Who's Who

Belfast Music Society is run by a voluntary board of directors with a part-time professional Concerts Manager.

President  Professor Piers Hellawell

Patron  Sean Rafferty

Board of Management

Chair John Harmar-Smith
Vice-Chair (vacant)
Treasurer Ian Lindsay
Secretary Robert McNair
Director Kathy Gordon
Director Beverley McGeown
Director Anthony Kirby

John Harmar-Smith, Chair
John has happy memories of well-attended boarding school chamber music concerts! After four years’ study at the Royal Academy of Music, he worked for another four years at Abbey Road Studios, editing EMI’s classical music output. Subsequent freelance work included production and directing for BBC TV’s Religious Department and the Arts output of British Satellite Broadcasting, unique in its short life for producing 22 hours of Weekend Arts broadcasting. Now he enjoys choral conducting opportunities, including the Antrim Choral Society and sharing the ‘conductor rota’ of the Belfast Bach Ensemble.


Robert McNair, Secretary
Robert says: As a lifelong lover of classical music, I attended and enjoyed many BMS concerts. I was always very impressed by the Society’s achievements. When the Board asked for new members, I saw it as a great opportunity to give something back. I spent my professional life in computer software, which encourages a person to think deeply about how things work. Classical music has always fascinated me, and I am always trying to understand better how musicians do what they do. I will learn much from working with so many excellent people on the BMS Board.

Ian Lindsay, Treasurer
Ian is a retired chartered accountant. He is currently treasurer of Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke, and five arts charities. He is a regular member of the Northern Ireland Bridge team, a past president of the Irish Bridge Union, and past president, chairman and secretary of the NI Bridge Union.


Kathy Gordon, Board Member
Kathy joined Belfast Music Society through the NI Arts and Business Board Bank scheme, and is hoping to make a meaningful contribution to the charity’s future and also the cultural life of the community.  Kathy is a solicitor with a keen interest in the arts, particularly singing and dance, and is enjoying this chance to broaden her governance experience while also exploring her lesser known artistic side!

Beverley McGeown, Board Member
Beverley is a music graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, with formal training in performance and composition. She is proud to bring those skills and passion to her work with Open Arts NI, creating art with people of all ages, abilities and disabilities since 1995. In addition to her eclectic musical experience, Beverley brings her unique insights for provision of access to the board of the BMS, thus encouraging greater diversity of audiences.


Anthony Kirby, Board Member
Anthony has a lifelong passion for music of all genres, once having managed a record shop in his home town in Shropshire. As a result, Concert going has been a part of his cultural life and his involvement in BMS governance goes back over a decade.

Anthony has undertaken archaeological surveys and excavations in the British School of Archaeology in Athens and the British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara and it is Turkey that he has had most of his archaeological experience. He currently works in the Historic Environment Record of Northern Ireland, part of the Historic Environment Division of DFC that looks after all aspects of the built heritage within Northern Ireland.


Concerts Manager

Bethany Simpson
e: info@belfastmusicsociety.org

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