Board of Trustees

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Steven Roberts

Steven Roberts

Steven has been a music adjudicator for 12 years; has sat on the Adjudicators Council and in 2017 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

Timothy McCarthy

Timothy McCarthy

Timothy studied Speech & Drama at the Cork School of Music; graduated from the National University of Ireland with an MA Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies and the Higher Diploma in Education; he holds the Post Graduate Certificate in Adjudicating.

He is a member of the examiners panel in Speech, Drama and Communication at Trinity College, London. He runs his own Speech & 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 & 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 & 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, specializing in One Act Play Productions.

Timothy is an Adjudicator-Member and Vice-Chairman of The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech, a member of The Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and the Drama League of Ireland. He is the Director of Cork Feis Maitiú – the Music and Drama Festival in his home City; has adjudicated at Festivals in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Jersey, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. In 2011 he was awarded a Fellowship of The Federation of Festivals for services to the Festival Movement.

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

Keith Lowe

Keith 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 spent many years as the  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.

Paul Hill

Paul 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.

Clara Lane

Having enjoyed playing and touring with choirs and orchestras in her youth at an amateur level, Clara 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. Clara 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!

Elizabeth Childs

Elizabeth Childs

Liz studied Flute with Gareth Morris and Piano with Graeme Humphrey at the RAM and has performed all over the world. Her varied life includes performing with Quintessimo, adjudicating at home and abroad, teaching at home and at the University of East Anglia.

Liz is founder and Musical Director of the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy ( a very recent initiative and is Flute teacher at Beechwood Park School in Markyate, Hertfordshire.

Liz thoroughly enjoys her work as an Adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, regarding it a real privilege to be able to encourage and inspire performers. She believes that a positive experience at a Federation Festival can change a performer’s life forever.

Deborah Norris

Deborah Norris

A graduate of Elmhurst Ballet School, Deborah continued her training at the University College of Ripon and York St John, and completed her MA in Dance Studies at De Montfort University, under the supervision of Ramsay Burt. She then gained a scholarship to study at the Jose Limon Institute of Contemporary Dance, in New York. She has worked internationally as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in both Musical Theatre and Contemporary Dance contexts. Deborah is a Lecturer in Dance at Edge Hill University specialising in teaching Limon-Based Technique and Ballet for Contemporary dancers. As an early career researcher Deborah is a PhD candidate at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, and is exploring narratives in contemporary ballet.

Deborah is a committee member for the Society of Dance Research and a board member and adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, and All England Dance.

Robert MacDonald

Robert participated in festivals from an early age and subsequently has some 30 years’ experience of festival organisation and development.  He was elected chairman of Glasgow Music Festival in 1991, at a time when that festival was embarking on a period of significant growth and change, and continued in that role until 2008.  Shortly afterwards, he was invited to become Honorary President of Glasgow Music Festival and is currently chair of the Federation’s Scottish Forum. 

Robert is a Chartered Accountant and works for one of the UK’s major energy companies.  In what’s left of his spare time, Robert plays cello and piano, goes to concerts and opera, and enjoys sailing.