Hastings International Music Festival- Board of Trustees

Hastings International Music Festival is the operating name of Hastings Musical Festival Ltd. It is the governing body of Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition and Hastings Musical Festival.

Board of Trustees

Acting Chair:Lesley Moore, Pauline Ash, Brenda Bailey, Roland Garrad, David Kowitz, Sarah Kowitz DL, Emily Segal, Dr Richard Wray DL.

Board of Trustees


Lesley Moore (Acting Chair)

Lesley was appointed to the Hastings Musical Festival Executive in 2013, after winning the Singing Gold Medal and then working as the Singing Section Secretary for six years.

She spent over 10 years as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, before taking a career break to bring up her children (three of whom competed regularly in the Festival). During this time she took on many local voluntary roles on health care and education committees, including as Chair of Governors at Glenleigh Park Primary Academy. She is now a Project Director at the Competition and Markets Authority.

Lesley was Chair of Battle Light Opera Group for five years, and still performs regularly in operas, operettas and recitals with several local groups.

She has a degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University, a Masters in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Dip ABRSM in Singing Performance.


Sarah Kowitz DL

Sarah Kowitz moved with her family to Hastings from New York in 2004 and has been involved with a number of community issues ever since. Born and educated in London, she graduated from the faculty of English and American Studies at the University of East Anglia in 1984 and then trained as a reporter at the Kent and Sussex Courier. She later worked in Hong Kong as the Education Editor of the Hong Kong Standard.

She is a member of the board of the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, the board of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, and is Head Govenor of Ark Little Ridge School, Hastings.


David Kowitz

David Kowitz is a Managing Partner and Founder of Indus Capital Partners and has more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry. Mr. Kowitz, a Chartered Financial Analyst, graduated from Brown University in 1985 with a degree in English literature.

Mr. Kowitz is a member of the Board of Riverkeeper, a New York-based environmental organization, the Board of Trustees of Pax, an organization working on the problem of gun violence in the US , and the Board of Global Fund for Children (UK), which provides funding for local children’s welfare organizations in over 60 countries. He is married with two children, and resides in East Sussex, United Kingdom.

Brenda Bailey


Pauline Ash

Pauline has run her own very successful school in Hastings, Laton Ash Dance Centre for 44 years. Pupils’ ages range from 2½yrs to adult. Former students are performing worldwide in cabaret, shows and cruise ships; several run their own dance schools.

Her initial training was with Miss Phyllis Godfrey in Hastings, the Royal Ballet School and the Benesh Institute of Choreology; studying such diverse genres as: Indian, Mime, Historical, Folk, Contemporary, Ballet, Pas de Deux, Repertoire, Anatomy, Kinesiology and Music. She holds Fellowship status with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance in both Modern and Tap genres and Licentiate status in Ballet. She has been an Examiner in both the UK and Internationally for almost 30 years.

As a professional dancer and choreographer she has worked at many prestigious venues including the London Palladium, but her first stage appearance was at the White Rock Theatre in 1954 aged 4, as a chicken!



Roland Garrad

Roland is a Chartered Civil Engineer and worked in Local Government for 32 years. He was the Borough Meteorologist in Hastings for 24 years. He has been involved in over 100 local amateur dramatics productions spanning 50 years. He started with the Hastings Musical Festival as a volunteer in 2000 and was elected as a Director in November 2003. He wrote a book on the history of the Festival in 2007. He continues to act as a Platform Steward and takes a leading role in respect of the Special Trophies presented at the end of the Festival.

Emily Segal

Emily began playing the piano at the age of 5. She attended the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Christopher Elton, winning many major prizes whilst there. After receiving scholarships from the Countess of Munster and Martin Foundation, Emily continued her studies at the Rubin Academy, Tel Aviv with Arie Vardi. Whilst there she performed a concerto with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. After completing her studies, Emily reached the semi-final of the Clara Haskill International Competition and attended masterclasses in Banff, Canada.

She has played in many of the UKs best known concert venues including the Wigmore Hall, QEH, Barbican, Bridgewater Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. She has also performed in many other countries including Canada, Australia, Spain and Germany. Emily has recorded for the BBC and German radio.

In 2002, alongside her husband, conductor Pete Selwyn, Emily started the Nuremberg International Chamber Music Festival, which has attracted some of the world’s greatest chamber musicians and singers over the last 15 years.

In 2005, Emily decided to swap the concert platform for the classroom! She began her teaching career at Forest Hill Boys in South East London and after only 2 years was offered Head of Department at a large comprehensive in Harrogate. She spent 8 years here, growing the department into one of the most successful in the country with outstanding A level, BTEC and GCSE results. For the last year, Emily has been Secondary Music Specialist for the Ark network of 35 schools in disadvantaged areas in London, Hastings, Birmingham and Portsmouth.


Dr Richard Wray DL

Dr Richard Wray trained as a Consultant Cardiologist and General Physician and worked for many years mainly in Hastings and at Kings College Hospital in London. Whilst working he noted how much appropriate music helped those in hospital, and so established the live music programme at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings which became one of the largest in any UK NHS hospital. A particular feature is the Young Musician in Residence programme. Richard is also a Patron of the Young Classical Artists Trust which prepares young gifted potential international musicians for their future careers. Richard Wray works with and supports the East Sussex Schools Music Service and is a  Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex.