Inspiring performance since 1911. Over one hundred years of music, speech, drama and dance.

About the adjudicators

Belinda Mikhaïl

was awarded the Associated Board and the Queen Mother Scholarships to study piano and singing as a joint first study at the Royal College of Music where she was awarded the Hopkinson Gold medal. She has travelled extensively performing both as a soloist and as a chamber musician and has appeared as a concerto soloist at the major London concert halls. She is a vocal soloist on EMI’s Vocalise album and has featured in on many film soundtracks. Her solo piano playing of the theme from Chariots of Fire was heard at every medal ceremony at the London Olympic Games. She is in demand as a vocal coach, training performers in many diverse roles. Her students are enjoying major roles in theatre companies throughout the country as well as in West End productions and in major TV series. Her work as an adjudicator for the British and international Federation of Festivals has seen her travel both nationally and internationally and enables her to enjoy listening to a wide variety of music and meeting a wealth of musicians through the festival movement.

Christina Thomson

studied horn, piano and singing at the Royal Academy of Music. A career in Bavaria followed, both in playing and teaching. She then returned to London to perform and subsequently joined the music departments of both Harrow School and The Purcell School. Moving to Yorkshire, she taught at Ripon Cathedral Choir School, Sedbergh School and Ampleforth College. She had an extensive private teaching practice and performed as a player, specialising in chamber music. She is a national and international examiner for ABRSM and is an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Heather Yule

studied clàrsach with Savourna Stevenson and Isobel Mieras. She studied classical harp, initially with Sanchia Pielou in Glasgow, and continued her studies with Eira Lynn Jones, Elunid Pierce and the American harpist Gail Barber. In 1994 she gained a BMus in pedal harp performance. Today, Heather’s work centres on the clàrsach as a teacher, performer, composer and arranger. She has performed and led workshops in Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Poland and the USA. Her compositions have been used as soundtracks for several BBC radio plays. Heather has adjudicated frequently at the Royal National Mod and at numerous local Mods and music festivals throughout Scotland. She is also an examiner for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Brian Marjoribanks

joined the Gateway Repertory Theatre in Edinburgh in 1964 after attending Edinburgh College of Speech and Drama. This was followed by a season at the Metropole Theatre in Glasgow with Jimmy Logan. He made his television debut in Dr Finlay’s Casebook and then in the BBC TV series United. Thereafter, he taught at the Queen Victoria School, Dunblane before being appointed Lecturer in Speech and Drama at Notre Dame College of Education, Glasgow. Brian presented Sportscene on television and Sportsound on radio for the BBC for seventeen years before being appointed Controller (UK Regions) in 1983, with the Independent Television Commission, a post from which he has now retired. In 2001, he was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Stirling and joined the Board of Scottish Television which he chaired for five years. He has adjudicated the British Amateur Drama Finals, the Scottish Finals and the Scottish Youth Finals of the One Act Festival. He has also adjudicated the All Ireland Finals, the All Ireland Confined Finals and the Ulster Finals of the Three Act Festival. He has adjudicated at most Music and Drama Festivals in Scotland and was an international juror of the drama section at the Prix Italia Television Festival in both Sicily and Venice. He returned to Sicily to chair the international panel in the prestigious news, current affairs and documentary category.

Avril Smillie

has a lifelong involvement in Scottish country dancing. She began attending local Royal Scottish Country Dance Society 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, entering the children in competitions. At college and university, Avril danced in and trained adult Scottish country dance teams, taking them 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 of Dalriada Dancers. She took the adult teams, including herself as a participant, to Festival Interceltique de Lorient eight times as part of the ensemble representing Scotland. She was invited also to take teams 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, work as choreographer was 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, including herself, from all over Scotland. For the last seven years, Avril has been teaching and entering children from Dalriada Dancers in Scottish country dancing graded medal tests. She prepares and enters children for these tests also from three Primary schools in the Falkirk area.

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