Robin SimpsonBefore joining Voluntary Arts in 2005, Robin was Deputy Chief Executive of Making Music – the national umbrella body for amateur music making, supporting over 2,000 amateur music groups throughout the UK, including choirs, orchestras, and music promoters. Previously, he worked as General Manager of the British Federation of Festivals, supporting the volunteer organisers of more than 300 festivals of music, dance and speech and drama across the UK. Robin has substantial experience of working with volunteers, having also worked for six years for the Royal National Institute for the Blind, managing a team of over 130 volunteer readers to record academic textbooks onto tape for visually-impaired students. He completed his MBA with the Open University Business School in 2002.

Robin is a keen amateur French horn player, currently a member of the Northampton Symphony Orchestra. He is also a perennial ballroom dancing student, a frequent theatre-goer, an enthusiastic reader of contemporary fiction, an insatiable consumer of classical and world music and a keen blogger at culturalplayingfield.org and culturaldessert.blogspot.com.

“For those of us who voluntarily practice some form of arts activity in our own time – and some estimates suggest that this includes almost half the adult population, playing in orchestras, singing in choirs, acting, dancing, painting, lace-making etc. – it’s often difficult to articulate exactly why we do it. But it usually becomes such a significant part of our lives we genuinely feel we couldn’t do without it.”