Leeds Conservatoire Folk student wins prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award

By Kath Hartley


Leeds Conservatoire student Maddie Morris has scooped the prestigious Young Folk Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Previous winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar presented the award to Maddie at a ceremony at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Wednesday 16 October.  

The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award is an educational talent contest, open to musicians from the UK aged 16-21, that exists to discover the next generation of folk and acoustic acts. Eight shortlisted acts performed at a public concert at the HOME venue in Manchester on Tuesday 15 October and from those acts, Maddie was chosen as the winner by a panel of judges. This year marks the 21st annual Young Folk Award.

Maddie Morris

Maddie Morris with the LCoM Folk team

Photo credit: Mark Rogers

In her acceptance speech, Maddie said; “Thank you to Nancy Kerr for teaching me how to sing and for everything you’ve done for me; thank you to the entire team at Leeds Conservatoire for teaching me what the tradition is, and for pushing me and inspiring me.”

Reflecting on the experience after the ceremony, Maddie said; “Performing here last night was incredible – all of my tutors came and supported me and it was just wonderful to know that I have the support from everyone here at Leeds Conservatoire. I’m really, really surprised to have won the award but it feels amazing and I’m so grateful!”

The awards ceremony was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds, listen again here.

Selected highlights will be replayed on Mark Radcliffe’s Folk Show on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday 23 October.

The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award has been running for 20 years. Artists who have previously taken part include Leeds Conservatoire Senior Lecturer Jim Moray, Wildwood Kin, Blair Dunlop, Bella Hardy, Megan Henwood, Adam Holmes, Mischa Macpherson, Jarlath Henderson and Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar.

Find out more about Leeds Conservatoire’s Folk Degree.

By Kath Hartley

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