We are looking forward to welcoming the following adjudicators to the Festival in 2022:

Saturday 12th November

Instrumental & Ensemble Classes


Luan has been an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals since 2001, initially as a woodwind specialist, and since 2005 as a generalist, adjudicating across all disciplines.

Luan’s portfolio career spans almost 30 years, involving solo, orchestral, and chamber music performance, recording for television and radio, instrumental, classroom and ensemble teaching. She has delivered hundreds of music workshops and interactive performances in nurseries, primary schools, special schools, hospitals and care homes and has conducted choirs and instrumental ensembles in her local community. Luan was Head of Instrumental Studies at Hallfield School in Birmingham from 2000-2008 and a Moderator for AQA’s A-Level Music examinations (focusing on performance) across 2008-10.

Luan worked as a Diploma examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music from 2008-22, and was a recording artist for their 2018-21 clarinet syllabus. In addition to performing with the CBSO, Manchester Camerata, BCMG, Opera North and Longborough Festival Opera, Luan was Co-principal Clarinet with Orchestra of the Swan from 2007-2021.

Luan is now Interim Vice Principal, Music (Learning and Teaching) and Director of Postgraduate Studies at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she has taught since 2011, previously as the Conservatoire’s first Head of Pedagogy, significantly expanding RBC’s provision for instrumental teacher education. Luan was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2018 in recognition of this work and her doctoral research, completed across 2018-22, focused on facilitating the transition from student to professional through instrumental teacher education in conservatoires.

Under-18s Vocal Classes

Gabrielle Burgin-Lister GRSM ARMCM PGCA

Gabrielle brings a wealth of experience to her work as an adjudicator and wholeheartedly supports the principles of BIFF in its purpose of educating, encouraging, and enthusing people of all ages, abilities, and standards. She has a long Association with BIFF, having been a member for over 30 years. She has served as a deputy on the Adjudicators’ Council and was proud to take a major role in the 75th Anniversary celebrations at Warwick University. She is delighted to have been asked recently to assist with the new adjudicators programme. 

Gabrielle studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music (now RNCM) with Ena Mitchell, winning the Jeanne Bretey Scholarship for Singing, and then privately in London with John Carol Case and Erich Vietheer. She worked in full time education at all levels as Director of Music before taking up a freelance career as soprano soloist, visiting vocal specialist in various educational establishments, and as an adjudicator. Festival work takes her all over the UK, to the Irish Republic, and overseas where she is a regular visitor to the Hong Kong Schools Music Association Festival.

Saturday 19th November

Piano Classes

Deborah Balding-Brittain ARCM

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.

Over-18s Vocal, Open Vocal & Choral Classes

Elizabeth Emberson AGSM CT;ABRSM

Soprano soloist, choral conductor and voice teacher, Elizabeth began singing lessons with Betty Middleton when she was eleven years old, and quickly established herself on the Festivals circuit in the North of England, winning many prizes in the process. At eighteen she went to the Guildhall School of Music, where she studied with Joyce Newton and Anna Berenska, spending a year on the Opera Course there. 

Whilst at the Guildhall she won the English Song Prize, was a semi- finalist in the Susan Longfield Award and gained several scholarships for further study. 

On leaving the Guildhall, she studied with Erich Vertheer and John Kitchener. Using her maiden name (Watson), Elizabeth’s singing career took her all over England, France and Eire, before she decided to concentrate on her teaching career.

She now teaches at two highly respected girls’ schools in Oxford.

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