This prestigious award is for adjudicators who have given sterling service over time, often in several capacities. 


Norma RedfearnNorma Redfearn, MA, BA, LGSM, LLAM, LTCL(Tesol), LTCL, ALCM, PGCA

Speech and Drama Adjudicator

Norma trained at the Northern College of Speech and Drama and Researched at Leicester University. She has performed professionally in Rep and in tours all over the UK. Examining and adjudicating has taken her all over the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. Teaching has always been her priority and Norma has taught at a variety of schools and colleges. She now teaches at her private studio. Although many of her students are pursuing successful acting careers and others are teaching Speech and Drama, her greatest joy is equipping students with life skills, and the ability to take their place in society confidently.


Margaret VenablesMargaret J. Venables, LRAM, ARCM, ALCM, AdvDipEd, PGCA

Former Music Adjudicator and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Margaret is currently serving as the President of the Federation

Margaret entered her first Music Festival at the age of seven years, and continued to compete until the age of 17 years, when she entered the Royal Academy of Music to study Piano and Organ – joint first, and Second study, Cello.

She gained her PGCE at Bretton Hall, and began her teaching career in schools in the West Riding of Yorkshire.  She entered pupils in Festivals individually and in instrumental groups as well as Choirs.

Margaret was invited to join the National Schools Council in London, and travelled regularly to Great Portland Street for meetings.  She was also invited to sit on the Music A Level Committee for the Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board (NUJMB)

In 1978-80 she spent a sabbatical year away from teaching, and attended an Organisation and Management Course at Leeds University.

She answered an invitation to become Music Consultant for North East England Girl Guide Association, a position she held for three years.  During this time the Girl Guide Association celebrated 75 years of guiding, so there was considerable media coverage, including the television broadcast – live – of a  Sunday morning Service in Tyneside when, whilst conducting the singing, the organ broke down.  Everything continued; an experience Margaret – and others – will never forget, as the Guides and Brownies at the service continued unaccompanied for the remainder of that Service.

Six months later Margaret was invited to take on the responsibilities of Music Consultant at National level, which carried with it the responsibility for training at all ages, forming the Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra each year, for rehearsal and then performances in Sweden at the invitation of the King of Sweden, or Washington, with a performance at the White House.

Margaret maintains responsibility for the choir at her local Church, and has been Secretary for the Amenity Society in Darfield for over thirty years, a position she still holds.  This entails being the Trustee for a Yeoman’s house, dated 1749, transformed with the help of a Lottery Grant into a Museum and Heritage Centre, covering all aspects of village life through the ages.

For the last twenty or so years Margaret has been a member of the Board of Trustees, firstly representing Music and England, then, as Chair of the Festival Council, followed by Vice Chairman of the Board, before being elected as Chairman from 2005 until 2014.  This post she has enjoyed, through visiting many Festivals, meeting Organisers and volunteers at home and abroad, as well as working with the Board of Trustees, and Staff at Macclesfield.


Cynthia CarrCynthia Carr, FISTD, ARAD, PGCA

Former Dance Adjudicator

Cynthia’s involvement with dance has been wide, varied and full of interest. Her love of the subject gave her the desire to develop her knowledge and skills in examining for the ISTD and adjudicating for BIFF and AED. She was the only examiner to cover Imperial Ballet, Modern, Tap and Classical Greek for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance and enjoyed being a member of the Adjudicator’s Council of BIFF completing her full term. She served as Chairman of All England Dance  until 2012. Cynthia appreciates the opportunities she has enjoyed from her work which has given her great fulfilment.

Janet PalmerJanet Palmer, FIDTA, AISTD, RAD RTS

Dance Adjudicator

After training in all disciplines, Janet combined teaching, as 1st Assistant at the Mollie Mayhews School of Dance, with a professional career. Engagements included leading roles in ‘The Boyfriend’, ‘Salad Days’, pantomimes and musical revues. Choreography engagements included a production of ‘Trilby’ and two revues, one of which was directed by Ken Loach. An examiner for the Royal Academy, Janet has conducted numerous examining tours and teachers’ courses for the Academy worldwide. At the start of All England Dance, she became a committee and ran the Northern Regional Finals. Janet continues to examine and teach and is now Chairman of All England Dance.

David PatrickDavid Patrick, FTCL, ARCO, ARCM, LRAM, LTCL, FRSA

Music Adjudicator

David was an organ pupil of Harold Darke at St. Michael’s, Cornhill, London, a piano pupil of Lina Collins (pupil of Paderewski) and Mathilde Verne (pupil of Clara Schumann). As an organist, pianist and harpsichordist he has performed across the UK and Europe, directed courses for organists, conductors and choir singers, and performed at international festivals. He has conducted small and massed choirs at venues including the Royal Albert Hall. Previously Director of Music, Queen Elizabeth’s Boys’ Grammar School, Barnet, he is a freelance musician, an Examiner and Moderator for ABRSM and Editor and Publisher of Fitzjohn Music Publications.

Vivien PikeDr. Vivien Pike, HonMMus, GRSM, ARMCM, LGSM, FRSA

Music Adjudicator

Educated at Sheffield University and the Royal Northern College of Music, Vivien is a specialist in solo singing and choirs. A Churchill Fellowship in 2001 enabled her to research choral and solo singing in Sweden, Finland and Estonia leading to adjudicating and teaching in Latvia, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and for the World Choir Games. Through her own lifetime of solo and choral singing, she has been passionate to help solo and choral singers to improve vocally, empowering them in the interpretation and performance of their repertoire


Richard DeeringRichard Deering, FTCL, GTCL, LRAM, ARCM, PGCA

Music Adjudicator

Richard has been an adjudicator member of BIFF for over 30 years adjudicating an average of 12 festivals a year, including many overseas festivals, as a piano specialist and generalist. He has given piano performances – soloist and accompanist – in over 90 countries and has held teaching positions in establishments such as London College of Music, Trinity College of Music, Cambridge University and New York State University. He is also highly involved in the setting and examining of the Trinity Guildhall syllabus.

Marie DixonMarie Dixon, ALCM, LLCM, LGSM, FLCM, MSTSD

Speech and Drama Adjudicator

Marie trained privately with Mary Dilworth and Owen Wynne, going on to be a professional actress in television, repertory, pantomime and cabaret, as well as teaching and lecturing. She is an equity member who is regularly employed as a cabaret artiste and speaker. She formed an Old Time Music Hall Company and has specialised in musical theatre, where she has directed and played in the Sound of Music, Rose Marie, the Pyjama Game, Anything Goes, Wild Violets, and Carousel. Marie taught drama at Holy Family School Sale and was Head of Speech and Drama at Greenback School, Cheadle Hulme and Principal of the Marie Dixon Studios of Speech and Drama, Sale.

Graeme HumphreyGraeme Humphrey, ARAM

Music Adjudicator

Graeme studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music where he developed interests in chamber music, accompanying and teaching. He has broadcast many times and performed at the Bath and Harrogate Festivals, the Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall. Professor of Piano at the RAM since 1974, he maintains a substantial private teaching practice and is active in seminars for teachers in the UK and abroad. In 1997 he was elected Warden of the Private Teachers’ Section of the ISM and in 2002 was elected President of the Royal Academy of Music Club. He became Music Director of the Hereford International Summer School in 2004

Andrew SherwoodAndrew Sherwood, ARCM

Music Adjudicator

Born and educated in Africa, Andrew studied violin and composition at the RCM. He has performed across the world as conductor and violinist and composers have written for him. He has led the Mercury Ensemble for Ballet Rambert and freelanced in many British orchestras. He is Professor of Violin at Trinity College of Music and, as a conductor, has worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and is Director of Music for the Brighton Youth Orchestras. Musical Director of the Musicians of All Saints, Director of Choirs for the University of Brighton and Conductor of Somerset County Youth Orchestra.


Marilynne DaviesMarilynne Davies, BA, MEd, LRAM, PGCA, FRSA

Music Adjudicator

Marilynne’s experience embraces performance, education and conducting and she was until recently Head of the School of Performance at the College of Ripon and York St. John – a post that included Music, Dance, Drama, Film and Television. She now has a busy freelance career as an adjudicator at national and international festivals, as a voice consultant, teacher and conductor, and as a leader of a variety of workshops. Her experience in teaching ranges from nursery to post-graduate levels and she has been external examiner and assessor in performance for a number of universities at the graduate and postgraduate level.

Chris HockingChris Hocking, MA

Dance Adjudicator

Chris trained at Brooking School of Ballet, then went on to a very successful performing career. His direction & choreography credits include tours of ‘Oklahoma!’, ‘Seven Brides For Seven Brothers’, ‘South Pacific’, ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ (twice) and the British premiere of Jekyll and Hyde. He is Director of Musical Theatre The Arts Educational Schools, London and currently has former students in every West End show (as well as several on Broadway!). He has been awarded an MA in Choreography from Middlesex University.

Timothy McCarthyTimothy McCarthy, MA, HDE, FTCL, FLCM, LGSMD, ALAM, PGCA

Speech and Drama Adjudicator

Tim trained at the National University of Ireland and Cork School of Music. He has been a Speech and Drama Teacher at his own studio for some years, teaching all ages, subjects and levels. He is an examiner at Trinity Guildhall and has directed teacher training courses in Kuala Lumpur and Colombo as well as in Cork, where he is also the Administrator of the Cork Music and Drama Festival. Tim has been drama tutor at the annual British Youth Camp Festival, Sri Lanka. He has directed an adult drama company for over ten years.

June RaynorJune Rayner, AGSM, LRAM, FRSA, HonFLAM, HonIEMS, FBIFF

Speech and Drama Adjudicator

Since training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, June Rayner has performed, directed, lectured and taught speech and drama all her working life. A former examiner for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, she is a keen judge of public speaking, working regularly for The English Speaking Union and similar bodies at both national and regional level. June assesses opera, musical comedy and dramatic productions for the Rose Bowl Competition in seven South Western counties. June has served on the Adjudicators Council and chaired the committee that conducted a review of festivals and adjudicators.

Patricia Snowdon, BPhil(Hons), DipLCDD, LISTD(dip)(CDE), RAD RTS

Dance Adjudicator

Patricia Snowdon trained at the London College of Dance and Drama and has a Bachelor of Philosophy Degree in Ballet and Contextual Studies awarded by the Royal Academy of Dance and validated by the University of Durham. She became principal of her own school, in addition to teaching in independent schools and adult education centres. Many of her past pupils have progressed to the top performing arts schools and are now performing in this country and overseas. Patricia has wide experience as a choreographer of both large-scale productions and fashion shows and is an RAD and ISTD registered teacher.

Colin TouchinColin Touchin, MA(Oxon), LTCL

Music Adjudicator

Colin studied clarinet with Graham Turner and recorder with Ferdinand Conrad, Konrad Huenteler and Dennis Bamforth. Director of Music at the University of Warwick and Head of Composition at Chetham’s School of Music, he has conducted orchestras, bands and choirs internationally (National Youth Wind Orchestras – Great Britain, Hong Kong, Wales, Luxembourg) and at Dartington International Summer School. He holds workshops on performance, conducting, chamber music, recorders, choirs and is Composer-in-Residence at King Henry VIII and Warwick Schools. Conductor of Warwickshire County Youth Orchestra, Derbyshire City/County Youth Wind Band and Associate Conductor, Essex Chamber and London Charity Orchestras, he founded the National Youth Recorder Orchestra and Spires Philharmonic Chorus/Orchestra.