Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller have been crowned winners of the 10th BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.Highlights from the final can be heard in the Mike Harding Show tonight (Wednesday 12 December 2007) at 7pm on Radio 2.
The duo claimed the title at the end of a night of music at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London where once again six of the UK’s most promising young folk acts performed for the chance to win a host of prizes and kick start their careers.
The prize for the winners includes a session for Mike Harding’s Radio 2 show and slots at three of the UK’s most important festivals – Cambridge Folk Festival, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention and Towersey Village Festival.
Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller are third year students on the BA Scottish Music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. Jeana is 19 and comes from Orkney, Siobhan is 20 and is from Penicuik.
For the Radio 2 Young Folk Award final Siobhan sang and Jeana played piano, fiddle and sang. The duo were presented with their award by singer, songwriter and musician Seth Lakeman, who collected two awards himself at this year’s award ceremony.
“We had an absolute ball. None of us felt it was like a competition because everybody got on from the word go. Everybody just gelled and it was nice in the semis because we could just all go out and watch everybody else and you could just feel that support from everybody,”
A panel of judges had the job of choosing just 12 acts to go through to the semi-final – a weekend of workshops, sessions and socialising centered around a Saturday evening audition concert, which took place in October in Stratford-Upon-Avon.The other five finalists were:Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys: Guitar, vocal and fiddle duo aged 20 and 19 from Carlisle and Hampshire respectively.
Jack and Charlie are students at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Jack is a singer-songwriter who has performed opening support for the Wailin’ Jennys and Po’ Girl. Charlie has played in several folk bands including Sonas and Rubber Chicken, and plays fiddle in her dad’s band. As a duo Jack and Charlie played opening support for Dave Swarbrick and Martin Carthy at Birmingham’s Red Lion Folk Club and an album is planned for the summer of 2008.