Music Adjudicators 2024

Emma Bell - Singing

British soprano Emma Bell was born in Leamington Spa and trained at the Royal Academy of Music with Joy Mammen, with whom she continues to study. She won the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 1998 and in 2002 took up a three year contract at the Komische Oper Berlin. 

Emma made her debut at The Royal Opera House in 2005 singing Leonora and since then has sung at the Metropolitan Opera New York, La Scala Milan, Teatro Real, Madrid as well as Glyndebourne, Berlin State Opera, both English and Welsh National Opera and many others. A prolific concert artist, she appears regularly at the Proms.

As a teenager Emma took part in Festivals and always wanted to give her support to them later in life when the opportunity came in her busy schedule. We are so pleased to welcome her to our Festival.

Jenny Saunders - Singing

Jenny was a Scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music and won many prizes whilst there, including The Benjeman J. Dale Award and The Ernest Butcher Prize for Singing. She also won The Great Grimsby International Singers Competition, which gained her the Alec Redshaw Memorial Award.

Jenny has worked as a soloist with many distinguished conductors and orchestras, including Sir David Willcocks and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Lazslo Heltay and the B.B.C. Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Ian Watson and the Mozart Festival Orchestra in the National Tour of Four Seasons by Candlelight. Jenny has been lucky enough to perform , as a soloist, at many wonderful concert venues. These include the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, The Bridgewater Halls, Manchester, The Barbican, Birmingham Symphony Hall and St. John’s, Smith Square. She made her Covent Garden Opera House debut as 2nd Woman in The English Bach Festival Trust’s performance of Dido and Aeneas.

Her international singing career has taken her to Japan, Norway, Brazil, America, Germany, Spain and France.

Jenny now combines her singing career with being a singing teacher at The Loughborough Schools Foundation and is the singing tutor at Loughborough University.

 She has been an Examiner for the London College of Music for 5 years and is lucky enough to tour the country extensively examining and is looking forward to adjudicating the LSA Festival and hearing some wonderful music making.

Joanna Garcia - Piano

Joanna gained a First Class Honours Bachelor of Music degree from Manchester University in 1996. She also won the Hargreaves Music Prize and the Sir Thomas Beecham Medal for outstanding achievement throughout the course.

Following this she continued her studies at the RNCM with Paul Jones and Renna Kellaway, obtaining the sought after Professional Performance Diploma and a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance. She won the Granada Chamber Music Award, the Song Cycle Accompanist's Prize, an Allcard Award and an English Speaking Union scholarship to study piano in France with teachers from the Paris Conservatoire.

Joanna has a busy teaching schedule as director of the Garcia Piano School and works with students internationally. She is also a pedagogy coach with her own associate tutors as well as other instrumental teachers and works as freelance staff pianist at the RNCM. Joanna also enjoys working with singers as a coach.

Gordon Pearce - Instrumental & Junior Singing

Gordon lives near York and trained as a specialist music teacher. He taught in secondary, middle and primary schools before becoming Head of Vocal Studies for a Local Education Authority. He was a specialist singing examiner for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Gordon became Senior Advisor for Performing Arts for a Local Education Authority and was an Ofsted Inspector for Schools.

He retired from full time employment in 2011 and now teaches privately, adjudicates and examines for the London College of Music, University of West London.

As a postgraduate he studied singing with Lilian Stiles-Allen who was one of the original soloists in Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music (Stiles-Allen was also Julie Andrew's singing teacher).

Gordon holds the following degrees and diplomas; BA, MA, PhD, FLCM, LTCL, ARCM. He is a Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Royal Society of Arts.