Irene Grant-Jones BA(Hons) LRAM QTS
Adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Music Festivals
I began my interest in singing at the age of 3 and studied singing at the RNCM at 18 whilst still a pupil at Rhyl High School in N Wales. I won the open soprano class at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in the same year before starting my studies at the Royal Academy of Music where I won the Parepa Rosa prize for singing.
I have divided my career between professional singing engagements, teaching singing, adjudicating and school teaching.
My singing work covers opera and oratorio as well as solo recitals, solos at weddings and funerals. I was the soloist Bedford Proms in the Park with the London Gala orchestra one year and my performance of the Strauss ‘Four Last Songs’ in my own English translation has received critical acclaim.
I am currently compiling a book on voice production and teaching, and enjoy leading vocal and choral workshops where my master classes and adjudications have been hugely welcomed.
My CD ‘Handle With Care’ raises money for the ‘Utange Orphanage’ in Kenya. I am equally at home in the contemporary scene as with the classics, and was soloist in Will Todd’s ‘Mass in Blue’ with Bedford Choral society. I have performed many of the famous show songs.
I have a degree drama, dance and English cultural studies which has underpinned my interest in writing poems, over 300 to date from serious to humorous topics. My book of poems ‘A Voice in Africa’ was published in 2015.
Many of my singing pupils have gone on to study music at a specialist performing arts institution or place of higher education, and then on to a career in music. My approach to vocal tuition relates closely to the method I use when adjudicating at music festivals, often with spontaneous demonstrations and mini master-classes. I hope that most pupils and performers have a lasting love of singing.
Many of my pupils have gone on to a career in music or music teaching. Most, I hope, still remember how to enjoy singing later in life.
Adjudicating at music festivals has become a major part of my business. As one festival chairman wrote of my recent visit...
"This adjudicator .......... gave exceedingly sound judgement on the performers, pointing out many details which would enhance future performance. .... and called back on stage two children's choirs to speak to them collectively and to re-sing some of their lines. Her instructions on technique were instantly noticeable in their response, in both cases. Valuable help to choirs. Good choice! Book her again for next year - YES!'
Festivals adjudicated at so far are:
Leicester, Gorlestone, Hatfield, Darlington, Oundle, Isle of Wight, Suffolk, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Thanet, Northfield, Worcester, Fareham, Chelmsford ................