Finalists of BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2008/2009 announced
The six acts which have made it through to the final of BBC Radio 2's Young Folk Award 2008/2009 have been announced.
The talented performers were selected at a semi-finals weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The weekend included workshops, sessions and culminated in an evening audition concert which was judged by a panel consisting of music industry professionals.
The final takes place on Friday 5 December 2008 at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Highlights can be heard on Wednesday 10 December between 7.00 and 8.00pm on Mike Harding's Radio 2 folk show.
The prize for the winners includes recording a live session for Mike's show and slots on the bill at three of the UK's most prestigious festivals - the Cambridge Folk Festival, Fairport's Cropredy Convention and Towersey Village Festival.
Now in its 11th year, the Radio 2 Young Folk Award is the network's annual search for the most promising folk musicians in the UK.
The initiative is open to anyone aged 15 to 20, performing traditional and acoustic music with roots in any culture as a band, duo or soloist.
Previous winners include Tim van Eyken, Uiscedwr, Bodega, Last Orders and last year's winners, Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller, who have had a busy folk festival itinerary and released their debut album, In A Bleeze, in the summer.
This year's six finalists are:
Jaywalkers - a duo from Lancashire. Nineteen-year-old Michael Giverin (mandolin) and 15-year-old Jay Bradberry (fiddle, guitar and vocals) describe their music as a mixture of folk and bluegrass; combining traditional folk tunes with bluegrass style arrangements.
Lucy Ward - a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Derby. Eighteen-year-old Lucy has just finished her 'A' Levels. After getting her first guitar at the age of 14, she quickly progressed into playing the folk clubs and open mic nights in and around her native Derby. In 2007, she won the Klondike Folk Arts Songwriter of the Year, with her song Shellback.
Emily Hoile & Alice Burn - are from Northumberland and play clarsach and Northumbrian smallpipes. Both aged 16, Emily and Alice board at St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh, where they study with Catriona McKay and Dr Anthony Robb and play with the Sage Gateshead's renowned youth orchestra Folkestra. Emily reached the final of this competition last year as a soloist.
Tyde - are a trio from Northumberland and the Scottish Borders whose music draws extensively on the traditions of these regions. Tyde are Seth Tinsley (guitar), Heather Gessey (fiddle) and Andrew Waite (accordion). They came together as a trio in April 2008 whilst on tour in Spain with the Sage Gateshead's youth folk ensemble, Folkestra.
Megan & Joe Henwood - are a brother-and-sister duo from Oxfordshire. Megan (guitar and vocals) first stood on a stage to perform her own composition at the age of nine and draws inspiration from the music of her childhood through her mother's love of folk music and evenings spent at Nettlebed Folk Club. Joe (saxophone) is in his final GCSE year but finds time to play in a number of bands.
Maz O'Connor - is a ballad singer from Cumbria. Aged 17, Maz has been performing for around three years unaccompanied, and also appears as the guest singer for the group Last Orders who won the Young Folk Award two years ago. Her influences include Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Chris Wood and Karine Polwart.
Full information on the Radio 2 Young Folk Awards can be found at bbc.co.uk/radio2.