Speech & Drama 2021 syllabus now available

We are delighted to announce that Springboard Festival will take place during weekends in Feb/March 2021, but in the current circumstances it has been decided to do this virtually, via Zoom.

The Speech & Drama syllabus for the Springboard 2021 Virtual Festival is now available here. You will find most of the usual classes are still on offer, but we have added some new ones specially devised for this virtual festival.

Most classes will involve entrants providing pre-recorded performances, which will be played to the other participants, their supporters and the adjudicator via a secure Zoom link. Some virtual classes, such as Improvisation will, with a bit of technical wizardry, take place ‘live’.

NEW CLASSES: The Oral Communication classes invite students to give a persuasive, challenging and entertaining presentation. And in the Audio Book Characterisation classes they have the opportunity to bring a story to life for their audience by vividly voicing the different characters involved.

The deadline for entry for Speech & Drama is 6 DECEMBER 2020.

The music syllabuses will be published shortly, with an entry deadline in late January, as usual.

Springboard Virtual AGM – Thursday 17 September

This is to let you know that we are fully intending to hold Springboard 2021 – either as a physical (though probably socially distanced) festival, or as a virtual festival. Further details will be given at the (online) AGM, at 7.30pm on Thursday 17 September. See formal notice here.
If you would like to attend the virtual AGM, please email Kathy Palmer. She will email you an agenda and Zoom link on 10 September. It would be lovely to see some familiar faces.
Please note that in order to vote at the AGM you need to be a Springboard Member, but the good news is that this is open to anyone who supports Springboard. If you would like to become a member, email me, Sue Goodacre, on by 31 August and she will email you details and a form to fill in and return. (If you cannot print out the form and therefore need a copy posted to you, please give your postal address.)

We all look forward to seeing you there.


Timetables for all sections have been emailed to entrants.  If yours is not in your inbox please check your spam folder.  If you experience any other problems please contact Kathy Palmer, our administrator.


Brighton performance for former Springboard winner

St Luke’s Church, Friday 29th November: Juan Pablo Hinojosa – piano

Mexican pianist and Bechstein scholar Juan Pablo Hinojosa makes his St. Luke’s debut performing music by Russian masters Scriabin and Medtner, Debussy’s Images Book 1 and Beethoven’s sonata op. 109.

Juan Pablo Hinojosa is a Mexican pianist currently studying his master’s degree at the Royal College of Music, where he is a Bechstein scholar. He started his pianistic studies under Margarita Mandioni in Queretaro, Mexico in 2005. At the age of 16 he moved to the UK to study in the East Sussex Academy of Music under Rachel Fryer. During this time, he won, two years in a row, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively in several categories of the Springboard Festival. In September 2014, Juan Pablo started studying for an undergraduate degree at the Royal College of Music, taught by Prof. Gordon Fergus-Thompson, also undertaking composition as a second study under Prof. Alison Kay. There he was an RCM Award Holder generously supported by an Evelyn Tarrant Scholarship and a Pamela Larkin Award. He has performed throughout Mexico and the UK, and his currently studying with Prof. Dina Parakhina. In 2020 he is scheduled to perform Medtner in Moscow Conservatory’s Great Hall.

To view the programme please click here.

Friday 29th November 2019 7.30pm 
St. Luke’s Church, Queen’s Park Road, BN2 9ZB
Admission: £7, £5 under 25s, free to under 16s.
Tickets available on the door. Wine and refreshments served. Disabled access.

New singing competition

Dame Felicity Lott Recital Competition:

We are pleased to announce a new competition providing exciting opportunities and prizes for all singers aged 18 years or over, whose principal source of income does not derive from professional solo singing.

Discretionary prizes include possible performance opportunities with Brighton Youth Orchestra, a lunchtime recital at Brighton Unitarian Church, and coaching sessions with Yvonne Patrick, Gary Matthewman, Lesley Anne Sammons, John Hancorn and Dame Felicity Lott herself.

More information on all singing classes and a downloadable syllabus are available here.

Catching up with Brenock O’Connor

Mandy Winder, Speech & Drama Section Secretary writes:

I just happened to be listening to my local Radio Station (Radio Sussex) this September, when my ears pricked up. I knew that voice – it was the lovely Becci Whiteley (The Theatre Workshop and West End Experience Creative Director and Springboard Speech and Drama Teacher).

Brenock O’Connor (centre) at Springboard with a Theatre Workshop Group in 2014

She was being interviewed with Brenock O’Connor – some of you may remember him as one of Becci’s students. Continue reading “Catching up with Brenock O’Connor”

Opportunity to hear Springboard winners perform

Riya Hamie, winner of Springboard’s under 14s Concerto Competition 2019, accompanied by her sister, Berniya (winner of Springboard’s under 19s Concerto Competition and Senior Piano Championship 2019).

Berniya Hamie, winner of Springboard’s under 19s concerto section and Senior Piano Championship 2019, will be performing in the Elgar Room of the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 10 November.  Her programme will include works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Ravel.  For more details please use this link.

Berniya and her sister Riya (winner of Springboard’s under 14s concerto section) will also be playing in Brighton at the Chapel Royal on Tuesday 5 November.  Details here.