Editor, Drama & Theatre and Head of Content (Drama)
Music & Drama Education Expo
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.
Professor Gill Foster
Head of the School of Performance
London South Bank University
Professor Gill Foster is the Head of the School of Performance at London South Bank University where she leads a thriving performing arts department. Gill’s research centres on the role of creative partnerships in developing inclusive, artistic working practices at the intersection of education and professional theatre. Gill has developed a range of innovative creative partnerships with training institutions and theatres, both nationally and internationally, based on a critical, performative pedagogy developed from the methodologies and practice of theatre and drama. Gill combines this approach to pedagogy with her own artistic practice as a director and dramaturg to create numerous learning opportunities for students through a range of unique, interdisciplinary theatre projects.
Gill has worked extensively in China, Europe, the US and in Canada and in 2018, was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of her work in developing transformative outcomes for students.
In 2020 she was thrilled to be awarded the Music and Drama Award for Drama Inspiration
National Association for the Teaching of Drama
Liam Harris is the current Chair of the National Association for the Teaching of Drama, having held the position since 2014. Liam graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama before completing his PGCE at the Institute of Education, London. He was the Artistic Director of Bridges Arts Group for 6 years, working predominantly with refugees and asylum seekers using drama and theatre. Liam is also currently the Head of Drama at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex, having previously worked as a teacher of English and Drama in inner city London.
Coombe Boys’ School
Samantha is an Assistant Headteacher leading the Performing Arts at Coombe Boys’ School, Kingston and has been teaching for 19 years. In 2012 she became the AST for Drama in the Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames and in 2014 a Lead Practitioner. She trained at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.
Samantha and her team won the Outstanding School Drama Department award in 2020
Director of Music
Treloar school and College
Jocelyn Watkins is the Director of Music at Treloar school and College and been teaching there since 2008.
Following training at the RCM junior department, Jocelyn studied music as part of her general arts degree at Edinburgh university. After completing her PGCE she worked in a mainstream setting before joining Treloar’s. In 2013 Jocelyn won the Classic FM SEND music teacher of the year and in 2010 completed her MA in Music Education and Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Jocelyn is currently working with NASS in their incubator programme to produce an innovation around music and assessment in an SEND setting. Jocelyn sees music as an act of communication that can reach out to everyone, and that should be accessible to all.
Norton’s work started in the late 1980’s with the Brighton Rock summer school which became a BBC Radio 1 event, his work as music education co-ordinator on the BPI/MU/Radio 1 Sound City festivals, and his book on the music business, ‘The Rock File’ for Oxford University Press.
Norton’s first university lectureship led to establishing the UK’s first rock and pop foundation course which inspired the creation of RSL Awards and the world’s first grade exams for rock guitar and drums and for bass guitar as an instrument. Since 1991, RSL has grown to awarding qualifications in nearly 50 countries, and has
expanded our portfolio to include music production and theory, vocational qualifications taken by stars such as Ed Sheeran, as well as exams in piano, keyboards, vocals and ukulele.
He wrote the world’s first commercial music degree at University of Westminster, where he subsequently became chair of music, film and fashion by the late 1990’s. In this role he developed graduate recruitment schemes in partnership with EMI, Universal and Sony, and worked with leading music figures as external examiners (Dave Stewart and Stephen Warbeck), course tutors (Keith Harris and Mykael Riley) and course advisers (Horace Trubridge, John Kennedy) amongst many others.
Vice Principal and Director of Music
Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Jonathan joined the Guildhall School as Director of Music in 2007. His role was enhanced in 2014 when he was also appointed Vice-Principal. After studying double bass and piano at the Royal College of Music, Jonathan worked with most of Britain’s major orchestras and opera companies. Alongside his performance work he gained valuable experience as a teacher and music educator. Jonathan is a former Chairman of the London Symphony Orchestra and was a playing member of the LSO for ten years. He became CEO and Director of the National Youth Orchestra in 2002 before taking up his current post. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded Fellowship of the Guildhall School in 2015. He has been a Governor and board member for many arts organisation and currently sits on the Young Classical Artist Trust and the Mendelssohn Boise Scholarship Foundation. Jonathan lives in Wiltshire with his wife, three children and one sadly neglected double bass.
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).
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.
Head of Drama and Performing Arts and a Head of Year - senior school in Enfield
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 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.
Young & Talented
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 & 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.
Editor Music Teacher
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.