Festival home page

Events for the 99th Chipping Norton Music Festival included:

The Festival again hosted the George Hummer Prize for Creative Writing. More about the Hummer Prize and the winning entry from Mary-Louise Crown.

The Festival Concert once again featured some fantastic local talent, introduced by Toby Blundell and adjudicated by Alan MacLean. Click here for information about adjudicators for the 2011 classes, and here for the history of the Festival.

Award winners and some performers from the 2011 Festival Concert:

Festival Award Winners 2011:
President's Cup: Lydia Ballam
Wychwood Trophy: Benjamin Thompson
Rotary Club Cup: Alex Chalstrey
Padawa Award: Kitty Veale
Youth Jazz Band Challenge: King Eddie's Revival Big Band, Stratford-upon-Avon
William Bailey Folk Award: Jeremy Walton
Chipping Norton Folk Club Award: Chris Gardener
George Hummer Prize for Creative Writing: Mary-Louise Crown

Top of 2011 Festival

2011 Adjudicator biographies.
Disclaimer - this is for information only as at the time of going to press and may therefore not be current. If you need current information then you should contact the adjudicator or their agent.
Keith Allen (Youth Jazz Band Challenge) was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, then post-graduate studies at Birmingham University, Kingston University and Thames Valley University. He played clarinet and saxophone in numerous orchestras, including working with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Previous positions include: Saxophone Tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire; Head of Birmingham Music Service; Musical Director: Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company; Consultant Editor: Faber Music and Conductor of Birmingham Schools Big Band. Currently, Keith is Musical Director of Birmingham Symphonic Winds; Director of The National Concert Band Festival – the UK's largest big band & wind band festival; and Conductor of Solihull Youth Wind Orchestra. Keith is an experienced and much sought after adjudicator, specialising in woodwind, brass, recorder, orchestral and chamber music as well as Big Band Music and has adjudicated numerous UK Festivals as well as Music for Youth and is a tutor for European Youth Summer Music. In February 2011, he has been invited to direct the University Big Bands and Wind Bands in Minnesota, USA.
Melanie Armitstead (Junior & Senior Vocal) studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio after taking a degree in Russian and French at Durham University. She began her career with Scottish Opera, then worked with Kent Opera, Opera North, Opera Northern Ireland and the Châtelet in Paris singing roles by Mozart, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Bizet and Britten. Concerts and Recitals took Melanie to Japan, Spain, France, Holland and many Festivals and Music Societies within the UK. Recently, Melanie sang Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and took part in a “Music Festival at Sea” with Richard Baker. She was also been soprano soloist in Elgar’s Spirit of England, Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Bach’s Magnificat, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music. Melanie enjoys teaching singing at Sherborne Girls School in Dorset and travels around the country adjudicating at Festivals and Competitions. In February 2009, she spent a month in Hong Kong adjudicating for the Hong Kong Schools’ Music Festival.
Elizabeth Childs (Woodwind & Brass) is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied flute with Gareth Morris and piano with Graeme Humphrey. International engagements have taken her to the USA, Australia and many parts of Europe. She has performed extensively throughout the UK as soloist, recitalist and orchestral player. Elizabeth has a broad and extensive teaching and performing career. She has successfully prepared pupils for scholarships to leading public schools, Junior Conservatoires and Specialist Music Schools, and now has many ex-students working in the profession. She regularly directs summer schools and other courses for young wind players. Currently, teaching at UEA in Norwich, Elizabeth is also flautist in Quintessimo, plays with the Aurelian Ensemble, on the management team for Harpenden Musicale, flute tutor for The National Children’s Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, and directs several successful flute choirs. One of her main aims is to provide as many performing opportunities as possible for her pupils and firmly believes that encouraging children to perform enhances and benefits all areas of their education.
Stephen Clarke (Choirs) is a choral and operatic conductor. He has been Precentor at Radley College since 2002. He has conducted Schola Cantorum of Oxford, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He was assistant conductor for a season at Geneva Grand Theatre, and has worked on several operatic productions for BBC TV. He has worked with the London Symphony Chorus, preparing them for concerts conducted by Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Rostropovich and Ozawa. He has conducted for English National Opera and Welsh National Opera. As Head of Music at Scottish Opera, he conducted a wide repertory of opera including much Puccini and Verdi. He spent a year as Assistant Music Director of the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, returning to the UK in 1999 to conduct operas for Scottish Opera and Opera North. He also occasionally works as stage conductor at Covent Garden and conducts choirs in Oxford.
Kathryn Hardman (Strings, Guitar, Ensembles and Family Class) trained as a violinist at the Royal Manchester (now Royal Northern) College of Music, graduating with Distinction both in teaching and performance. She subsequently worked as a freelance musician in the North West, performing in chamber and orchestral ensembles, and also teaching at the RNCM. She held the post of Head of Strings for the former County of Avon from 1985 to 1991, and has since established an extensive and highly successful private teaching practice in Bristol. Many of her students have gained places in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and won scholarships at major music colleges. Kathryn also teaches for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Bristol University Music Department, and is in demand as a festival adjudicator and as a tutor on many courses in the UK, including the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestra and others. She has for many years run a chamber music course for advanced string players and pianists “Novacorda,” in Bristol.
James Kirby (Piano) studied at the Royal Academy of Music (a contemporary of Festival President, Anthony Williams) and at the Moscow Conservatoire. He gives recitals throughout the UK, including the Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh festival, and across Europe. Since 1992 he has been a member of the Barbican Piano Trio, regularly performing in the UK, Europe and USA. He has performed concertos with the English and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, Moscow, Khazakh and Belorussian Symphony Orchestras, and Romanian orchestras at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Opera House and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. James teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Royal Holloway College (University of London). He is an Honorary Professor at the Rachmaninov Institute in Russia where he makes annual visits to perform concertos, give recitals and master-classes, and lead chamber music courses. He has been on the examining panel of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for many years. He is a popular adjudicator, comfortable with all levels of performers.
Sarah Morgan (Folk) has been involved in traditional folk music as a performer and teacher for many years. She currently sings professionally with a capella trio Craig Morgan Robson, with whom she has appeared at numerous UK folk festivals as well as touring in the UK, America and Canada. She runs three community choirs, in Andover, Winchester and Petersfield, and leads singing workshops for folk festivals, organisations in the arts and business worlds and folk development agencies such as TAPS and Folk South West. She is a talented arranger, and has published two books of songs for groups and community choirs, as well as one of her own material. Sarah's recent projects include devising and co-ordinating the Gardiner Project, which brought together over 100 singers and musicians to perform Hampshire Folk Songs collected by George Gardiner; developing “The Way Through the Woods” (with Carolyn Robson, a musical workshop for children on a woodland theme using folk songs); and working on “The Axford Five” (a project to record and perform songs collected from women singers in Hampshire). Sarah is currently researching the use of folk song in the community choir repertoire at the University of Winchester.
Norma Redfearn (Speech & Drama) trained at the Northern College of Speech and Drama and researched at Leicester University. She has taught and lectured at a variety of schools and colleges and was Head of Drama at Yorkshire College of Music and Drama. She began her acting career in Rep, before going on to perform in professional theatre in many parts of the country. As an examiner for Trinity College London, she has examined students, lectured and performed throughout the UK, Europe and in many countries around the world. Norma now examines extensively for LAMDA and continues to teach students from six years old to 60. She gives concerts and recitals as well as ‘voice-over’ recordings for radio and a variety of companies. Her greatest joy, however, is equipping students with “life skills” and the ability to take their place in society confidently. She believes that festivals are an opportunity to develop confidence. This is her second visit to the Festival.

Top of 2011 Festival