Two well known artists from the world of British folk music have made it to the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to folk music, namely Kathryn Tickell (OBE) and Ashley Hutchings (MBE). Details are below:
Kathryn Tickell OBE
Kathryn has been awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. The OBE recognises Kathryn’s extraordinary career which began when she picked up a set of pipes (when told not to mess with them!) as a small girl. Tunes learnt from family and old shepherd friends formed her repertoire and evolved to traverse genres from jazz and world music to large-scale orchestral works. Exploring and cultivating her native heritage of Northumberland have been a constant throughout.
On her home ground, Kathryn is the founder of The Young Musicians Fund at the Community Foundation, which has raised over £100,000 for young people in the North East. The fund has built an endowment which will make grants to young musicians in the North East in perpetuity! Kathryn writes about it on her “Just Giving” page. The Fund is held by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.
Ashley Hutchings MBE
Musician, songwriter and bandleader Ashley Hutchings is made an MBE for his services to folk music.
Born in London but now living in Derbyshire, 70-year-old Hutchings was the driving force behind several famous bands including Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and the Albion Band. These groups enlivened the folk scene by introducing rock instruments thereby opening up traditional music to a new and younger audience.
Hutchings said: “I’m obviously very proud of this honour but it’s England’s musical tradition that’s being recognised as much as me.”
In a career spanning nearly 50 years Hutchings has worked with a host of folk and folk-rock luminaries including Richard Thompson OBE, Martin Carthy MBE, Maddy Prior MBE, Shirley Collins MBE, John Tams and the late Sandy Denny (who described him as ‘one of my biggest heroes; a great man’).
During the 1970s, Hutchings worked with National Theatre director Bill Bryden composing the music to ‘The Mysteries’, ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ and ‘The World Turned Upside Down’.
Education has also been an important element in Hutchings’ career. EMI commissioned him to put together an LP of traditional dance tunes specifically aimed at school children and he has conducted numerous workshops to introduce young people to England’s folk song and dance.
Hutchings has won numerous awards including the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s Gold Badge Award, the Good Tradition Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award at Italy’s Premio Ciampi.
Hutchings was also the driving force behind Fairport Convention’s seminal album ‘Liege & Lief’ which was voted ‘The Most Influential Folk Album of All Time’ by BBC Radio 2 Listeners.