Meet the Adjudicators

We are very lucky at our festival to have a diverse and highly regarded range of adjudicators. Whether you are interested in singing, instrumental or speech and drama classes, you can be sure of a well-informed adjudication that will allow you to progress in your specialism. Have a read below to find out more about who will be adjudicating your class in June…


Bernard Docherty, Strings

Bernard Docherty has recently been appointed as Head of Strings at The High School of Glasgow. Bernard is a prizewinning violin graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and for eighteen years, was Co-Leader of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. A former member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, he was a pioneer of the SCO’s ‘Schools Development’ programme. He also led the String Quartet, “Quartz” – well known for their innovative arrangements and up-beat presentations. Bernard has gained a reputation as a leading String coach, his main successes being: the strings of the EYO; the RCS Junior and Senior Orchestras and various chamber ensembles. He is also in demand as a specialist assessor and adjudicator for many instrumental competitions and prominent music festivals.


John Grant, Recorder & Woodwind

Following a long and successful career as a professional flautist and teacher, during which he held positions in The Hallé Orchestra, Scottish Opera, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and The Royal Scottish Academy of Music (now The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), John Grant is now much in demand as a conductor and music educator. He is currently conductor of the orchestras of both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities and has directed a wide range of professional and youth ensembles, including the National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland (now the NYOS Junior Orchestra). John continues to work extensively with the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, both as an ensemble coach and woodwind adviser. He has also recently been involved the planning and delivery of number of innovative cross-genre projects for young musicians in the West of Scotland, providing coaching, rehearsal and performance facilities, and composing workshops.


Lauren McColl

Traditional music Black Isle born Lauren MacColl is regarded as one of the most expressive fiddle players of her generation. Her background learning music through the Feisean movement nurtured a deep understanding for old traditional material. She currently performs with fiddle quartet RANT, song-trio Salt House and with singer Rachel Newton. In 2017 she was commissioned to write a suite of music based on the life and prophecies of the Brahan Seer, music which was released as an album ’The Seer’, and led to a nomination for Composer of the Year in the Scots Trad Awards. Lauren is much demand for fiddle workshops and lessons across the country, runs the Black Isle Fiddle Weekend in Cromarty, and continues to teach at the Junior dept. of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


Lisa Milne, Vocal

Lisa Milne was born in Aberdeen. She was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2005. She was also awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon’s University. In opera, her appearances have included Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and Pamina, Marzelline (Fidelio), Micäela (Carmen) and the title roles in Rodelinda and Theodora at the Glyndebourne Festival. Concert highlights have included appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic with Rattle, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with Gergiev and the New York and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras with Harding.


Alan MacLean, Piano

Alan MacLean, a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, received the award for the most outstanding student in his final year. Further study followed with internationally renowned pianists, including Karl Schnabel. Principally a pianist, Alan studied violoncello and singing, and also conducting with David Lumsden. Alan is much in demand as a chamber musician, having played with many of the UK’s leading instrumentalists. After twenty years as Head of Keyboard Studies at the Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Alan left to explore a number of musical projects. He travels extensively giving masterclasses, speaking and adjudicating regularly at a wide range of music events throughout the UK and overseas.


Andrew Nunn, Choral

Andrew Nunn was a prize winning student at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he gained an MMus in both Performance and Conducting. Since 2012 he has been Director of Choirs at the RCS Junior Conservatoire where he has developed a choral programme of five choirs for students age 7-18. The choirs have seen much success including collaborations with the BBC SSO. Andrew lectures in both Kodály Musicianship and conducting. He is the director and founder of the highly acclaimed Les Sirènes female choir, he works regularly with the National Youth Choir of Scotland, and in July 2017 directed them in Ypres for three events to commemorate the battle of Passchendaele, which were televised live on BBC 1 and BBC 2. Outwith RCS, Andrew is in much demand as a freelance conductor and choir director and has prepared choirs for Scottish Opera, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Aberdeen International Youth Festival and Haddo Arts Festival.

Thérèse Williams, Speech & Drama

Thérèse is a voice and drama specialist coaching both students and professionals of all ages, many of whom have appeared in films, commercials, television, and on stage in London’s West End. She is a council member of The Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and an international examiner and adjudicator for New Era Academy. Thérèse runs courses in ‘Speaking with Confidence’ for professionals. She has worked on operas for inner city schools, culminating in performances at the children’s Unicorn Theatre in London. Thérèse’s work as a voice over artist includes playing various characters for a series of audio books. She enjoys being head judge for the Rock Challenge UK. This encourages children to work together towards live competitive performances in the arts in a safe environment. Her involvement with the Festival movement spans over forty years and she was recently Chair of the Speech and Drama Committee for her local festival. She is looking forward to adjudicating at the Aberdeen festival.


Nigel Durno. Brass

Nigel Durno, from Aberdeen, studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama and Jordanhill College of Education in Glasgow, after which he quickly established himself as a freelance musician. Nigel gained an Open University degree and went on to study with some of the finest music educators. Nigel introduced the European Wind Band Festival to Glasgow in the 1980s and the annual conference of the British Association of Symphonic Bands & Wind Ensembles to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in 1990, creating three scholarships for conductors to study in America. He has commissioned several major composers to write works for symphonic wind ensemble including Carl Davis, Martin Dalby, James McMillan and Frank Ticheli. In 1992 Nigel was appointed Principal Teacher of Music at Stewarton Academy where he developed one of the strongest school band instrumental programmes in the UK. In 2009 he created the annual Scottish Concert Band Festival, with four Regional Festivals and a National Final in Perth Concert Hall. This Festival provides performance opportunities to approximately two and a half thousand musicians drawn from almost fifty bands from across Scotland. Nigel works frequently as an in-service Lecturer in Music education, an adjudicator and a Visiting Assessor for the Scottish Qualifications Authority.


For more information about the classes that you can enter and receive adjudication in, check out our syllabus with a beautiful new cover design. They are available for £2 from Top Note/Morgan’s Music Shop or for £2 plus postage, by emailing us at with your name and address. It will also be available online very soon once our new website is up and running.

Make sure all your entries are in by the 23rd of March so you don’t miss out on performing this June!



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