2020 Festival

Main Festival Rules

Advance Schedule for Dance Classes 2020 In chronological order

Advance Schedule For Dance Classes 2020 in Class number order

Music Schedule 2020

Speech & Drama Schedule 2020

Please remember that the closing date for all entries was the 8th December 2019

Pop & Rock Day – Sunday 1st  March – Shanklin Theatre

Speech – Mon 2nd  – Wed 4th March – Methodist Church Hall, Garfield Road, Ryde

Drama – Mon 9th – Wed 11th March – Methodist Church Hall, Garfield Road, Ryde

Music – (Vocal & Choral) – Tues 3th – Sat 7th March – All Saints’ Church, Ryde and St John’s, Newport

Music – (Instrumental) – Wed 11th – Fri 13th March – All Saints’ Church, Ryde

Dance – Sat  14th – Sat 21st March – Shanklin Theatre


SPEECH – Vivienne Redford LLAM, MSTSD

Vivienne has studied Speech and Drama since the age of four and has been teaching the subject since 1980.  She is Head of Speech and Drama at a large independent girl’s school in Bedford. As well as teaching, full time she is also the Principal of the Redford School of Speech and Drama, established in 1982, training children and adults of all ages in all aspects of the performing arts and communication.  Many of her former students are now performing in TV, film and theatre around the world and in major West End productions, the Globe, the RSC and the National Theatre.  Others are pursuing careers as teachers of Speech and Drama.

Vivienne has produced and directed a diverse range of musical and theatrical productions, (including, Moondial, Peter Pan, Antigone, The Dreaming’ by Howard Goodall, Blitz! By Lionel Bart, Hairspray, Skellig and The Chrysalids) and particularly enjoys writing and devising original and creative theatre with her senior students.  For the past eighteen years, she has organised and directed a widely-acclaimed summer school for students aged 7 to 21, which culminates in a commissioned play written for, and performed by, the students who attend.

Vivienne is an examiner for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, a member of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and an Adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals travelling extensively throughout the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands.  She is a former secretary and now a Vice-President of the Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama which has given her a clear understanding and insight into the work, energy and commitment that Festival organisers, teachers and pupils put into making their Festivals a success.

When not working (which is a rare occurrence) Vivienne enjoys seeing as much theatre as possible, reading, particularly children’s books, cooking and relishes spending time with her family.

She is looking forward to adjudicating at the Festival and hopes that it will be a memorable and happy occasion for all those taking part.

DRAMA – Ann Bauer Med, BA(Hons), LRAM, LGSM, PGCE, DipSpLD 

Ann has spent her working life in education teaching in secondary and primary schools, theatres, university and therapy teams, as well as examining drama and theatre studies. Ann ran her own drama school for many years, and has worked in mainstream education as a drama and English teacher, a SENCO and specialist teacher for pupils with SEN. Ann trained to teach under John Hodgson at Bretton Hall, his major influence was the importance of improvisation. Ann continues to be an enthusiastic teacher of improvisation for developing all performance skills.

She believes strongly in the inclusive power of drama, that it offers confidence building, team work, and the discipline of controlling body, voice – and nerves. Combining that with her love of the written word, her first degree was English; she counts herself lucky to spend her life talking about what she loves.

Currently Ann combines her teaching with doctoral research into teaching maths to young people with complex special needs. She is also an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals. Drama skills are never far away in her strategies whichever subject she is teaching. In her spare time Ann still attends ballet and tap classes, a lifelong passion, and enjoys walking, theatre going and precious time with her family.

  MUSIC – (VOCAL) – Benjamin Costello MA, PGDip, BMus, FRSA 

Ben is a freelance musical director, artistic director, adjudicator, singing coach and accompanist, working internationally.  He is also Artistic Director of Thames Concerts, Musical Director of Southampton Choral Society, Founding Director of Kingston Chamber Singers, Chorus Master for the Leith Hill Musical Festival, Assistant Artistic Director of Thames Philharmonic Choir, and on the faculty at Laine Theatre Arts.  He works throughout the UK and overseas as a generalist music adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals.

A specialist in musical theatre, with his work in that field embracing musical direction, singing teaching, accompanying and dramaturgy, Ben has worked extensively for leading colleges including Arts Ed (London), Mountview Academy, Guildford School of Acting, Laine Theatre Arts and the London College of Music, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Trinity Laban, Drama Studio London, the Royal Academy of Music, and also at the universities of London, Surrey, Kingston, Portsmouth and Southampton.  Countless of his former students enjoy successful careers in the West End and beyond.

Born and based in London, Ben trained initially as a flautist, before majoring in piano, singing and conducting.  His early career included répétiteur work for London opera companies and ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, and he remains much sought-after as an outstanding accompanist in musical theatre.  He is a guest conductor and workshop leader with various choirs, and as an accompanist and coach collaborates with countless singers and instrumentalists. 

Ben is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, organising and chairing the Company’s annual musical direction scholarship.  Outside of music he is a keen motorcyclist.


Melanie Spanswick is a British pianist, writer, teacher, composer and adjudicator, who has authored best-selling books on many aspects of piano playing. Her music is increasingly performed and recorded worldwide, and she is one of the few female composers to be published in the renowned Edition Schott Series.

A piano professor at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and an Honorary Master Teacher at the Tom Lee Academy in Hong Kong, she is also artistic director of the Ars Nova Festival held in Singapore and Malaysia, and is a member of the academic advisory board for the International Performing and Visual Arts Examination Board based in the Far East.

Melanie Sstudied the piano at the Royal College of Music in London, where she won many prizes and graduated with a Master’s degree in Performance Studies. Her principal piano professors included Patricia Carroll, Tatiana Sarkissova and John Lill.

As a pianist, Melanie has performed and broadcast widely, giving recitals as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist at many music festivals and major concert halls, including solo performances at the South Bank Centre, CBSO Hall, and St. John’s Smith Square. She has made a solo recording at Wigmore Hall (for Opera Omnia), has performed for the Queen Mother and Queen of Denmark, and has also broadcast on Classic FM, BBC Radio, and Swedish and Spanish television.

As an author, she is published by major publishing houses: Schott, Faber and Alfred. Melanie selected the repertoire for the Faber Music Piano Anthology (Faber Music) and her piano guidebook, So You Want To Play The Piano? (Alfred Music) has received much acclaim. Melanie’s three-book piano series, Play it again: PIANO (Schott Music), an in-depth taught course containing 60 works, intended for piano returners, has been an international success, and Book 4 will be released in 2020.

Melanie writes a regular ‘How-To-Play’ column in Pianist magazine, and has also contributed over 15 piano technique feature articles to Piano Professional, EPTA’s (European Piano Teachers Association) flagship publication. Further guest articles include: Piano Journal, Music Teacher Magazine, International Piano Magazine, Clavier Companion, Rhinegold Publications, Pianofforte (published by Faber), and the Daily Telegraph. She has co-written the ABRSM Piano Notes series, and the performance notes for the London College of Music piano examination syllabus 2018 – 2020. This year she has been a piano syllabus compiler for the new 2020 – 2022 LCM exam syllabus.

As an educator, Melanie has examined for the ABRSM and she adjudicates for the British and International Federation of Festivals, for whom she is an adjudicator mentor and coach. 

Melanie has adjudicated both nationally and internationally, and has been a jury member at the 2016 Chicago Amateur Piano Competition, the 65th and 70th Hong Kong Schools Association Music Festival, the 2017 Singapore Performing Arts Festival, the Stars of the Albion Grand Prix, the 2017 Beethoven Junior Intercollegiate Piano Competition in London, and the 2019 3rd Overseas Performers Festival in Singapore. 

As a composer, Melanie’s music has featured in various piano festival syllabuses, and it has been published by several leading publishing houses. Her passionate, driven and essentially tonal style has appeared in various educational publications; during 2018 she made her debut as a Schott composer with a collection of educational pieces entitled No Words Necessary. And in 2019, a piano duet, A String of Pearls, was published in the renowned Edition Schott series. Simply Driven, a set of five advanced solo piano pieces will also be released in the same series during 2019.

Classical Conversations is a filmed interview series curated by Melanie: she interviewed forty well-known pianists and teachers over a period of three years and they are featured on her YouTube channel. www.melaniespanswick.com

DANCE – Laura Symonds PGCA

Laura trained at the Royal Ballet School and Arts Educational School, London, going on to play a range of principal roles in the West End and regional theatre productions and to do a great deal of work in television, from pantomime to Sunday Night at the London Palladium, the Engelbert Humperdinck Show and two Royal Command Performances.

Laura was the resident singer on the Roy Castle Show and had a solo recording contract with Phillips.  Laura is now a freelance teacher and choreographer, who is also the director of a theatrical promotions company, as well as an Adjudicator for ‘The British and International Federation of Festivals’.