Selby College first-year Music student Fiona Lee is preparing for one of her most high-profile performances so far with a supporting guest appearance for Seth Lakeman at Selby Arts Festival on Saturday evening at Selby Abbey.
The West Country folk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner will be playing tracks from his current album Ballads of The Broken Few and live favourites from his back catalogue with his band.
The support gig came about after Music Lecturer Ryan Johnson organised for Festival Director David Edmunds to come in and speak to the Music students at top-performing Selby College. Fiona happened to be recording a track in the studio at the time and David must have liked what he heard because he got in touch with Seth’s team to ask if they would like Fiona to support him. The 17-year-old from Howden is genuinely interested in Seth’s music and “really excited about the opportunity to perform at the Abbey, and of course meet him!”
After taking over festival stages during the summer of 2016, including Humber Street Sesh, Beverley Folk Festival and Cornucopia, Fiona is certainly one to watch and we could not be prouder of the talented singer-songwriter.
Describing her sound as ‘indie-fused acoustic pop’, the self-taught musician says she only realised she could sing around the age of 14 after taking up the guitar at the end of Year 9 and playing in the Junction’s School of Rock group.
The former Howden School student happened to take part at an acoustic session at the Goole arts venue where she says she found her voice and a love of songwriting. The rest it seems has just naturally evolved from a combination of hard work and a steady stream of gigs in the region.
It appears her talent for storytelling has now captured the attention of those in the music industry even further afield. Fiona was recently involved with the BBC Academy in Manchester where she recorded a ‘Live Lesson’ for BBC Radio One which will be broadcast on iPlayer in September, plus performances for BBC Introducing Humberside and Radio One’s Academy Hangout Stage takeover in Hull on the 23rd May ahead of One Big Weekend.
As a warm-up for the rest of the summer and of course Selby Arts Festival, Fiona has played Cottingham’s Springboard Festival, Beverley Folk Festival and a secret HUSH gig as part of Hull City of Culture. Not content with performing at a headlining gig for Selby Arts Festival, the singer-songwriter will also be volunteering as a steward throughout the week of events!
Fiona is currently working with Hull-based record label Warren Records, with her next single in the pipeline, following the release of her debut single Rome in August 2016. As well as her involvement with Selby Arts Festival she also has dates for 2017’s Humber Street Sesh on Saturday 5th August and Cottingham Folk Festival on Saturday 26th August supporting Jon Palmer Acoustic Band.
Speaking about her inspiration, Fiona said: “I actually get a lot of ideas by putting myself in other people’s shoes, as well as my own personal experiences of being a teenager. I’m definitely not afraid of being honest with my writing which people maybe find refreshing. I’m not worried about people judging me!”
As well as performing on the opening night of the Festival, Fiona has also now been invited to support the closing night event of the nine-day creative arts celebration with London-based indie folk band Patch & The Giant. Good luck Fiona!
Tickets for Seth Lakeman have now sold out, but tickets for the Patch & The Giant closing gig at River Mills Ballroom on Sunday 30th July can be purchased via www.ticketsource.co.uk/selbyartsfestival.
For information about studying Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Music Performance & Production or our forthcoming Music Technology A Level at Selby College please visit selby.ac.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Student Services on 01757 211040.
Social media links:
Fiona Lee - 'Sugar' - Live at The Warren: https://youtu.be/KeOgB-6Ns24
Published: Tuesday 18 Jul 2017