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

About the Adjudicators

Jonathan Rea

studied music at the University of Cambridge where he studied piano with Peter Pettinger, sang in the University Chamber Choir, achieved choral and instrumental awards and won the Rima Alamuddin prize for piano performance. Following 10 years as Director of Music in Bangor Grammar School, his career broadened, encompassing conducting, producing, writing, composing, arranging and accompanying for the BBC, Belfast City Council and various other bodies, including Songs of Praise and the Belfast Choir for Children in Need. He is Chief Executive and Creative Director of New Irish Arts and is increasingly in demand as a writer and speaker, contributing to programmes such as Prayer for the Day and Morning Service, on BBC Radio 4. As an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals, he finds it immensely satisfying to play a part in helping performers, young and old, pursue their musical potential.

Stephen Adam   

studied cello with Joan Dickson and piano with Miles Coverdale at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (then the RSAMD), winning prizes for composition, chamber music and lieder before continuing studies under Raphael Sommer at the Royal Northern College of Music where he gained an ARCM with honours. After working as pianist and arranger in Spain, Stephen spent a year freelancing with various UK orchestras before joining the orchestra of Scottish Opera in 1981 as assistant principal cello. Stephen has also enjoyed a career on the music club circuit, performing string quartets, gypsy trios and accompanying singers. As a composer, in addition to a quartet commissioned to celebrate the bicentenary of Robert Adam’s Culzean Castle, Stephen’s commissions include a suite for cello and strings based on Hebridean songs, orchestrations for Celtic Connections and for the BBC’s Songs of Praise. Stephen now runs a community choir in Argyll for whom he has written over 120 choral arrangements, from Mahler to the Bee Gees, and when not performing for Music in Care, he is trying to master the piano accordion.

Gillian Fleetwood

cut her teeth playing Scottish traditional music in her hometown of Inverness. She is best known as a harp player but is passionate about songs and arrangements and has collaborated with many Scottish musicians. Musical life so far has brought performances and tutoring at many international events including Ohio Scottish Arts Summer School, The National Celtic Festival (Australia), Harfentreffen (Germany), and Rencontres Internationales de Harpes Celtiques (Brittany). She enjoys tutoring closer to home at various prestigious institutions such as Fèis Gleann Albainn, Fèis Spè, Fèis Rois, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of the Highlands and Islands. Gillian is also trained in adjudication and is an examiner for the RCS Traditional Music Grade Exams.

Tish Nicoll 

was born in Aberdeen and is a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has a wide range of teaching experience across schools, colleges and the business world. She is visiting lecturer in vocal communications in colleges in the UK and in Italy. She examines for the English Speaking Board, and was chief examiner for seven years. Tish has television experience as a performer and has worked in theatre both as performer and director. She has also done “voice over” work and specialises in recitals of poetry and song. Tish has been involved in the Festival movement for many years, as a participant, a festival organiser and an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals. She welcomes the opportunity to be involved with performers of all ages, giving them a platform for their work and the opportunity to celebrate all aspects of Music, Speech and Drama.

Avril Smillie

has a lifelong involvement in Scottish country dancing. She began attending local Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) classes while at primary school and participated in Scottish country dance competitions as a child and an adult. Avril is qualified to teach and adjudicate Scottish country dancing at all levels. She taught the RSCDS children’s classes in Falkirk for many years and entered those children in competitions. At college and university, Avril danced in and trained adult Scottish country dance teams and took them abroad to France several times, both to the Dijon international competition and to Falkirk’s twin town of Quimper. After qualifying as a college lecturer, Avril continued to teach classes for children and adults under the name, Dalriada Dancers, taking her adult teams to, and participating herself, in Festival Interceltique de Lorient eight times as part of the ensemble representing Scotland. She was also invited to take her teams to Germany and Spain to participate in the Odenwald festival in Germany, and in festivals in Galicia. Avril is a skilled choreographer. She trained soldiers to dance for the Berlin Military Tattoo and actors in Scottish country dancing for the television adaption of Boswell & Johnson’s Tour of the Western Isles. Her most challenging, but enjoyable, pieces of choreography were for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Each summer for seven years, she blended parts of well-known traditional Scottish country dances into spectacles of shape and movement involving twelve teams – a total of one hundred and twenty dancers, herself among them – from all over Scotland. On Saturdays for the last seven years, Avril has been teaching and entering her own classes of children (Dalriada Dancers) for the Scottish country dancing graded syllabus. During the week she also teaches that syllabus and enters children for these grades in three primary schools in the Falkirk area.

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