Events for the 105th Chipping Norton Music Festival featured:

The Festival Concert once again featured some fantastic local talent, introduced by Peter Hunt and adjudicated by President Anthony Williams. Click here for information about adjudicators for the 2017 classes, and here for the history of the Festival.

Performers from the 2017 Festival Concert:


Awards in 2017:
President's Cup: Imogen Murphy (Piano)
Wychwood Trophy: Millie Eyles (Piano)
Rotary Club Cup: Simon Crew (Guitar)
William Bailey Folk Award: Rachel Chai
Chipping Norton Folk Club Award: Shep Sheppard
Chipping Norton & Stow Methodist Circuit Bicentenary Award: Frankie Scrivener (Musical Theatre)

Top of 2017 Festival

Vice-President Craig Ogden played to a capacity house in the Town Hall.


Choirs and Ensemble classes are always well supported.


Top of 2017 Festival

2017 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.]
Ann Bauer (Speech & Drama) has spent her working life in education teaching in secondary and primary schools, theatres, university and therapy teams, as well as examining drama and theatre studies. Ann ran her own drama school for many years, and has now returned to mainstream education and research. Ann trained to teach under John Hodgson at Bretton Hall, his major influence was the importance of improvisation. Ann continues to be an enthusiastic teacher of improvisation for developing all performance skills. She strongly believes in the inclusive power of drama, that it offers confidence building, team work, and the discipline of controlling body, voice – and nerves. Combining that with her love of the written word she counts herself lucky to spend her life talking about what she loves. Currently, Ann combines her teaching with doctoral research into teaching maths to young people with complex special needs – drama skills are never far away in her teaching strategies.
Ben Costello* (Youth Jazz Band Challenge, Choirs) is a freelance musical director, adjudicator, singing coach and accompanist, working internationally. Born and based in London, Ben initially trained as a flautist, with subsequent studies in piano, singing and conducting. Starting out as a jazz pianist singing and playing in hotels and bars, he later turned to the 'dark side' to become répétiteur for opera companies and the London Symphony Orchestra. He is Chorus Master for the Leith Hill Musical Festival, accompanist for Thames Philharmonic Choir, and Founding Director of Kingston Chamber Singers. Ben has been a musical director for numerous productions across the U.K., is guest conductor with various choirs, and as an accompanist collaborates with countless singers and instrumentalists. As a specialist in musical theatre, he has worked for a variety of organisations including the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art and the Royal Academy of Music. He is a member of the Court of the Royal Society of Musicians.
Peter Hunt (Children’s Workshop) is an experienced choral trainer and conductor having worked with a wide variety of singers and choral groups for over 40 years. He studied at Dartington and London before a long career in secondary music education, later focusing more broadly on choral education. He was Head of Creative Arts at Chipping Norton School for 10 years and still conducts the local Choral Society after 19 years. Until 2015 he was Head of Voice and Deputy Head of the independent music service Berkshire Maestros. Peter is the inspiration behind the VOICEWORKS publications with Oxford University Press that have transformed singing activities for many people. He has a national reputation as a workshop leader, trainer and adjudicator..
Nadia Hinson* (Strings, Orchestras, Mixed Ensembles) graduated from the Royal Academy of Music after having studied the violin with Manoug Parikian and the piano with Jean Harvey. She began a career as a freelance violinist and accompanist and co-founded the Veloce ensemble (clarinet quintet) touring Britain performing specially commissioned works and her own arrangements and compositions for that genre. A regular recitalist for music clubs, she also performs with her family of musicians in the UK and in Europe. She is currently the owner and Director of Hinson School of Music in Nottingham, and as well as being a festival adjudicator is an international examiner for the ABRSM and a member of The Royal Society of Musicians. Nadia is a Senior Consultant for the Performing Arts to the LEAD Academy Trust in Nottingham. She is an experienced and popular adjudicator and has recently returned from adjudicating festivals in Malaysia.
Gaynor Keeble* (Junior and Senior Vocal) Gaynor Keeble gained scholarships to the University of Warwick and the Royal Academy of Music. She combines a busy performing career with teaching both privately and at Warwick University, and adjudicating at many festivals. She has also worked extensively with English Touring Opera’s Education Programme and is vocal consultant to several choirs. She was a member of Welsh National Opera for three years and has worked for the Royal Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, D’Oyly Carte, Mid-Wales Opera, and English Touring Opera. Major roles have included Carmen, Delilah (Samson & Delilah), Orpheus (Orpheus & Eurydice), Tisbe (Cenerentola), and Azucena (Il Trovatore). Concert appearances include the London Mozart Players, London Bach Orchestra, CBSO, Royal Philharmonic and The Philharmonia. She maintains a busy operatic career with recent engagements including Katisha (Mikado), 'Auntie' in the highly-acclaimed Peter Grimes on the Beach for the Aldeburgh Festival, Mistress Quickly (Falstaff), and Annina (La Traviata). In 2017 she will be making her debut as Kostelnicka (Jenufa) for Longborough Festival Opera.
Craig Ogden (Guitar) was born in Australia and is one of the most exciting guitarists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and percussion from the age of thirteen. In 2004, he became the youngest instrumentalist to receive a Fellowship from the Royal Northern College of Music in recognition of his achievements. Craig’s recordings for Virgin/EMI, Chandos, Nimbus, Hyperion and Sony have received wide acclaim, and BBC Music Magazine dubbed him "a worthy successor to Julian Bream". His debut solo CD for Nimbus Records of '20th Century Classics by British composers' was nominated for a Grammy Award. Craig has performed concertos with all of the major UK orchestras and also internationally. Craig regularly appears as soloist and chamber musician at the major London venues and collaborates with many of the UK’s top artists and ensembles. His latest Classic FM albums Summer Guitar (2014) and Craig Ogden and Friends (2015) both went straight to No. 1 in the classical chart. Craig is Principal Lecturer in Guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
James Stretton* (Woodwind & Brass) was born in Warwickshire in the '60s and flourished in the county’s music system culminating in a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 at the age of 17. He went on to study trumpet and piano at Trinity College of Music, London. As a post-graduate, he studied with James Austin at the University of Houston, Texas and Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds. James has been a highly successful 'musical chameleon' professionally in a wide variety of fields, from orchestral work with CBSO, RLPO and the London Concert Orchestra to performing unique, multi-instrumental concerts with pianist Iain Jackson. As a regular member of the Royal Shakespeare Company band he has toured USA, Hong Kong & China, including a return of David Tennant’s Richard 2nd production in New York. Former teaching posts include Head of Instrumental Music (Harrogate Ladies’ College) and Head of Brass (Worksop College, Notts.). He is a former member of both the Grimethorpe Colliery and Black Dyke brass bands. In addition to trumpet work and solo engagements, he is a composer, music examiner, adjudicator, and workshop leader
Dave Townsend (Folk) is a performer of both traditional and classical music, playing mainly English Concertina, accordion and violin, but these form only a part of a range of activities which include composition and research. He created the Mellstock Band and founded the West Gallery Music Association, and has also worked as musical director and stage musician at the National Theatre and the Bristol Old Vic.
Anthony Williams* (Piano) studied at the Royal Academy of Music, has given recitals, broadcasts and concerto appearances around the world, and established an international reputation as a piano teacher. Now based full-time at Radley College, Oxford, as Head Instrumental Studies, he combines this with a busy freelance career. He has written articles and books on piano teaching and regularly presents lecture-recitals and seminars about performance, repertoire and the art of teaching. Anthony is a Senior Moderator for ABRSM, an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, a jazz and classical examiner, a senior presenter for Teacher Support and President of our Festival.
Top of 2017 Festival