Adjudicators for the 2020 Festival

Nadia Hinson
Piano & Strings

Nadia graduated from the Royal Academy of Music after having studied the violin with Manoug Parikian and the piano with Jean Harvey. She was awarded first prize for Aural studies and her quartet won the string chamber prize in her final year. Nadia was the featured soloist playing the Lark Ascending and Bach double violin concerto for the Benslow Trust at St. James’ Piccadilly having been awarded an instrument to continue her studies. Other concertos in her repertoire include performances of the Mendelssohn, Mozart no.3 and 4, Haydn in C, De Beriot, Viotti, and works by Beethoven and Finzi.

She began her career as a freelance violinist playing in many London based orchestras. As an accompanist to singers and instrumentalists, she met her musician husband Nigel and together they founded the Veloce Ensemble (string quartet and clarinet quintet) touring throughout Britain performing specially commissioned works for that genre. Appearances at festivals and stately homes inspired a regular concert series at Belvoir Castle and Holmepierrepont Hall. As a recitalist throughout the East Midlands, Nadia has been highlighted in festivals and BBC features locally.

Melanie Armitstead

Melanie is a Russian and French graduate from Durham University who studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. She was a soloist with Scottish Opera, Kent Opera, Opera North, Opera Northern Ireland, English National Opera and The Chatêlet.

Melanie has performed with many of Britain’s leading orchestras, concerts and recitals taking her to Japan, Oman, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Gran Canaria.

She is the Senior Singing Teacher at Sherborne Girls in Dorset and adjudicates for the British and International Federation of Festivals at home and abroad.

Deborah Brittain

For as long as Deborah can remember, music has been a very important part of her life. She started playing the piano at the age of five and became a Junior Exhibitioner at the R.C.M. at the age of 11, before becoming a full time student in 1961, studying piano with David Parkhouse and clarinet with Thea King, having being awarded a Major County Award.

On leaving, she joined the BBC, but on marrying and starting a family, embarked on a very rewarding teaching career. During this time, she also became assistant to the Orchestral Manager of the London Mozart Players, founded by Harry Blech, who was still the driving force behind the orchestra. Leading on from this, she helped in the running of the Serenata of London.

She became an Associated Board Examiner in 1982, examining extensively in UK and overseas.

In the past few years, she has resumed performing in and around Oxford as well as being asked to adjudicate at Music Festivals, becoming a member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Recently, she had the privilege of being one of the adjudicators for the Steinway/Malaysia semi-final and final piano competition held in Kuala Lumpur.

Carol Schroder

Working in the professional theatre, television and cabaret, Carol produced her one woman show. She teaches presentation skills in commerce and industry and has taught ESL, SEN and drama at schools and colleges including Guildford School of Acting, Grandison College and, for 22 years, at Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts and, until 2007, Croham Hurst School, Croydon.
Carol is an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals and examines for LAMDA throughout the UK, Ireland and worldwide. Writing “The Discussion” 1&2 for LAMDA, she contributed to its Musical Theatre syllabus and “Musical Theatre – Exploring The World Through Song”. She was a trustee of Voice Care Network UK.