Hattie Fisk

Editor of Drama & Theatre

Hattie Fisk is the editor of Drama & Theatre magazine and co-chair of the judging panel for the Music & Drama Education Awards. She has previously worked on Music Teacher magazine and assisted at the Music & Drama Education Expo 2021 and 2022.

Phil Croydon

Editor of Music Teacher Magazine

Phil holds the position of Editor at Music Teacher magazine and boasts an impressive editorial background, having previously served as Editor at the New Grove Dictionary, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and Oxford University Press. In his tenure at Oxford University Press, he played a pivotal role in overseeing music commissioning, particularly within the education sector. Additionally, Phil is a skilled pianist and brings to the table valuable experience as a former class music teacher.

Dr Steve Ball

Birmingham Arts School and the Drama and Theatre Education Alliance

Dr Steve Ball is the director of Birmingham Arts School and chair of the Drama and Theatre Education Alliance. He has taught in schools and universities in the UK, Spain and Australia, was the founding artistic director of The Play House, Head of Arts for Birmingham City Council and associate director at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Natalie Clarke

London Bubble Theatre Company

From large-scale public festivals to small in-school performances, Natalie has over 15 years of experience producing creative projects and arts events for children and young people. She loves nothing better than seeing creative ideas brough to life and watching young people leave a space proud of their achievements and inspired to take the next step. Natalie is the Young People’s Programme Producer at London Bubble Theatre Company – a group that won the Outstanding Drama Initiative MDE Award last year for its ‘Playing Safe’ project.

Nathaniel Dye

Nelson Primary School

Nathaniel leads music at Nelson Primary School, which won ‘Outstanding School Music Department’ at the MDEA in 2023 (the school runs five choirs, a 50-piece orchestra, two rock bands and a Carnatic music programme). A trombonist, he leads the Newham Music Jazz Collective. He is in demand as a speaker.

Rachel Hawker

Rocksteady Music School

Rachel Hawker is director of education for Rocksteady Music School, who teaches over 40,000 primary school children to play music in a band every week. An experienced speaker at high-profile educational events, she also works closely with children’s charities and organisations across the UK to help make music more accessible to every child.

Ruth McPherson

Independent Society of Musicians

Ruth is head of marketing and charity development at the Independent Society of Musicians (ISM). She is an experienced charity and membership professional and a passionate advocate of music education and the creative arts. Ruth is Associate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a steering- group member of Make Music Day UK, and an ex-Trustee of the Music Education Council.

Alison Mears

Guildhall Young Artists and Safeguarding

Alison has worked at Guildhall School for over 20 years in several management roles and is currently Director of Guildhall Young Artists and Safeguarding. She is currently a member of the Council at the Arts Council of Wales and sits on the Education Committee of the London Music Fund.

Michael Pearce

Music & Drama Education Expo and Music Teacher Magazine

Michael is assistant editor at Music Teacher magazine and head of music content for the 2024 Music & Drama Education Expo. After studying clarinet and attending the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Academy of Music, he established a career in instrumental teaching, performing, editing, and writing. His is a former editor of Clarinet & Saxophone magazine.

Maddie Short

Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation

Maddie trained as an actress at Mountview Academy before qualifying and teaching for six years in North London and Hertfordshire. Joining Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation in 2015 brought together her passion for Shakespeare and working with disengaged learners. Maddie very proud of the work CSSF does with students in Pupil Referral Units.

Benjamin Turner

Rap Club and The Spit Game

Benjamin is the founder and managing director of Rap Club and The Spit Game – innovative programmes for learners and teachers that employ progressive practices and manage young creatives entering the industry. An award-winning educator and youth leader, he has led music departments across London, embedding industry-standard practice and learning.