Lizzy Swinford is a professional musician, teacher and ABRSM Examiner based in Canterbury, Kent. She currently teaches piano, theory and aural at Junior King's School, where she also coaches pupils in the orchestra and often plays percussion in both junior- and senior-school orchestras. She was Musical Director for the junior school's production of Mary Poppins Junior in February 2019 and Assistant Musical Director for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in March 2017. Lizzy also freelances as a private piano and violin teacher and professional percussionist – including being Principal Percussionist for Folkestone Symphony – and has recently worked with both Kent College and Kent University. In March 2017, Lizzy was delighted to be the adjudicator for Gad's Hill School's Spring Music Festival.Lizzy has been an examiner for ABRSM since autumn 2017 and is thoroughly enjoying her work examining all instruments from grades 1 to 8.
After completing a gap year studying percussion at the Royal College of Music, Lizzy studied for a BMus at King's College London with violin and percussion as principal studies. She was also a choral scholar in the world-renowned chapel choir, singing weekly services, making regular broadcasts and touring to countries including the USA and Russia. After her degree, Lizzy went to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich to study for a Masters in orchestral percussion and timpani, where she was awarded the Adam Collins Prize for Advanced Percussionist. She combined this with having a choral scholarship in the Old Royal Naval College Chapel Choir and beginning her freelance career. In 2013 she gained a place on the highly competitive LSO Percussion Academy.
Lizzy began working as a freelance percussionist in 2011 and has since performed with a large number of orchestras around the country. She has also performed on numerous recordings and as the soloist for many concertos with orchestras. Lizzy's percussion teaching began in 2014 at Rugby School and continues to this day.
Whilst at Trinity, Lizzy studied both choral and orchestral conducting with Jonathan Tilbrook and Gregory Rose. She then went on to freelance as a conductor, acting as a dep for amateur choirs across London. She was Musical Director of Take Note Chamber Choir for two years and Assistant MD for the Centenary Company's production of Trial by Jury in 2013. Lizzy went on to conduct two percussion ensembles and an adult band as part of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust and create and conduct a percussion ensemble at Rugby School. As mentioned above, since moving to Canterbury in 2016 Lizzy has been MD and Assistant MD for Junior King's School's middle school shows in 2019 and 2017.
Violin was Lizzy's principal instrument for most of her childhood and she achieved a Distinction at Grade 8 in 2004 and a Diploma in Music Performance in 2008. Since then she has performed alongside other freelance musicians in Rugby Philharmonic as well as with professional orchestras accompanying concerts at Rugby School and Kent College. She was also violinist in the orchestra for Canterbury Operatic Society's production of Oklahoma! in 2018. Lizzy began teaching violin privately in 2013 and continues to this day.
Whilst a choral scholar at both KCL and Trinity Lizzy was fortunate enough to study singing with Bertie Rice and Anita Morrison. After completing her Masters Lizzy went on to freelance as a professional soprano in London, performing with choirs including Siglo de Oro and the Choir of the Guards' Chapel as well as joining the London Chorus for BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night.