Board of Trustees

Chair of The Board of Trustees

Steven Roberts MEd,BA(Hons),CertEd,BBCM,CMS

Steven Roberts has been a music adjudicator for 12 years; has sat on the Adjudicators Council and in 2013 was re-elected for his second term of office to the Board of Trustees. He is a busy professional; conducting, teaching and lecturing. He brings with him experience as a manager, knowledge of quality systems, business acumen and many years of leading change.

He has successfully combined a career in education with his work as a conductor, musical director and adjudicator, working both in this country and in Europe and as far a field as Peru and Bahrain.

Steven has conducted numerous concerts throughout this country but also in Germany, France, Italy and the Czech Republic and with a variety of Choirs, ensembles and orchestras, winds bands and brass bands.

He studied piano, brass and voice and has worked in a variety of musical settings. He has worked alongside actors and dancers on many projects and is keen to support the work of the Federation to maximise opportunities for performance. He enjoys working with his colleagues on the Board and the wider community of volunteers that help to keep our Festivals vibrant.

Having previously held the post of Director of External Relations at Barnsley College he has excellent communication skills and enjoys collaborative working.

Vice Chair of The Board of Trustees


Tim McCarthyTimothy McCarthy studied Speech and Drama at the Cork School of Music, taking both Teachers and Performers Diplomas.  He graduated from the National University of Ireland with a primary degree in Economics and Sociology and a Masters Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies. He holds the post graduate Certificate in Adjudicating.

He has a lifetime involvement with the Festival Movement as a Performer, Teacher, Festival Steward, Secretary, Administrator and Director. For over 20 years he is the lead organiser at his local Festival where he is responsible for management, finance and funding, artistic matters and strategic planning. He was Secretary of the former Republic of Ireland Regional Forum.

He is a member of the examiners panel in Speech, Drama and Communication at Trinity College, London.  He runs his own Speech and Drama Studio, where he teaches all aspects of the subject. He is the Drama Director at the annual International Youth Camp Festival of Music, Dance and Drama, Sri Lanka. He works closely with the Irish National Council for the Blind, recording audio books for its members. He conducted Teacher Training Courses in Speech and Drama in Kuala Lumpur, Colombo and at his own Studio in Cork. He led a number of workshops for English teachers in Bangkok, Malacca and Sri Lanka using Speech and Drama pedagogy as a means of teaching English. He has given training courses for Church Ministers and directed an Adult Drama Company for ten years, specialising in One Act Play Productions.

Timothy is an Adjudicator-Member, Fellow and serving Vice-Chairman of the Federation as well as a member of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and the Drama League of Ireland. He has adjudicated at a variety of Festivals in Ireland, UK and overseas.

Honorary Treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees

John Logan

John’s links to the festival movement began first as a parent, later managing the finances of his wife’s dance school, and subsequently as a member, and Secretary, of his local festival committee; where he gained experience in the organisation and running of festivals.  Since January 2013 he has been a member of the Board of Trustees, and was elected Honorary Treasurer in October 2014.

His background in the finance and banking sector provides a further dimension to the range of skills that exist within the Board of Trustees.  Following early retirement from work he maintains a keen interest in the voluntary sector, and in addition to his work with the Federation he acts as a volunteer advocate for local charities.

Members of the Board of Trustees

Liz Childs GRSM(Hons),LRAM

Liz ChildsLiz regards it as a real privilege to sit on the Board of The British and International Federation of Festivals.  She happens to be a busy adjudicator travelling far and wide and has a particularly strong interest in the educational benefits of ‘performing’, something upon which she talks and writes a great deal about. Liz hopes to bring the wealth of her own performing, teaching and particularly adjudicating knowledge to the Board table and beyond and hopes to help create, form and debate relevant issues which may influence the future of the organisation. Liz has a fairly rigorous teaching schedule involving all ages and abilities and feels that this can be used to good advantage. Liz regards herself as both a proactive and a ‘people person’ and enjoys networking and meeting new people.

Paul Hill

Paul Hill spent his working life in passenger transport, serving for over 20 years as Managing Director of a large bus company in Lincolnshire. Under Paul’s leadership, the company moved from a parlous financial state to solid profitability and won awards for innovative transport solutions in rural areas. Alongside that, he has been a lifelong performer in both music and speech and drama disciplines and took part for many years in the Lincoln Festival. In 2006, he became Chairman of the Lincoln Music and Drama Festival and feels extremely fortunate to be able to indulge his passion for the arts in a constructive role. He was invited to join the Board of Trustees of The British and International Federation of Festivals at the beginning of 2013, and brings to the table sound business knowledge as well as the experience and enthusiasm of running a successful Festival.

Keith Lowe

KeIMG_3965 (2)ith is an Information Technology Business Consultant with a specialist, Cheshire based, Digital Computerisation Company utilising Robotic Process Automation (RPA).  He was previously the Business development Director of a small lighting design and supply company.  He is an expert in performance improvement methodologies and was previously a Management Consultant with a London based Consultancy offering performance related products and services to the Public Sector.  Prior to that, he was Deputy Head of IT within the aerospace industry spending two years based in Toulouse, France.  For the previous 20 years Keith was both an IT Consultant running his own company and permanently employed within the IT industry, five years of which was spent as an IT consultant based in Brussels, Belgium.

Keith is separated, lives in Alderley Edge, and has five children. He is currently Chairman of the highly prestigious Alderley Edge Music Speech and Drama Festival, is a Governor of The Alderley Edge School for Girls, sits on the Alderley Edge Parish Plan Committee and the Cheshire Police Authority Citizens Panel, and is a trustee and committee member of the Alderley Edge Institute.  Having been elected in October 2015, Keith is proud to be a Board Member and Trustee of The British and International Federation of Festivals.

Clara Lane B.A, M.A

Clara is honoured to join the British and International Federation of Festivals as a new trustee. Having enjoyed playing and touring with choirs and orchestras in her youth at an amateur level, she is keen to further an appreciation for the arts to anyone who is willing to give them a go. Participating and having access to the arts is an enriching experience which she is proud to support. Having grown up in Rome, she hopes to add some Italian flair, while her professional background brings additional breadth to the Board of Trustees. She has significant experience of financial markets working in investment banking and asset management in London and New York, and more recently in financial regulation. She hopes to bring useful skills, as well as a huge enthusiasm, to the festival movement!

Deborah Kate Norris, MA, BA Hons, A.I.S.T.D.

Deborah has been a Dance Adjudicator since 2009 for the British and International Federation  of Festivals, and All England Dance. She has been Dance Deputy for Adjudicators Council for the past four years.

Deborah completed her vocational training at Elmhurst Ballet School. After gaining a BA Hons at the University College of Ripon and York St John, and her MA in Dance Studies at De Montfort University, she completed her training at the Jose Limon Contemporary Dance Institute in New York. She has worked internationally as a dancer, teacher and choreographer.

Deborah is currently a lecturer at Edge Hill University, for the BA (Hons) Dance and Musical Theatre programmes. She teaches at Centre Pointe Studios, Manchester, having written and co-founded their three year vocational programme. Deborah also works as an independent dance artist and is currently engaging in scholarly research (PHD) in Contemporary/Modern Ballet.

She was recently selected by Dance UK to be mentored as part of their dance leaders mentoring scheme and has been closely supervised by Amanda Britton (Director Rambert School) focusing on dance pedagogy, and the current state of dance training, and dancers graduate success in the UK.

Deborah brings a wealth of experience in dance education, training and performance, and is highly proactive in sustaining the traditions of the Federation whilst supporting new possibilities to develop its outreach and visibility for the future.