Judging Panel

A huge thank you to our 2017 judging panel for offering their time and expertise in selecting our winners:

Tabby Estell

Head of Junior Trinity

Tabby has worked in music education for over twenty years, managing the pioneering education programme at the London Sinfonietta and working as Director of Education and Community at the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Tabby studied music at Manchester University and the Royal Northern College Music and was a teacher in London before moving into orchestral education.

In recent years Tabby has enjoyed an active freelance career working as a music education specialist with a range of different music organisations including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House and Southbank Centre.

Tabby is a passionate advocate for excellence in music education provision for young people, and for supporting our young musicians to reach their full potential.

Annemarie Lewis Thomas

Principal, The Music Theatre Academy

Annemarie graduated with a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts from Middlesex Polytechnic in 1989.  The degree majored in music, with voice, piano and trumpet being her chosen instruments.  On leaving college she co-founded the TIE Top Hat Theatre Company, writing original mini-musicals for schools on any subject the schools required. As a repetiteur she has played for most of the top London casting directors and producers.

Annemarie currently writes an occasional agony aunt column for the Musical Theatre Review online magazine. In 2009 Annemarie opened her own drama college – The MTA. In 2012 it was named as the School of the Year in The Stage 100 Awards.

Sarah Lambie

Editor, Teaching Drama and Head of Content, Musical Theatre & Drama Education Show

Sarah joined Rhinegold as a freelance writer and sub-editor in 2011, and became Editor of Teaching Drama in 2012. She is also Head of Content for the Musical Theatre & Drama Education Show.

Her work for Rhinegold is part-time, as she is also an actress and singer; teaches English, singing and drama; and is a freelance arts and education journalist and editor. Sarah did her undergraduate degree in English at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, and went on to train as an actor postgraduate at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Marianna Hay

Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Orchestras for All

After reading music at Oxford University, Marianna joined Teach First as a music teacher at Highbury Grove School in Islington. She subsequently became the school’s Director of Music, setting up its first in-school music academy and working closely with Music First, a charity that builds communities and transforms young lives through music in Islington.

As a Teach First music teacher, Marianna won a Jack Petchey award for Leadership and was highly commended for a Teach First Ambassador Award. She became Music First’s Director of Programme Development in 2010. Marianna founded Orchestras for All (OFA) in 2011 and is the orchestra’s Artistic Director. She was nominated as a 2013 Woman of Achievement by Women of the Year for her work with OFA.

Henry Vann

Head of External Affairs, ISM

Henry Vann is an experienced policy and public affairs specialist. He is currently Head of External Affairs for the ISM, the professional body for musicians in the UK and is also cabinet member for education on Bedford Borough Council.

He has run successful campaigns and advocacy programmes in education, intellectual property, aviation policy and employment policy. His campaigns have been short-listed and finalists in the Public Affairs awards.

Henry has worked in Parliament, for the Department of Health in Whitehall, for DODS Parliamentary Consulting and currently works for the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

Alex Stevens

Editor, Music Teacher and Head of Content, Music Education Expo

Alex joined Rhinegold as assistant editor of Music Teacher magazine in June 2010, before becoming assistant and then deputy editor of Classical Music. He was delighted to return to Music Teacher as editor in May 2015, and is also relishing the challenge of helping produce the Music Education Expo as head of content.

In the past he has worked in a marketing role at arts charity Create, spent three months in Syria as part of the British Council and VSO’s Global Xchange programme, and been a cheesemonger. He was also a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, he can play the trumpet and piano and has a degree in Philosophy and Politics from the University of York.