Adjudicators for the 2024 Festival

Robert Bailey — Strings & General Instruments


ROBERT BAILEY AGSM, LRAM – Strings and General Instrumental – is a ‘cellist, pianist and conductor. He attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has enjoyed a varied career, having held principal positions at English National Opera, the Royal Philharmonic Pops orchestra, with whom he was first ‘cellist, for ten years, and the Academy of London. He was for five years ‘cellist in the Delme String Quartet which took him all over Europe, and with them he made several CDs, and broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 3.

Robert has conducted in London with the Locrian Chamber Orchestra and the English National Orchestra, and he has conducted in Australia, giving the premiere of Larry Sitsky’s Symphony with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

In the field of Education Robert Bailey teaches ‘cello and piano, and has worked at the Royal College of Music and The Guildhall School of Music as an orchestral and chamber music coach, and taught for several years at London’s Centre for Young Musicians where he was conductor of both the Symphony Orchestra and the String Chamber Orchestra. He is also much in demand as an adjudicator at competitive festivals all over the UK.



Julia Dewhurst – Choral & Vocal

JULIA DEWHURST FTCL, ARCM, PGCA, CertEd, FRSA – Choral and Vocal – is a lyric-coloratura soprano, who has appeared nationally and internationally on the concert and opera stage in a performing career spanning over 30 years. Her repertoire is wide-ranging, from Early Music to first performances of contemporary works.

Julia has extensive and relevant teaching experience across the entire age-range. She was for many years a visiting singing specialist in a London primary school working at Foundation, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 levels and leading voice care workshops for teachers. A popular and much sought-after vocal adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals for over 20 years, she enjoys working with singers towards developing their own personality and individuality in performance. Julia is a Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, a member of the Association of Teachers of Singing, the British Voice Association, the Association of English Singers and Speakers for whom she is a competitions judge and she is a Friend of the Society of the Teachers of the Alexander Technique. Julia is currently a Music Deputy on the Adjudicators’ Council.


Ruth Gerald — Piano

RUTH GERALD Mus Bac (Adel), FRCM – Piano – was Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal College of Music and previously Head of Keyboard at the Birmingham School of Music. She was educated in Australia and after winning an overseas scholarship and gaining a Bachelor of Music degree at Adelaide University, she continued with postgraduate studies at the Royal College where she was awarded many prizes, including the Hopkinson Gold Medal.

Her career has always pursued a very wide path – solo and lecture recitals, concertos, chamber music, Lieder recitals, accompanying, adjudicating, examining and teaching.  She was a Professor of Piano and Piano Accompaniment at the Royal College for over 30 years and was elected a Fellow in 1985. Recently she has given masterclasses in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Malta and Greece and conducted many seminars for piano teachers in the UK, Malaysia and Singapore.   She has frequently been invited to adjudicate at Festivals world-wide and is actively involved in many aspects of the work of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.


Robert Max — Concerto Class

 ROBERT MAX ARAM, GRSM, LRAM, PPRNCM, Adv.Cert.(Julliard School)Concerto Class – enjoys a career that weaves together solo performance, chamber music, conducting and teaching. He has given recitals and performed concertos throughout the UK, Europe, Russia and the USA. As cellist of the Barbican Piano Trio for thirty years, he has performed on four continents and made recordings for ASV, Dutton, Black Box and Guildmusic. He is principal cellist of the London Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Frinton Festival. Robert is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, where he has taught at the Junior Academy since 1992, and he has coached chamber music at MusicWorks since its inception in 2001. He conducts the Oxford Symphony and North London Symphony Orchestras and last January made his operatic debut conducting Noah Max’s A Child in Striped Pyjamas at the Brundibar Festival. His recording of Bach’s Cello Suites was released by Guildmusic in 2020 to critical acclaim. He is President of the North London Festival of Music, Drama and Dance.


Katrina Mulvihill – Speech & Drama

KATRINA MULVIHILL RBTC (Hons QTS), LRAM, AGSM, ALAM, IPA – Speech and Drama – graduated with Honours from a unique Actor/Teacher Course at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. She then won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and went on to study opera, musical theatre, acting and piano for a further two years. 

As professional soloist and principal she has performed in plays, operas, recitals and concerts at many prestigious venues including the Drury Lane Theatre, Shaw Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, Purcell Room and QEH. As an experienced Director she has worked with adults through to young children in styles ranging from pantomime and operetta to Shakespeare and Grand Opera.

Katrina has been a longstanding member of LAMDA’s Examining Board, also regularly giving lectures and master classes. For over 30 years she served as a Headteacher across the state, private and independent sectors but recently took early retirement to focus on her private speech and drama School, Studio ‘K’, which she co-runs with her husband, Stefan. She has also increased her work and commitment for LAMDA and the BIFF, and is delighted to be back adjudicating for the Sutton Music Festival this year.

Rosie Whitfield – Winds

ROSIE WHITFIELD Dip RCM, ARCM, PGCE – Winds – Rosie’s experience as a performer, teacher, examiner and presenter, teamed with an innate love of music, underpins her drive for music in education. Her ability to captivate audiences and inspire young musicians to achieve their dreams stems from a belief that music can change lives.

As an experienced adjudicator for the BIFF, Rosie is called upon to adjudicate in the UK and abroad and has forged long-standing links with specialist music schools and festivals across the world. As Director of Music at Whitgift School, Rosie devised numerous projects and regularly presented interactive concerts and masterclasses to thousands of primary school pupils. Developing the prestigious Whitgift International Music Competition in 2013, she continues to support and mentor young musicians hoping for a career in the profession. Rosie was appointed as Head of Junior Guildhall in January 2020.