Panda Players Vocal Competition 2021

Meet The Judges

Chris trained as an actor at the Oxford School of Drama, leaving early to star as Guy Haines in 'Strangers On A Train'. He went on to appear in BBC Radio 4’s production of ‘For The Time Being’ and was in the original cast of 'Cilla the Musical', touring the UK for 18 months. Most recently, Chris starred as Buddy Holly in the 30th Anniversary Tour of 'Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story’, for which he was nominated for ‘Best Leading Role in a Musical’.

Chris Weeks

Sarah Jameson

Sarah trained at ‘Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts’ graduating in 2007.
Sarah’s credits include:
Queen Oceana in THE LITTLE MERMAID (Butlins Skegness) Mrs Seagul in PADDINGTON (Butlins
Skegness) Guest Entertainer in HEADLINERS THEATRE (Britannia, P&O Cruises) Lead Vocalist in PULSE
(Britannia, P&O Cruises) Mrs Darling/Lady of the Lagoon in PETER PAN (Royal Hippodrome,
Eastbourne) Sally Claus in SECRET SANTA (Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne) Fantine in ONE DAY
MORE (UK TOUR) Lead Vocalist in CRYSTAL ROOM (Britannia, P&O Cruises) Guest Cabaret (Britanny
Ferries) Queen of Hearts in ALICE IN WONDERLAND (UK TOUR) Fairy Formidable in BEAUTY AND THE
BEAST (Watersmeet, Rickmansworth) Glinda in WIZARD OF OZ (UK TOUR) Genies in ALADDIN (Grove
Theatre, Dunstable) Mrs Periwinkle/Leggy Peggy in SNOW QUEEN (UK TOUR) Fairy/Cow in JACK AND
THE BEANSTALK (UK TOUR) Fairette in CINDERS THE NEW MUSICAL (UK TOUR) Madame Renault in
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (Loughborough Town Hall) Principal Vocalist in DIVAS LIVE (EUROPEAN TOUR)
Other Credits:
Headline Vocalist in CULTURAL CLASSICS (Sensatori Egypt, Crete, Tenerife) Lead Singer in VARIOUS
BANDS (Warner Leisure Hotels) Guest Soloist in THEY LIVE IN YOU (Bloomsbury Theatre, London)
Semi Finalist on BRITAINS GOT TALENT (Syco)

AJ West

AJ has been involved in theatre and music from a very early age, taking part in Cliveden open air Shakespeare productions, Wycombe Swan Youth Theatre, Youth Projects and Music Centre. As a teenager she was a principal recording vocalist for key stage 2 historical musicals in the Sing It and Say It series. She also took part in several charity concerts with Principals from the Royal Opera House. AJ studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music Drama and gained a BMus(Hons) in vocal studies. While training, she performed with Welsh National Youth Opera both in the pit and on stage. She also studied in Australia and performed extensively while there. Since graduating AJ has taught singing, drama and musical theatre privately and for various stage schools. She has taught for LEAP School of Performing Arts for the past 6 years. She also teaches all woodwind and singing for Bucks Music Trust and plays woodwind in pits for local shows. AJ has been the assistant musical director for the Wycombe Swan youth projects for the past 6 years. She continues to perform, having sung with and arranged for the swing trio 'The sweet Serenades' and the quartet ‘The Belle Tones’. She has also sung in various concerts and cabarets, working with West End MD's and supporting artists including Clare Burt.

Carole King

Carole is delighted to be judging the Panda Players vocal competition having had an
involvement with them for over 20 years as a musical director, rehearsal pianist and musician. Carole has been a pianist and musical director for many shows and companies including Theatre Train at the London Palladium, Tom Owen’s 14 by 3 on tour and East 15 and Mountview Colleges. She has been involved with local projects
such as The Wycombe Swan Youth Project, The Elgiva pantomimes and is a producer for Voice of the Show, a theatre company based in Chesham. Good luck everyone!

Charlotte Medler

I am a friendly Music, Singing, Piano & Voice teacher with 20 years’ experience. I have an undergraduate degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and in 2013 completed a Masters' Degree at GSA in The Practice of Voice and Singing. I have worked for many schools and conservatoires in London and the home counties as well as abroad. I also have my own successful teaching practice- currently online. I am a member of AOTOS and Equity, I am passionate about teaching and ensuring that the students achieve their musical goals no matter whether beginner or professional. In addition to teaching I am also available for LAMDA consultancy and help teachers to set up their own business

Jonathan Carlton

Jonathan trained in Musical Theatre at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, and before then at the National Youth Music Theatre.

Jonathan has gone on to appear in Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre, West End) as Richard Bailey, understudying and playing Charlie Price. During his time there he also was a part of the film of the production which went on to be released worldwide. More recently Jonathan played Charlie Price in the inaugural production on the Norwegian Encore. 

Other credits include Pippin in Pippin (Hope Mill and Southwark Playhouse); Seth Tallentire in The Hired Man (Union); Dick in Dick Whittington (Stahl Theatre, Oundle) and featured soloist in Voice in a Million (arena tour).

Claire Deards

Claire is so excited to be judging in the panda players vocal competition and cannot wait to see everyone’s talents! Claire graduated from The London College of Music a few years ago and went on to perform in Various shows on and off the west end which was such a brilliant experience! However, since then, Claire has since decided that she absolutely loves to teach and now teaches singing and drama classes. She can’t wait to get started, good luck everyone!

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