Adjudicators, 2024

We are delighted to welcome the following adjudicators to the Woking Music Festival in 2024.

Frances trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London (Teacher’s Diploma in Speech & Drama). She worked as an actress at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, Palace Theatre Watford, & Cork Opera House, Eire. She has undertaken Theatre-in-Education work at the Cockpit Theatre and the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.

Frances has worked at the BBC as a presenter of the schools television programme Merry Go Round and BBC Radio programme Discovery and as a presenter/announcer for Border Television, Carlisle. Overseas posts include English language teaching in Padua & Rome, Italy and she was a Visiting Fellow in Drama at the University of West Indies, Barbados.

She has recently retired from teaching speech & drama at Berkhamsted School and is still a LAMDA teacher and Speech adjudicator for The British & International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance & Speech and an examiner for The English Speaking Board and a member of Equity and STSD.

Ben is a freelance musical director, adjudicator, singing coach and accompanist, working internationally. He is also Artistic Director of Thames Concerts, and a generalist music adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, having joined in 2009. He is also a music examiner for LCME and a consultant on their musical theatre syllabus.

A specialist in musical theatre, he has been musical director for numerous productions across the UK, and a reflective product of this has been his continuing work as a musical director and singing teacher at the cutting edge of performing arts training in London, with his portfolio over the years including Arts Ed, Mountview Academy, Trinity Laban, Laine Theatre Arts, Italia Conti, Guildford School of Acting, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, the Royal Academy of Music, Drama Studio London, and the London School of Musical Theatre. At these colleges his work has included teaching singing technique, portfolio, acting through song, audition technique, and auditioning thousands of prospective students. Countless of his former singing students enjoy successful careers in the West End and beyond.

Born and based in London, Ben trained initially as a flautist, and subsequently majored in piano, singing and conducting. He read Music at Kingston University and the London College of Music, subsequently joining the teaching staff as the College’s first resident MD.

Ben remains much sought-after as an accompanist, and collaborates in a variety of genres with countless singers and instrumentalists many performing environments, working with several distinguished singers including Michael Chance CBE, James Bowman CBE, Robin Blaze, Hugh Cutting, Alison Pearce, Joanne Lunn, Peter Savidge, Richard Suart, Lotte Betts-Dean and Mark Dobell. He is one of the regular pianists for Cantabile (The London Quartet), and has given concerts with them in Germany, Belgium and the UK.

Ben is a Liveryman and on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, organising and chairing the Company’s annual musical direction scholarship, and is Chairman of the Company’s Jazz Committee.

For the Federation, in addition to his work as a generalist music adjudicator, he has been a Deputy on the Adjudicators’ Council since 2014, is an adjudicator mentor, and is also a member of the interviewing panel for potential new music adjudicators.

Outside music, Ben is a keen motorcyclist and wine bore.

Belinda Mikhaïl was awarded the Associated Board and the Queen Mother Scholarships to study piano and singing as a joint first study at the Royal College of Music where she won the Hopkinson Gold Medal for her final recital. She has travelled extensively performing both as a soloist and as a chamber musician and has appeared as a concerto soloist at the major London Concert Halls.

She has made numerous recordings for Sony BMG and Universal and is a vocal soloist on EMI’s Vocalise album as used in trailers for ER, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy. She appears as the featured soloist on many film soundtracks and her solo piano playing of the theme from Chariots of Fire was heard at every medal ceremony at the London Olympic Games.

Belinda is also in demand as a vocal coach for classical, musical theatre, pop and rock singers and runs an extensive private teaching practice. She has trained performers as diverse as Siouxsie Sioux, Jennifer Ellison, Jack Garrett, Cathy Tyson, the Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche, as well as the world-renowned dancer Akram Khan. Her students are enjoying major roles in theatre companies up and down the country as well as West End Shows such as Anything Goes, Chicago, Dreamgirls, Haddestown, Dirty Dancing, Book of Mormon and High School Musical, and the hit TV series’, Bridgerton, Downton Abbey and Broadchurch.

Jean-Marc Perret, LAMDA Actors/Teachers’ Diploma (Speech and Drama)

Jean-Marc trained at Elmhurst Ballet School, London Studio Centre and at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

He attended the Royal Academy of Dance achieving Elementary and ARAD status in Ballet; ISTD Elementary Tap and Modern Dance as well Cecchetti at Intermediate level. Honours achieved in all Flamenco dance exams taken with Sociedad de Baile Español. In 1989 Jean-Marc was selected to perform at the prestigious Genée Awards at the London Palladium under the auspices of David Wall CBE former principal dancer of The Royal Ballet and later performed with Images of Dance Company in London under the direction of former Royal Ballet principal Margaret Barbieri. Following this, Jean-Marc modelled for the celebrated fashion designer Vivienne Westwood performing in the prestigious British Fashion Awards.

Upon graduating from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Jean-Marc worked for BBC Radio Drama and then played a principal role in the successful No 1 UK musical tour of the hit BBC TV series The Demon Headmaster published by Samuel French Ltd.

Main theatre credits as an actor include notable roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Manchester Royal Exchange, Birmingham Rep, Chichester Festival Theatre, Derby Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Numerous TV and film appearances notably playing Prince Caspian in the successful BBC BAFTA nominated and award winning series The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Revelation (Romulus Films) with Oscar nominee actor Terence Stamp and Oscar winner Ron Moody. In 2016 Jean-Marc secured a Personal Manager in Los Angeles and made appearances in This Is Us (Season 2) for NBC as well as the US series American Woman (Warner Bros). In addition, he worked on America’s Got Talent 2017 and attended the 2017 Oscars ceremony both at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Jean-Marc teaches pupils on a peripatetic basis and is an online public speaking tutor and speech writer for leading international schools in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2020, Jean-Marc facilitated a pupil / teacher online training programme set up through Master Minds Studio in Shanghai with the aim of providing quality training in drama and communication subjects. Jean-Marc now leads all advanced level public speaking exam preparation training for Dreamaker Drama Academy in Beijing and Shanghai.

He previously examined for London College of Music for 5 years, LAMDA for 10 years and Trinity College, London for 2 years.

Alongside these commitments, Jean-Marc trained as a certified British Academy of Dramatic Combat fight instructor both choreographing and performing in sword fights. Fight credits include Disney’s blockbuster film Cinderella (2015); playing D’Artagnan for the London red carpet film premiere event for The Three Musketeers (2011) which starred Orlando Bloom and Christoph Waltz. in March 2020, Jean-Marc was part of a world-class exhibition event involving Great Britain and Hungarian Olympic fencers who were in the midst of their training for the Tokyo Olympics.

Jean-Marc has adjudicated at numerous festivals across the UK and overseas and enjoys providing encouraging feedback to performers of all ages specialising in speech & drama, musical theatre and dance disciplines.

Roy Robinson, MA, Dip Perf RCM, ARCM (P), ARCM (T), LRAM (T),LTCL (P) (Instrumental)

Roy trained as a performer at the Royal College of Music and was a major prize winner: the Leslie Alexander – the highest award available on the viola. He was a dual first study viola pupil of Frederick Riddle and piano pupil of Angus Morrison. He holds a complete suite of performing and teaching diplomas on his first instruments, plus a performing diploma on violin, and an MA in music. He also has a background as an organist and vast experience as a choir trainer and conductor.
Roy has spent most of his career combining teaching, performing, examining and adjudicating. He has taught academic music to A level, his instruments to diploma level and the violin to RAM exhibitioners. He has coached numerous orchestral and singing courses and festivals for children and has conducted many adult choral societies performances. He has arranged and composed countless pieces for choirs and instrumental combinations, and has several of his works published. Following appointments in various public schools, mostly as director of music, he is now enjoying a return to freelance life.
He has extensive experience as a performer, in orchestras and ensembles, and as accompanist and recitalist. He is a busy ABRSM grade, diploma and jazz examiner and has worked all over the world, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Jordan, South Africa, Namibia, USA, Bermuda, China and Germany (examining in German). He is the viola consultant for ABRSM, selector of the present viola syllabus, and has presented teacher meetings/training abroad.
As an adjudicator member of the British Federation of Music Festivals, Roy is it on demand at some of the UK’s largest music festivals. He not only enjoys adjudicating his specialist areas, but also the complete range of classes as a generalist.

Away from music, he can often be found looking after or driving one of his classic cars.