was instrumental in founding. He is an RSCDS adjudicator and has adjudicated at many Festivals. Jimmie is the current Editor of Scottish Country Dancer, the magazine of the RSCDS. He is the current chairman of Teachers’ Association Scotland (TAS), the organisation for country dance teachers in Scotland, and has been leading a project on getting country dancing into every Scottish primary school.

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