Adjudicators: Speech, Drama & Mime Section

Silvia Cavalier

Silvia Cavalier A.N.E.A. returned from Diplomatic life in various foreign postings during the 1970’s, having done some teaching, directing and a little television.  In 1979 she began Harlequin Drama which had many festival and examination successes in individual and group work.  She retired from teaching groups in 1996.  From 1980 until it closed in 1995, she taught at Charters-Ancaster School GPDST in Bexhill.  In 1991 she was invited to become an examiner for the New Era Academy and has worked extensively in England, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka and also Holland.  She is enthusiastic about Festival work, has adjudicated in England and Northern Ireland, and is keen to encourage the work of young people and children.

Adjudicators: FolkFest


Adjudicators: RockFest

Lianne Carroll & Russell Field

Adjudicator: Jazz Fest

Lianne Carroll


Adjudicators: Instrumental Section

Gillian Oswell LRAM. LGSM. GRSM (Hons)

Gillian Oswell gained her LRAM whilst still at school, and then went on to study Piano and ‘Cello at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was further awarded the LGSM diploma and GRSM(Hons)degree.

She is a fully qualified teacher and has enjoyed a long and varied career in both private and public sectors, including the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Gillian has performed all over the UK as a soloist, accompanist and orchestral musician including concerts at main London venues. She has also travelled extensively teaching, adjudicating and performing in many countries around the globe. Gillian is an examiner for ABRSM.


Adjudicators: Dancing Section

Jodie Clark

Jodie has taught for many well-known events and institutions including Laine Theatre Arts, The Centre PAC and ISTD Janet Cram Awards. Her past students are performing across the dance genre for companies such as RADC, Rambert & Akram Khan, commercially for X Factor & well known Music Artists, in the West End and on Cruises.

Trained at Bird College where she won the Dancing Times Choreography Award and graduated with Distinction Jodie enjoyed a diverse performing career across many genres including Musical Theatre, Cabaret and Contemporary Dance throughout the UK, Europe and Worldwide on board luxury cruise liners.

Jodie is Director of Dance at The BRIT School where she teaches a range of techniques and writes, choreographs and directs performance work. She also choreographs for various corporate events, pantomimes and local theatre projects. Jodie holds BA (Hons.) from Christchurch Canterbury University, QTS and Fellowship status with the ISTD. She was in the first cohort to benefit from The Dance UK Teacher mentoring programme and is an Adjudicator member of The British and International Federation of Festivals and All England Dance. Most recently she has been working with the FA for their Talent ID Conference researching the benefits of responsibility, environment and relationships for talented young people.

Adjudicators: Singing Section

Penny Jenkins

Penny Jenkins trained as a ballet dancer before studying singing at Trinity College of Music. She has sung Oratorio throughout the South of England, broadcast for the B.B.C. and recorded solos with the Oriana Consort and the Brighton Chamber Choir. As a soloist with New Sussex Opera and Regency Opera she has sung many roles in operas as diverse as The Fairy Queen, The Threepenny Opera, Suor Angelica, Iolanthe and The Magic Flute. She also took part in the world premiere of Howard Blake's opera The Station.

In recent years Penny has built up a considerable reputation as a singing teacher. Her pupils now come to her from all over the country and regularly win major prizes in competitive festivals, and achieve top marks in the Associated Board examinations. She has successfully trained pupils for Choral Scholarships at Oxbridge, and for entrance to Music and Drama Colleges. She even has pop-singers on her books!

For the last twenty years she has been a tutor at many summer music courses, including AIMS (held at Eastbourne College), which she has run with her husband. She is increasingly in demand for vocal workshops and masterclasses, and takes two weekend courses a year at Jackdaws Educational Trust. Since 2000 she has been co-director of a course for aspiring young singers at the Vocal Arts Institute of Indianapolis, USA. In 2002 and again in 2007 Penny was Musician in Residence at a music project in the West Country. Since 2005 she has been working as a voice coach in the world of film and TV. She is also much in demand as an Adjudicator at competitive festivals.

Alison Mary Sutton

Alison has been working as a professional singer and qualified singing teacher for many years. Trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, she gained honours in both Graduate and Recital Diplomas, as well as winning several prizes and major awards. She has enjoyed pursuing a teaching career alongside her singing activities, and embraces many different teaching styles.

Having had private practices in London and Exeter, including University students, she now concentrates on her large practice in Cheltenham, which includes vocal rehabilitation. She works with singers of all ages from all over the country, teaching intermediate to diploma and professional level. Her pupils include those who have gone on to study at music college, been awarded choral scholarships to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, with several becoming professional singers. Alison has also taught successful pop and West End musical theatre performers.

Busy as an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, Alison has also examined for the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, including several tours to the Far East. She is currently an ABRSM diploma examiner and mentor for the CT ABRSM Professional Development Course. Adjudicating engagements have included Sligo International Choral Festival, and she has been on the jury for the AESS National Junior English Song Competition. Alison was the External Specialist Assessor on the final recitals panel at Birmingham Conservatoire for three years, and has since returned to adjudicate song prizes and conduct a workshop.

As the singing rehabilitation coach at the Voice Clinic at Cheltenham General Hospital, Alison is very committed to her work helping singers with vocal problems.

Neil Jenkins

Neil Jenkins has been a professional singer for over forty years. He made his debut in 1967, and sang and recorded with the Deller Consort, under the direction of Alfred Deller, for ten years, whilst establishing himself as an opera singer. In the 1970s he was appointed as an RCM singing professor by Sir David Willcocks, for whom he became a regular soloist with the Bach Choir, especially in the Bach Passions. He is equally at home as an Operatic, Oratorio and Recital singer; and combines this with an increasingly important role as a musicologist. He is currently writing the biography of the English tenor, John Beard, who created all the Handel tenor roles in the oratorios, and worked alongside the theatrical impresarios John Rich and David Garrick. Neil has translated and edited all of Bach’s major choral works for the New Novello Choral Edition, as well as Haydn’s ‘Seasons’ & ‘Creation’ for King’s Music. He has produced several song albums for OUP & Kevin Mayhew Ltd. 

Neil has sung with all of Britain’s leading opera companies, and was associated with Kent Opera, Scottish Opera, WNO & Glyndebourne for many years. He took the title roles in Kent Opera’s Robinson Crusoe, Count Ory, and The Return of Ulysses. Other major roles for them included Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the screw and Achilles in Tippett’s King Priam. A video of this has just been re-released by ‘Arthaus Musik’, and Neil can also be seen on the video recordings of Glyndebourne Festival’s Lulu and Higglety Pigglety Pop. He has recorded every kind of music from Medieval to Contemporary on more than sixty commercial discs. He joined WNO once again in 2008 for a production of Verdi’s Falstaff, starring Bryn Terfel which was recorded and televised. 

In 2004 Neil was honoured by the Worshipful Company of Musicians with the presentation of the Sir Charles Santley Memorial Award for his achievements in his career. 2007 marked the 40th anniversary of Neil’s London recital debut. He celebrated this in concert with his large choir, the Sussex Chorus and the NJ Chorale, which is composed of family members, pupils and friends. Neil teaches at several international summer schools, including AIMS which he runs with his wife Penny. He gives a regular series of Masterclasses at venues such as Jackdaws in Somerset, and sits on international singing juries. He is also an extremely busy Adjudicator these days at competitive music festivals.





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The Hastings Musical Festival Limited 167243 England. Charity Number 261351.

Festival Office opening hours are:
The first Wednesday of the month between 10.30 & 11.30am until September 1st,
after which the office will be open each Wednesday from 10.30am till 12.30pm until the end of March 2018.
The Festival Office, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, TN34 1JX