SingFest 2012

Frankie Armstrong

Dessislava Stefanova
Lauren McCormick
Matt Norman
Anna Tabbush
Mike Simpson
Nonny Tabbush Carter



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of the tutors to view their biogs

Frankie ArmstrongFrankie Armstrong, the godmother of Natural Voice Practitioners, has been teaching singing workshops for nearly 40 years. She has released 9 solo albums, lectured in the UK, Australia and North America, contributed chapters to 11 books and written an autobiography. Her passion for the traditional styles of singing in the British Isles and around the world makes for joyful and inspiring workshops.

Dessi StevanovaDessislava Stefanova grew up singing the songs of her native Bulgaria. Already an experienced international performer by age 18, she went on to become a professional singer with the renowned Philip Koutev Bulgarian National Folk Ensemble. Since 2000 she has been working in the UK performing in various art forms, recording film soundtracks and delivering workshops. She is founder and leader of the London Bulgarian Choir.


Anna Tabbush is a singer, composer, conductor and Singfest festival director. She has taught on the past five Singfests and is back this year to warm-up our voices each morning. Anna runs community choir Guildford Vox and, among other projects, singing masterclasses, focussing on harmony and performance technique.
Matt Norman is a freelance community musician hailing from Devon with his roots in the singing traditions of England. He runs two youth choirs and has an extensive background teaching workshops and community education projects for organisations such as the Wren Music and Shooting Roots. He is also an awesome mandolin player.

Lauren McCormick is an experienced teacher and workshop leader.

Having studied vocal skills in both classical and traditional genres she is well acquainted with the issues that affect singers of all styles. She has studied with singers such as Sandra Kerr, Chris Coe, Alyth McCormack, John Kirkpatrick, Joy Nicol and Carolyn Robson of The Voices Foundation.

Her singing lessons and workshops focus on repertoire development, technical vocal issues in relation to using the voice, and developing your own voice and sound. Her workshops usually emphasise the importance of developing the skill of learning by ear, integral to traditional music, but of vital importance in developing listening skills and general musicianship.

Running this year's Carnival Rhythms workshop we have Mike Simpson, Musical Director of world music workshop company Inspire-works. After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 1999 where he studied percussion, African drumming, conducting and composition, he spent an intensive year studying gamelan in Bali with Tjokorda Raka Suastika of Ubud Royal family.
Mike co-founded Inspire-works in 2002 with his wife Jacqui where they oversee a team of workshop facilitators who deliver African drumming, Brazilian samba, Balinese gamelan and Caribbean steel pans workshops to approximately 40,000 young people each academic year.

For further information about Mike and Inspire-works please visit or follow Mike on Twitter .

(Mike is replacing Ollie Tumner who has unfortunately had to pull out).
And hosting this year's Saturday night open mic session we haveJay Carter. Jay has become a keen singer studying vocals with the late great 'Roger Kain' and more recently 'Line Hilton' .

The biggest crowd to date he has played to has been 10 thousand and touring continues to provide opportunities to play his music in many new places to many new people. Jay has toured America, The Caribbean, Albania, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, France, Italy and a great deal of the uk.

He has also recorded 2 albums and 2 EP's, some of those tracks have been played on BBC National Radio and Triple J Radio in Australia.

Nonny Tabbush did her degree in Ceramics at the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff, where she specialised in Ceramic Sculpture. Since then she has continued to practice in Ceramic sculpture and has also become an oil painting portrait artist.

Since leaving university she has run many family pottery and youth craft workshops including several Forever Young Pottery workshop and also Forever Young Craft workshops at the West End Centre in Aldershot.

During the summer she leads workshops in craft for 12 to 25 year olds through an organisation called Shooting Roots at folk festivals. Here they create large beasts and props for the theatre workshop's performance. She has also run children's workshops in Craft through an organisation called Folk South West. Her biggest claim to fame however, is being related to the fabulous Anna Tabbush.

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