Judging Panel

A huge thank you to our 2018 judging panel for offering their time and expertise in selecting our winners:

Don Gillthorpe

Director of Music and Performing Arts at Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, Lancaster

Don Gillthorpe is Head of Publications for Sing for Pleasure, overseeing a team of composers, arrangers, typesetters and editors to produce a series of successful songbooks for children and adults. He is a senior conducting tutor for SfP courses and a specialist in working with boys’ changing voices. A singing teacher, performer, conductor, choral animateur, adjudicator and workshop leader, he is in demand around the country.

Currently Director of Music and Performing Arts at Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy in Lancaster, Don leads a thriving department which boasts seven choirs, including a large boys’ choir and robed chapel choir. As part of the school’s wider remit, Don is also an accredited Specialist Leader in Education, supporting music departments in other schools and leading a school-centred Secondary Music PGCE programme. The school hosted the MMA Music Education Conference in 2016.

Sarah Lambie

Editor, Teaching Drama and Head of Content (Drama), Music & Drama Education Expo

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.

Onur Orkut

Lecturer in Acting, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Originally from Turkey, Onur has a BSc in Physics and two masters in performing arts (Acting and Musical Theatre) as well as a PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. He is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and he is interested in assessment and feedback for vocational training, specifically in acting and musical theatre, informed by the current developments in neuroscience and acting technique. Onur is a lecturer in acting at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and continues to perform and direct. For more information, please visit onurorkut.com and follow @onurorkut.

Alex Stevens

Editor, Music Teacher and Head of Content (Music), Music & Drama 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 as Head of Content (Music) for the Music & Drama Education Expo. In the past he has worked in a marketing role at arts charity Create and spent three months in Syria as part of the British Council and VSO’s Global Xchange programme. He was also a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, plays the trumpet and piano, and has a degree in Philosophy and Politics from the University of York.

Diane Widdison

National Organiser, Education & Training, Musicians’ Union

Diane Widdison is National Organiser for Education and Training at the Musicians’ Union. Diane was a professional musician and teacher for over 20 years before she joined the MU in 2006 in a new role to develop benefits and services for musicians who teach. Diane’s role also encompasses promoting the importance of health and wellbeing for musicians and in developing a Continual Professional Development programme for members.

Matt Yeoman

Lead Practitioner and Research Lead at Queen's Park High School, Chester

Matt Yeoman is the Lead Practitioner and Research Lead at Queen’s Park High School in Chester, Cheshire with a significant role in the development of teaching and learning and staff skillsets. His interest in innovative practice has enabled him to present at ResearchEd and National Expo’s and he is currently a Specialist Leader in Education for the Cheshire Vale Teaching School Alliance. He is outcome-driven and firmly believes as an arts practitioner that the arts has a pivotal and key role in the shaping of students’ creativity in expression and passion for learning and success.