Festival brings international success

Award winner Evonne Beardsworth at the Taebaek international festival in South Korea (S)
Award winner Evonne Beardsworth at the Taebaek international festival in South Korea (S)

Singer Evonne Beardsworth, who used to compete regularly in Colne’s annual Luther Greenwood music festival, is celebrating a folk festival success in South Korea.

Evonne (29), from Foulridge, is currently head teacher at a private English school in the capital Seoul and on Saturday she competed in the first ever Taebaek International Folk Festival. Entrants travelled from more than 30 countries around the world to take part.

The competition was broadcast throughout South Korea on the national KBS network and featured performances by national groups and individuals. Singing her own adaptation of the Scottish folk song “Black is the Colour”, Evonne was the only soloist to earn a place as a winner and become a Taebaek Cultural Representative. Her performance put England in the top eight of the contest and she won the “Expressor” commendation and a £500 prize for artistic expression.

“Everyone there was amazing,” said Evonne, a former pupil of Park High School and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, “There were singers from every continent and we had a great time together. People just want to come together and sing.”

Evonne, who used to sing with Nelson Civic Primary Choir and Pendle Youth Choir, competed in the Luther Greenwood Memorial Festival’s music section every year from age 10 to 18, when she went to Glasgow University and carried on singing and touring with the Glasgow University Madrigirl group and the folk punk band Nevermind the Shamrocks.

Last year she returned from Korea for Christmas and competed in the adult classes at Colne Festival and won the light

opera/musicals class, the Evening Telegraph Trophy and the John Crabtree Shield for the Pendle competitor with highest marks.

“I always loved singing at Colne Festival whether I won or not,” she said. “My music teacher, Judith Briscall, was brilliant and encouraged me a lot. Colne is a great festival; it really helped me as a singer. Everyone should go.”

Colne Luther Greenwood Memorial Festival starts tomorrow (Saturday) with junior music classes and adult choir classes at The Muni, and speech and drama classes at St John’s Methodist Church, Albert Road, all starting at 9am.

All classes are open to the public, and admission is £2 all day.