Editor of Music Teacher Magazine
Having graduated from the University of York with a degree in English Literature, Harriet joined the Mark Allen Group’s graduate scheme as Assistant Editor of Choir & Organ in September 2019. In September 2020, she became the Assistant Editor of Drama & Theatre and Music Teacher, before becoming Editor of MT in March 2021. Harriet is also a freelance journalist and has written for publications such as the Guardian, VICE UK, Huffington Post and Stylist. She is passionate about championing the brilliant work of arts educators who enable young people from all backgrounds to access creative opportunities.
Editor of Drama & Theatre Magazine
Sarah is the editor of Drama & Theatre magazine, and head of content for the drama stream of the Music & Drama Education Expo. She is also a professional actor and singer, teaches English and Drama, and is a freelance arts and education journalist and editor, writing regularly for the education and training section of The Stage, and editing drama education books for Music Sales, Hal Leonard and Nick Hern Books.
Director of music at Isaac Newton Academy (INA)
Isaac Newton Academy (INA)
Greg Coughlin has been the director of music at Isaac Newton Academy (INA) in Ilford, East London, since the school was founded in 2012. After studying music at Birmingham University and then completing his PGCE and Master’s in Education at Cambridge University, Greg devoted his career to providing a truly inclusive classroom music education for the students of INA. Over the last 10 years, he has grown a pioneering Big Band project which allows all students in Years 4–9 to learn an instrument free of charge as part of their curriculum entitlement.
Head of Programmes at Orchestras for All
Orchestras for All
Donna Edmonds is currently the head of programmes at the charity Orchestras for All. Donna comes to this role following a 22-year career in education as an English and performing arts teacher, senior leader and most recently as a headteacher in SEN settings. Donna has worked with young people from ages 2–19 across multiple settings and sectors and has always been a passionate advocate for the teaching of performing arts in schools. Donna believes that music and drama liberate, unite, heal, inspire, include, and embrace diversity and our unique differences. Donna maintains that access to performing arts should be a cultural entitlement for young people, regardless of their economic status, educational ability, ethnicity, disability, or neuro-divergence.
Royal Northern College of Music
Nate Holder BA (Hons), MMus, is a musician, author, speaker and music education consultant based in London. He is an advocate for decolonising music education and has been speaking, writing and consulting on the subject internationally for the past few years. Nate brings his passion and skill in public speaking into leading CPD training and workshops for schools, hubs and universities, helping address bias and underrepresentation in music classrooms, departments, hubs and boards internationally. He is currently serving as professor and international chair of music education at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has written four books including, I Wish I Didn’t Quit: Music Lessons (2018), and Where Are All the Black Female Composers? (2020).
Freelance Theatre Practitioner
Working as a freelance theatre practitioner for more than 20 years, specialising in SEND provision, Joe has delivered theatre-based projects in SEND settings for the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Z-Arts, The Lowry, Manchester Royal Exchange, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, North West Drama, and for numerous specialist Primary and Secondary schools across the country.
He is a founder member of Touchstone, a charity which specialises in delivering Drama projects to learners with ASC- (Autism Spectrum Condition). www.touchstone.org.uk
Joe is delighted to be joining the judging panel this year for the Music and Drama Education Awards.
Head of Drama and Performing Arts
Tracy Dorrington is Head of Drama and Performing Arts and a Head of Year a senior school in Enfield bringing the power of drama to all her students and enabling them to understand that Drama education isn’t just about becoming an actor or production is also about becoming an accepting, empathetic and well-rounded citizen.
Tracy is also the founder of Drama Matters, a forum for Drama teachers and those within the industry across the country, and indeed across the world, with 4.5k members. Drama Matters is a completely voluntary organisation that is about supporting all and bringing kindness to all, running #TTT’s ‘Talk Theatre Thursdays’ where people from industry and education come together to educate themselves and bring the best for all, and also running free CPD in person at the Drama Matters networking weekend, where there is variety within the CPD given for all, and of course the most important well-being and socialising.
Drama Education Teacher
Keith Burt is passionate about Drama in Education. With 20 years of experience working in Drama Education as a teacher, leader and consultant Keith is committed to the role that Drama has in the curriculum. He believes that every child across the world should have access to Drama in their education. He believes that learning about, and though, Drama has the opportunity to create sustainable social change. He believes that Drama can improve the life chances of everyone. Keith is the author of The Drama Teacher's Handbook: A Guide to Creating and Teaching a Knowledge Rich, Practical and Comprehensive Drama Curriculum.
As a key voice for diversity in the arts Suzann McLean is CEO/Artistic Director of one of the U.K.’s most exciting and innovative theatres where equity, inclusion and representation are embedded into its mission. As an advocate for social change and founder of Young and Talented school of stage and screen, Suzann champions diverse, young talent specifically creating safe spaces where young people can find their authentic voice.
Credits include: Extremism (Theatre Peckham), Driving Miss Daisy (York Theatre Royal), Catcher (Pilot), 2012 Olympic torch bearer in recognition for community commitment. Producer of the Desmond's 30th Anniversary celebration in honour of black British talent.
Founder of Rocksteady Music School
Rocksteady Music School
Mark Robinson is the founder of Rocksteady Music School. Music changed his life when he discovered the electric guitar and playing in bands as a child. He has spent his career so far providing the same opportunity to tens of thousands of 4- to 11-year-olds in the UK, through Rocksteady’s progressive and inclusive approach to music education. He’s passionate about teaching and believes every child should have access to the magic of music and that our goal in education should be to build the whole person, which includes children’s confidence, wellbeing and independence.