Winners of the 30th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

On June 13th, the day after Jackdaws’ 30th birthday, the finals of the 30th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards were held in the Wigmore Hall.

Eight finalists were selected from the preliminary auditions to take part in the final by the preliminary judging panel, Saffron van Zwanenberg, Audrey Hyland and Dr.Jessica Walker.

In the final they presented a programme of up to 20 minutes with a piece by Handel and Peter Wishart as the required repertoire and then two pieces of their own choice.

The panel judging the final included Sarah Fox (Winner of the MLVA in 1996), Ben Johnson (Winner of the MLVA in 2005) and Gary Mathewman and was chaired by our AD, Saffron van Zwanenberg.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon with a wonderfully high standard of performance from everyone, which made the task of deciding a winner quite a challenge for the panel.

The Vocal Awards 2023 were supported by The Rosemary Bugden Charitable Trust and Margaret and Geoffrey Batten.

Joint First Prize

Lexie Moon & Natasha Page

Third Prize

Ed Birchinall

Pianist Prize

Archie Bonham

Audience Prize

Ceferina Penny

From left: Archie Bonham, Lexie Moon, Ceferina Penny, Saffron vZ, Ben Johnson, Sarah Fox, Ed Birchinall, Gary Mathewman (Natasha Page not present).

Jackdaws was founded 30 years ago by celebrated singer Maureen Lehane to promote classical music and musicians “Bringing music to life by enabling creative expression for all”. It was officially opened on June 12th by our founding Patron- Dame Joan Sutherland.

Joan Sutherland opening Jackdaws

30 years on Jackdaws offers musicians of all ages and abilities the chance to actively participate in classical music through our weekend courses, projects for schools and children and of course the Vocal awards. Our work routinely engages 3,000+ people annually in music making.

Maureen was married to British composer Peter Wishart and was devastated at his untimely death in 1984. She founded the Vocal Awards and then Jackdaws in his memory. Following her passing in 2010 the trustees renamed the Vocal Awards (previously the Jackdaws awards) to celebrate her extraordinary legacy and contribution to music education deeply founded in the belief that classical music is for everyone.