Meet our Adjudicators
Sarah Jefferies is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music where she studied with Patricia Clark and Josephine Veasey. Whilst at the Academy Sarah won many prizes, ranging from Lieder to Opera and English Song, whilst also being the recipient of the Ann E Lloyd Scholarship to fund her post graduate studies. She was an active member of the Opera chorus, singing several leading roles.
After leaving the RAM, Sarah studied in Amsterdam with Margret Honig and Elly Ameling and began a long period working at the Opera D'Lyon, whilst undertaking recitals with the pianist Paul Turner, as well as oratorios and concerts all over Europe. Highlights of a busy career have been Cantaloube's
'Song of the Auvergne' at the Edinburgh Festival, and performances of Schoenberg's 'Moses and Aaron,' Puccini's 'Madame Butterfly' and Orf's 'Carmina Burana' with the LPO, under the baton of Kent Nagano.
Sarah enjoys teaching immensely. She is fascinated in the complex working of the vocal mechanism, and has been an adjudicator for the British Federation of Music Festivals for the past five years now, where she finds herself in great demand to judge singing competitions all over the country.
She is a visiting singing teacher to Marlborough College in Wiltshire, where she teachers all standards of student from Grade 1 to Diploma, firmly believing that everyone should be helped to find their voice. Sarah also enjoys both working with and conducting choirs, as well as giving many well received master classes.
David Campbell enjoys an varied career as a clarinet soloist, chamber musician and teacher
and is regarded by many as one of Britain’s finest musicians.
At the age of 23 David was appointed as the clarinettist in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s
ensemble, ‘The Fires of London’ and he also regularly played with numerous other ensembles
and orchestras including the London Sinfonietta the London Mozart Players and the LPO.
Over recent years David Campbell has developed the solo and chamber music strands of his
career, performing in over forty countries. He has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras
including the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, English Chamber Orchestra, London
Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, BBC Symphony, BBC NOW,
BBC Concert, BBC Scottish, Ulster, English Symphony Orchestras and numerous ensembles
such as the Nash, Endymion and Guildhall Strings. His repertoire is wide-ranging and he
champions new works, many of which have been written for him. Engagements for 2015/16
include concerts in the Chalaismusique and Uzerche Festivals in France, with the Puebla
Symphony in Mexico as well as appearances in many UK festivals.
As well as numerous radio and television broadcasts over the past thirty-five years, David has
made many CDs including the Mozart Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic, Messiaen’s
‘Quartet for the End of Time’ with Joanna McGregor’s ensemble and concertos by Carl Davis,
Gerald Finzi and Graham Fitkin with the Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon. This
version of the Finzi was ranked joint-top version by Gramophone Magazine in a recent
David Campbell particularly enjoys the genre of the Clarinet Quintet (clarinet and string
quartet) and has appeared as a guest artist with many quartets including the: Brodsky;
Copenhagen Danubius (Hungary); Delmé; Endellion; Fine Arts (USA); Maggini; Medici;
Sacconi and Solstice. Works have been written for him by: Richard Blackford, Roger Steptoe,
Simon Holt, Gareth Churchill, Keith Amos, and Michael Stimpson amongst others.
As a conductor, David conducted his own Collegiate Wind Ensemble for more than a decade
and gave some 30 performances of ‘The Upside Down Sailor’ by Roxanna Panufnik and
Richard Stilgoe around the UK. More recently he has been a guest conductor with several
orchestras including the Orchestra of the Swan and the Puebla State Symphony Orchestra in
Mexico. Last November, David also conducted a performance of Walton’s ‘Façade’ recited by
Richard Stilgoe and Patricia Hodge.
David Campbell is also passionate about music education. He is currently ‘Head of Woodwind’
at Westminster School and since 2002 David has been Artistic Director of Musicfest, a
combined summer school and festival in Aberystwyth. He also gives masterclasses at
Dartington International Summer School. A masterclass and interview with David, filmed at
Domaine Forget in Quebec, Canada can be viewed on YouTube or at www.playwithapro.com.
David Campbell was the UK Chair of the International Clarinet Association for many years,
and has represented the UK at the international clarinet conferences in London, Quebec,
Ghent, Lubbock, Paris, Ostend, Salt Lake City, Stockholm, Vancouver and Oporto.
He was Chair of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain from 2010 to 2016.
Penny Stirling was born in Somerset and trained at the Royal College of Music in London. Although graduating as a pianist, her first job was as Head of Strings and she then went on to run the string department at Wells Cathedral School from 1980 - 1990. After working as Head
of the Instrumental Music Service for Wiltshire County Council, she married and moved to Manchester where she became Director of the Junior Strings Project at the Royal Northern College of Music. This internationally renowned course (which trained postgraduate string players to teach and 120 children to play stringed instruments) won both a Partnership Trusts’ Thorn EMI award for innovations in music teacher training and a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the RNCM. She was awarded Fellowship of the RNCM in 1999.
In 2004, whilst remaining as Visiting Tutor to the RNCM, she moved to North Yorkshire and became Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians, a Centre for Advanced Training for highly talented children in the Yorkshire and Humber area. She has taught violin, viola, piano and chamber music at Wells Cathedral School, Chetham’s and Junior RNCM. She founded the chamber music course Young String Venture at Lake District Summer Music and iss Director of the specialist chamber music course Pro Corda North.
As an adjudicator she has worked for both local Music Festivals and the Royal College of Music as well as Music for Youth finals at the Festival Hall and Young Musician of the Gulf.
She often works with teachers on Professional Development days and was a Course Leader for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music’s Professional Development course leading to the award of CT ABRSM both at home and in the Far East. In addition, she has
worked as a presenter of Violin Seminars and Professional Development Courses for ABRSM. Working with teachers has taken her to South Carolina (USA), Norway and Bermuda and she recently published her first book with Karen Marshall: 100 Inspiring Ideas on How to Teach Music for Instrumental and Singing Teachers (Harper Collins).