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Sadly our Treasurer, Jane Firth, died in September 2019. Our Chairman, Peter Macklin, is temporarily taking this role until a replacement can be found for the role.

Jane’s former role managing the stewards has been taken on by our Secretary, Linda Gibson.

Mr Peter Macklin

Peter is a Chartered Accountant by background a More ...

Peter is a Chartered Accountant by background and now that he is semi-retired he has become involved in several local charities and Arts groups.  Apart from being the Chair of DPAF, he is also a past Chair and the current Treasurer of the Shaftesbury Theatre in Dawlish, a Trustee of the Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation and Treasurer of the Devon branch of the Society of Recorder Players.

Peter is a keen amateur musician and has many happy memories of taking part in various music festivals in the Wiltshire area as a child.  Prior to moving to Devon in 1995, he was Secretary of the local Music Festival in Devizes for several years.

Apart from music and theatre, Peter is also a keen sports fan and follower (for his sins) of Torquay United Football Club and Somerset County Cricket Club.

Email 01626 867585
Secretary Ms Linda Gibson RGN RSCN Email 01392 490502
Acting Treasurer

Mr Peter Macklin FCA

Email 01626 867585
Web Editor
Technical Administration

Mr Ashley Allerton BA CQSW

Ashley first became involved in the festival in More ...

Ashley first became involved in the festival in 2002 when he was asked to join a group performing in the festival, never having been involved in festivals before this.

He was impressed by the enthusiasm and talent of those taking part and this led him into closer involvement.

He gradually developed the website and online admin system, based on computer skills developed in later life, after a career in teaching and social work.

He plays various members of the recorder family, and regularly plays in the festival as a member of a recorder group.

Email 07725 093160
Safeguarding Ms Linda Gibson RGN RSCN Email 01392 490502
Trophies Mrs Sue Cousens RGN RSCN Email 01395 708557

Piano, Organ & Other
Keyboard Instruments

Mrs Fiona Austen GMus RNCM PGCE

Fiona Austen studied solo piano at the Royal No More ...

Fiona Austen studied solo piano at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester after studying as a specialist musician at Wells Cathedral School.  Since then she has enjoyed a long and varied career as a music teacher and performer, working in a number of schools throughout the UK and giving recitals in many different venues. 

She is also a harpist, and currently teaches both piano and harp in three local schools as well as privately.  Fiona took part in Music Festivals herself as a child, and has since entered her own pupils for Festivals many times. 

As a passionate teacher, she loves preparing pupils for Festivals and seeing the inspiration they gain from the experience of performing and hearing others perform, sharing a love of music together

Email 07724 903212

Deputy Keyboard
Section Coordinator


Mrs Jo Highley LLB Dip ABRSM

Having been a solicitor in London and Hong Kong More ...

Having been a solicitor in London and Hong Kong for a number of years Jo is now a Suzuki Method piano teacher in the South Hams.  

She has found herself involved in all kinds of music-making over the years including teaching piano and theory, playing in concerts (solo and duet), accompanying, musically directing amateur dramatic productions, playing the organ, leading a gospel choir, singing in a madrigal group and a barbershop quartet and playing double bass in a jazz trio.  

She has found involvement in the Festival to be interesting and fulfilling.

Email 01548 830800

(Strings, Wind, Brass,
Orchestras & Bands)

Mrs Ruth Pitts BMus DipABRSM PGCE

Ruth is a music teacher and freelance musician More ...

Ruth is a music teacher and freelance musician working in the Southwest. She teaches piano and clarinet to a range of ages and abilities, both at home and school. She enjoys preparing pupils for performances and exams, whilst encouraging a sense of fun and creativity in their music-making. She is excited about creating opportunities for young people to perform, especially in environments like the Devon Performing Arts Festival, where they will be built up and enthused for their musical journey.

Ruth studied music at Royal Holloway University of London, specialising in clarinet performance and composition. She also holds a PCGE in primary education from Exeter University, and a diploma in piano performance. Alongside teaching, she regularly performs solo piano in local concerts and recitals, as well as accompanying instrumentalists for performances and exams. 

Email 07933 210 667
Singing Mrs Helen Mountain GMus LTCL PGCE Email 01392 681528

Speech & Drama

Mrs Ann Reed BA(hons) RBTC(dip)

Ann trained at Rose Bruford Training College of More ...

Ann trained at Rose Bruford Training College of Speech and Drama and subsequently obtained a BA (Hons) from the Open University.

She and has taught Speech and Drama at various schools across Devon and has directed numerous Drama productions and Pantomimes over the years.

She has entered many pupils for festivals and has been involved with the Devon Performing Arts Festival for many years, being responsible for the Speech & Drama Section for over 20 years.


Email 01404 850366

Ms Linda Gibson RGN RSCN

Email 01392 490502
Committee Member
Mrs Heather Brooke Email  
Publicity Mrs Tafline Percy Email