Mark AshfordGuitar Adjudicator



Born in Northampton, UK, Mark Ashford is an internationally renowned performer and teacher.  A former scholarship student at both Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, London, Mark graduated with first class honours and completed his studies with the eminent guitarist David Russell in Vigo, Spain. He is a prize winner at many national and international competitions including the Guitar Foundation of America, Alessandria International Guitar Competition (Italy), Scandinavian International Guitar Competition, Julian Bream Prize, and BBC Radio 2 Young Musician.  He has performed as a soloist at many of the UK’s most prestigious chamber music venues including, Buckingham Palace, Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, Queens Hall (Edinburgh), Bridgewater Hall (Manchester) and St George’s (Bristol).  In 2004 Mark was honoured to record Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Nicholas Cleobury. This led to a successful concerto tour throughout the UK with the Royal Philharmonic.  To date he has recorded nine CD’s to critical acclaim including three with the Vida Guitar Quartet.

He was course director at the Bath International Guitar Festival for six years and is now Head of Guitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music.  He regularly gives masterclasses at the leading Conservatoires of Music and was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, ARAM, for his achievements in the music profession.

Anthea Shepherdson
Anthea ShepherdsonMusic Adjudicator



Anthea studied with Dame Fanny Waterman for her teenage years, and then at the RNCM, choosing to specialise in accompaniment for her postgraduate year. During a varied career Anthea has worked throughout the UK, combining posts at, amongst others, Chethams and Gordonstoun with extensive freelance work as an accompanist, chamber musician, choral conductor (specialising in children’s and Male Voice Choirs) and organist. Anthea is now based on “home ground” in North Yorkshire and is currently Head of Keyboard at Bootham School in York.
Anthea is also a member of the main examining panel of the ABRSM, working both in the UK and in the Far-East, and is an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Fiona Berry
Fiona BerryPiano and Instrumental Adjudicator

FIONA BERRY  B.Mus (Hons) Musical Performance LRA LTCM LLCM

Fiona has twenty years experience in instrumental teaching with pupils ranging from beginners through to music college. Several of her students are members of organisations such as the National Childrens’ Orchestra and the Halle Youth Orchestra and are successful at local festivals.

Margaret Smith
Margaret SmithPiano Adjudicator


Margaret studied piano with Dame Fanny Waterman, then the violin and piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Following this, she held a wide variety of teaching posts culminating in 19 years as Director of Music at one of Yorkshire’s most prestigious girls’ schools, entering students very successfully for national and regional competitions and making significant contributions to the musical life of Leeds.

Margaret has a wide experience of all levels of instrumental, choral and vocal music, coaching both groups and individuals in workshops and master classes. She has worked extensively with chamber choirs, operatic and choral societies and was a moderator in both performance and composition for fourteen years with an external examining board. Margaret is an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals.

Christine Teare
Christine TeareSinging Adjudicator



Christine Teare was born in the Isle of Man and trained at the Royal Academy of Music gaining her ARAM, FTCL ARCM and Dip RAM Diplomas. She made her professional debut with the Welsh National Opera as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). She has subsequently sung roles with the Welsh National Opera, The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the English National Opera and Opera North. Abroad, Christine has sung for Pocket Opera Nuremburg and also Augsburg.

On the concert platform she has appeared for all the major British orchestras in a wide range of work that includes Elgar’s The Kingdom and Verdi’s Requiem. Christine has made numerous appearances at venues in the UK as a regular contributor to Raymond Gubbay’s Opera Spectacular series and recently sang in the Royal Albert Hall and the Birmingham Symphony Hall.

Alistair MacKenzie
Alistair MacKenzieSinging Adjudicator


Alistair hails from the Wirral; his first appointment was that of organist and choir master of a local church at the age of 14. He is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music where he studied organ, piano, harpsichord and choral conducting and has studied with Dr. Francis Jackson OBE and Dame Gillian Weir for whom he has also performed in master classes. His post-graduate study was at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music where he was awarded a major scholarship in organ studies and became Sub-Organist at Glasgow Cathederal.

Alistair has performed in many churches, concert halls, cathederals and universities throughou Great Britain. He has directed courses for the Royal School of Church Music, adjudicated for and performed in national and local music festivals and conducted choirs in Austria, Czech Republic, France and Germany. His recordings and broadcasts include those for BBC television and radio. Following a lengthy career in education as head of department at independent schools across the UK, he is now enjoying semi-retirement with a busy schedule as conductor, organist and pianist. He is organist at St Annes Parish Church, Musical Director of Fleetwood and Districy Choral Society and he directs the Lidun Singers in St Annes.