2020 Festival Adjudicators



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Solo  Singing, Choirs,

Piano & Instrumental


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Local Dance


Lynne Chilver        


Belinda Mikhail

BMus(Hons), PgDipRCM,ARCM

Belinda Mikhaïl won the Associated Board and the Queen Mother Scholarships to study piano and singing as a joint first study at the Royal College of Music where she won the Hopkinson Gold Medal for her final recital. Since graduating she has travelled extensively performing both as a soloist and as a chamber musician and has appeared as a concerto soloist at the major London Concert Halls.


She has made numerous recordings for Sony BMG and Universal and is a vocal soloist on EMI's Vocalise album as used in trailers for ER, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy. She appears as the featured soloist on many film soundtracks, including In the Shadow of the Moon (Winner Sundance Film Festival), and Bobby Fischer against the World. Her solo piano playing of the theme from Chariots of Fire was heard at every medal ceremony at the London Olympic Games.


Belinda is also in demand as a vocal coach for classical, pop and rock singers and runs an extensive private teaching practice. She has trained performers as diverse as Siouxsie Sioux, Jennifer Ellison, Jack Garrett, Cathy Tyson, the Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche, as well as the world-renowned dancer Akram Khan. Her students are enjoying major roles in theatre companies up and down the country as well as West End Shows such as Chicago, Dreamgirls, Haddestown, Dirty Dancing, Book of Mormon and High School Musical and the hit TV series’, Downton Abbey and Broadchurch.


Belinda’s work as an adjudicator has seen her travel extensively and in 2018 she was invited to Trinidad and Tobago where she adjudicated their month long biennial Music Festival. She thoroughly enjoys listening to a wide variety of music and meeting a wealth of musicians as she travels in her role as a member of the BIFF. She wishes the competitors of the Eastbourne Music & Arts Festival every success in their performances.



Speech, Drama


Dr Anita Downey  


Anita began her career as an academic studying at Oxford and Nottingham Universities.  After qualifying as a teacher she worked in both Primary and Secondary schools.  She happily combined her academic teaching with her love of the Arts.  She trained as a Drama Teacher at Guildhall School of Speech and Drama and Central School of Speech and Drama.


Pioneering the integration scheme for Surrey and also working with profoundly deaf youngsters, she then set up a Creative Arts Program for them.


Winning the International Professor Van Lawrence Award for her research into Voice Sounds led her to research further for her PhD, ‘The Cultural Rhythms of the World.’ This has led to her working with such diverse disciplines as: Formula 1, Opera, The Stock Exchange and with International speakers.


Currently, Anita is a busy teacher of Speech/Drama at a large Secondary School and teaches, at home , a mixture of subjects.  She feels that it is exciting to be a polymath and combine the arts with academic teaching and enthuse youngsters to learn.


Anita not only teaches but examines and adjudicates all over the world.  She is a member of STSD and an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Lynne Chilver is the Principal of a busy and successful school in Hillingdon, Middlesex, which offers all Theatre Branch subjects.


Former pupils have gone on to appear in shows in the West End, all over the UK and abroad and into teaching careers.

She is an examiner for the IDTA, vice-chairman of Slough Arts Festival and has extensive experience of all aspects of the Festival movement, including serving on the All England panel of adjudicators.

She is delighted to be here at the Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival as it celebrates its 60th birthday and would like to wish every competitor a happy and enjoyable experience.






Open Dance


Dr Nathan James            



Nathan trained in the Midlands in all Musical Theatre Disciplines along with gaining many of his early teaching qualifications.  His first professional engagement was in ‘Cinderella’ with Brian Conley and Danny La Rue.  Subsequent pantomimes have included ‘Snow White’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Cinderella’ all at the Birmingham Hippodrome.


For 3 years Nathan sailed the high seas for both Celebrity and Princess Cruise Lines performing in a variety of Productions aboard these impressive cruise liners.  It also ignited his passion for travelling.  Upon returning to England and settling in London, Nathan has performed in a range of regional productions including


‘Copacabana’ and ‘Hello Dolly’ and various trade shows and TV commercials.  He has toured the UK in the national tour of ‘Copacabana’ and also Europe in the Irish dance show ‘Spirit of the Dance’.  He also completed a season at the renowned Chichester Festival Theatre.  Nathan last appeared in the revival of the Broadway Musical ‘42nd Street’, albeit in German, in the city of Stuttgart.


For the last 8 years Nathan has concentrated on his first passion, teaching.  Specialising in Jazz, Musical Theatre and Tap styles he has taught at many of the major Vocational Colleges in the UK, including Arts Educational School, Bodywork Dance Studios and Sylvia Young Theatre School. Until July 2019 Nathan was the Director of HE Programmes at the Urdang Academy, he now runs the teacher training courses at Urdang and Dupont Dance. 


Nathan regularly visits the USA in order to further his knowledge in the tap and musical theatre genres and was invited to perform in a showcase of new work at the Leonard Nimoy Theatre in New York. 


Nathan was awarded an MA in Professional Practice (Dance Education) with Distinction from Middlesex University and a PhD in Dance from the University of Roehampton.  Nathan is a British Federation and All England Adjudicator as well as a Modern and Tap examiner for the ISTD and a committee member of the Tap Faculty.