Drama teacher’s joy with adjudicator role

Recently appointed adjucidator Shelley Lowry (right) is pictured with 'student Anna Murphy, who plays one of the main roles in The Man Who Invented Christmas.
Recently appointed adjucidator Shelley Lowry (right) is pictured with 'student Anna Murphy, who plays one of the main roles in The Man Who Invented Christmas.

A speech and drama teacher from Portadown has been speaking of her delight after she was selected to be a Speech and Drama adjudicator.

After a lengthy interview process, Shelley Lowry has been approved to be an adjudicator with the International and British Federation of Festivals.

Shelley has a long and illustrious history with local festivals having first taken part at the age of four. After graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University, she moved to London and began working with the BBC. Shelley returned to Portadown in 2002 and set up a school of speech, drama, communication and musical theatre. Shelley told the Portadown Times that ever since she was a small girl, she has always wanted to be an adjudicator.

Shelley said: “Since I was four I have taken part in the Portadown Festival as a competitor and when I was a little girl I used to look up at the adjudicators and think I’d love to do that job.”

After teaching for 15 years, and completing further qualifications in Drama and Communication, Shelley decided to apply to become an Adjudicator. “I sent through my applications to The British and International Federation Of Festivals, my CV and two references and then was delighted to get through to the Potential New Adjudicator Assessment Day.

“There, I was interviewed by two highly respected members of the federation. I was absolutely thrilled to be accepted.

“It is a real honour to be an adjudicator. I listen to children and young people’s performances, and give them feedback and what they did well, and how I think they could maybe improve. It is one of those things that I always wished and hoped that some day I might be able to do, and so I am absolutely thrilled to be able to say that I am an accredited adjudicator.”

Shelley will have a busy schedule adjudicating locally and in Dublin and London to name but a few, “These festivals are for children and young people who want to get into acting, performance and musical theatre. Or who maybe want to improve their confidence and communication skills. It’s a real honour to go to these places and see what these young people have to offer,” she added.

Shelley’s main focus, however, will continue to be teaching her own pupils, here in Portadown. She said: “I have been teaching since 2002, through all that time you’re learning every day, learning best practices every day. I always tell my students, if you keep moving forward and set your sights on something you really want, you can achieve it if you put the work in.”