The 28th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards was the most unusual running of the Awards in their history. Not only were none of the judges able to meet in person to discuss the performances, but all of the performances had been assessed through video recordings of singers performing to recorded accompaniments provided by our official accompanist Richard Shaw, who did not meet any of the performers.
The six Finalists submitted video recordings of their recitals, in which they performed an own choice piece along with a song by each of the set composers; Handel and Peter Wishart. The latter composer was the dear husband of Jackdaws founder Maureen Lehane, and would be celebrating his centenary in June 2021. The Awards were founded in his memory and later renamed to additionally commemorate Maureen after her passing in 2010.
The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards have earned renown through their celebration of potential as well as achievement, unique among Song competitons, which is particularly appropriate given the challenges which have faced all entrants to the 28th Awards. Chair of the Adjudication Panel, and Jackdaws Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg praised each of the singers;
“The judges were very impressed by the resilience and resourcefulness of each competitor in these difficult times. They should all be very proud of themselves.”
To reflect the changed nature of the competition at this time, the prizes were disributed in a different format to usual.