Our Visiting Professionals

Julia Dewhurst

A lyric-coloratura soprano, Julia Dewhurst’s ongoing performing career has encompassed opera, concert and recital repertoire from Early Music to first performances of contemporary works.  She has broadcast for BBC TV and Radio and has appeared in many of the country’s leading concert venues. Abroad, she has undertaken engagements in Germany, France, Spain, Holland, the Middle East and the Seychelles where she gave concerts and masterclasses in the Seychelles Festival of Classical Music.

On the opera stage she has appeared with the Royal Opera, ENO, Kent Opera, English Touring Opera, Pavilion Opera, European Chamber Opera, Opera East, London Opera Players and The Garden Opera Company. Her roles have included Susanna and the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro), Queen of the Night, Pamina and First Lady (The Magic Flute), Gilda (Rigoletto), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Micaela (Carmen), Despina (Cosi fan Tutte), Constanza (Die Entfuhrung), Norina (Don Pasquale), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring) Loelia in the premiere of Donald Swann’s comic opera The Man with the Thousand Faces, and many of the Gilbert & Sullivan soprano roles.

Julia has extensive 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. Although her own career has been primarily centred on Classical repertoire, Julia has a deep interest in all vocal genres from Rock and Pop to Jazz and Music Theatre. She enjoys working with singers on the techniques underpinning voice production and on helping them to discover their own distinctive vocal personalities in performance. Julia also enjoys working with performers, both singers and instrumentalists, on developing their platform presentation skills and enhancing their awareness of effective communication with the audience.

She has been a much sought-after adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals for more than 20 years. She is a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, the Association of Teachers of Singing, the British Voice Association, the Association of English Singers and Speakers, for whom she has judged both the Patricia Routledge Competition and the Courtney Kenny Award and she is a Friend of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.

Liz Childs

Liz is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied flute with Gareth Morris and piano with Graeme Humphrey. Whilst at the RAM she performed regularly with all the orchestras, and was also engaged in many internal and external teaching projects, a subject that has always interested her a great deal. For Liz the teaching of her students extends far beyond the turning up to a lesson each week. International engagements have taken her to both the USA and to many parts of Europe, and she has performed extensively throughout the UK as soloist, recitalist and orchestral player.

Currently, Liz is engaged in a busy teaching schedule which includes Beechwood Park School in Hertfordshire, Musicale in Harpenden, the UEA in Norwich as well as many private flute students as part of the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy of which she is the founder and Director. Liz is in much demand as an Adjudicator, and directs several successful flute choirs. One of her main aims is to provide as many performing opportunities for all her pupils as possible and firmly believes that encouraging children to perform enhances and benefits all areas of their education. Liz regards it as an enormous privilege to sit on the Board of BIFF. She herself grew up in the Hull and Hornsea Festivals and knows first hand how valuable these experiences are. As well as adjudicating at many BIFF Festivals in the UK she has also adjudicated in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka where she will be returning to in March 2013 and August 2014 respectively.

Liz has 3 grown up children and in any spare time enjoys cookery, spending time in her greenhouse along with spending time in her lovely garden.

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