We are delighted to welcome these eminent adjudicators to our festival in November.Benjamin Costello MA BMus PGDip FRSA (piano)
Ben is presently Artistic Director of Thames Concerts Ltd, Founding Director of Kingston Chamber Singers, Chorus Master for the Leith Hill Musical Festival combined choirs concerts, Guest Conductor of the Voices of Hangzhou Youth Choir, a lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, and a musical director and singing tutor at Laine Theatre Arts.
Outside of these commitments he enjoys a busy portfolio career as a freelance musical director, singing coach, accompanist and adjudicator, working internationally. Formerly director of music/senior management at Shrewsbury House School, he has also worked extensively for most of the major London performing arts colleges, together with the universities of London, Surrey and Kingston.
He works overseas as a conductor and adjudicator with increasing frequency, with recent and forthcoming visits to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Italy, Sri Lanka, Ireland and China.
Born in London in 1976, Ben trained initially as a flautist, with subsequent studies in singing, piano, and conducting. His interests outside music include motorcycling, food and drink, and travel. Ben has been an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals since 2009.
Anita Downey PhD MA LGSM LLAM ADVS PGVS PGCA (speech and drama)
Anita is head of Speech and Drama at a large, flourishing Secondary School. This involves work to diploma level in speech, acting and public speaking. School productions and workshops are also engaged in. Anita is a busy examiner and a British and International Federation of Festivals adjudicator both at home and abroad. Training first as a teacher, she enjoyed working with students of all ages. Continuing her training at the Guildhall School and the Central School, taking the Advanced Diploma in Voice, Anita often runs workshops in this specialism. Winning the International Professor Van Lawrence Award for research into voice sounds led her to research further into the cultural rhythms of the world through literature.
Adrian Goss BMus ARAM GRSM FTCL LRAM LGSM ARCO(CHM) FRSA (vocal and choral)
Tenor soloist, vocal coach, pianist, organist and choral director, Adrian studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall. After an initial career as accompanist and clarinetist, he quickly established himself as a tenor, enjoying a solo career in concert and recital, including recordings and broadcasts, recognised by the ARAM in 1999. A former lay-clerk at Ely Cathedral, deputy at St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and HM Chapel Royal, a professional member of the City Glee Club, Director of the Chamber Choir Quorum, and work as a Director of Music at a major church has led on to a parallel career in education. A director of music at two independent senior schools, Director of the Kent Music Academy for the gifted, examiner for grades and diplomas for fifteen years, vocal teacher from beginners to diploma level, he currently teaches at Brighton College, Cranleigh and also privately. In addition to his successful solo singing career, Adrian directs workshops and master classes for singers and speakers at summer schools. He has 27 years’ experience as an adjudicator for national and local festivals, including the National Festival of Music for Youth. An adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals, and a member of the Adjudicators Council since 2011, he is currently its chair.
Kay Tucker AGSM, ARCM, LTCL, PGCA, PGCE, MISM (instrumental)
Kay Tucker was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire and began studies on the cello at the age of 12, continuing studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Her portfolio career has combined teaching and adjudicating with performing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player.
Since 1998, Kay has been in popular demand as an adjudicator throughout the UK, having worked at well over 200 festivals including the National Festival of Music for Youth. ‘Encouragement’ is a key word in all aspects of Kay’s work and she has great joy in working alongside musicians of all ages, particularly the very young.
Kay’s passion for teaching led her to develop an early years strings & general musicianship system known as ‘Stringbabies’. Since its inception in 2004, Stringbabies has become well established and accepted as a leading approach in strings teaching (surprisingly to all ages!) and is being delivered throughout the UK and abroad in individual teaching practices, schools and music services.
In 2016, Musicbabies for Recorder was published, being the first adaptation of Stringbabies for a non-stringed instrument.
Kay is currently working in partnership with Victoria College Examinations to develop a bespoke Stringbabies Award for beginner string players.
In 2013 and 2014, Stringbabies was shortlisted for the Inaugural Rhinegold Music Teachers Awards for Excellence in music education. In 2014 Kay was also a finalist in the BBC Community Heroes Awards in Education in respect of her work in developing Stringbabies.
Over recent years, Kay worked as a consultant to Trinity Guildhall, selecting and co-selecting repertoire for graded exams and diplomas.
Kay is a Trustee and member of the Executive council of the European String Teachers’ Association (ESTA) as well as chairman of Horsham Performers’ Platform.
Kay became an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals in 1997 and undertook the Post-graduate Certificate in Adjudication in 1999/2000.