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Success for Newcastle at Folk Music Awards


Newcastle University music lecturer Kathryn Tickell has been named Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Music Awards.

Kathryn, a renowned Northumbrian piper, composer and performer, who has collaborated with artists such as Sting, teaches on Newcastle’s Folk and Traditional Music degree.

She said: "I am delighted to have won this award. We have a strong tradition of folk music in this region and I am proud to be part of it."

Her success at the awards, held in Glasgow, wasn’t the only accolade with a Newcastle University connection.

The band Bellowhead won the best album prize for their album Broadside. Rachael McShane, the band’s cellist, singer and fiddle player is a graduate of the folk music degree Kathryn teaches on. Her bandmate, Paul Sartin, who plays instruments including the fiddle, oboe and slide whistle, studied for a Masters degree in music at Newcastle.

The best original song award went to Emily Portman for Hatchlings. Emily studied folk and traditional music at Newcastle and went on to study for a masters degree in music too.

Professor Peter Stone, head of the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University, said: “Kathryn is one of the best musicians of her generation and we are incredibly proud that she shares her knowledge, experience and expertise in traditional music with our students. She truly deserves this accolade.

“Our students also go on to do well when they graduate and I’m very proud that Rachael McShane and Paul Sartin’s band Bellowhead have won the best album prize, voted for by the public. I am also delighted that another of our graduates, Emily Portman won best original song. This just goes to show how talented our students and graduates are and how hard they work to be as good as they can.”

published on: 1 February 2013