Wiltshire Publications

Westbury student crowned Wiltshire’s finest young musician

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WESTBURY music student, Joely Hudson, has won the prestigious Liz Lawrence Award, which recognises the best young musical talent in Wiltshire. 

Westbury student crowned Wiltshire’s finest young musician.

19-year-old Joely auditioned for the award – run by the Trowbridge-based charity Wiltshire Rural Music (WRM) – in April with an ‘impressive range of saxophone and piano skills’ and an ‘incredible voice’. The judges, all on the board of WRM and excellent musicians themselves, agreed that it was Joely’s range of skills, confidence and pure talent that scooped her the enviable £1,000 prize. 

“When the email came through to say I’d won I couldn’t actually believe it!” Joely said. “I remember coming out of the audition very comfortable as it was one of the first times I’d played live as a solo musician since Covid, so it was really nice to play to real people.” 

Joely is currently studying a BA (Hons) in Performance (Actor Musicianship) at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London and says she’s going to spend the money on a new saxophone mouthpiece so she can explore different sounds. 

The cheque was presented to her by Warminster mayor cllr Chris Robbins who is a long-standing friend of Joely’s family. Cllr Robbins said, “She’s an amazing talent and I’m so proud of her and what she’s achieved and what she’s going to achieve; this award is marvellous and let’s hope it helps her along the way”. 

As part of her win, Joely will also get to curate her own winner’s concert, hosted by WRM. Phil Springate of WRM, who was at her audition knows that her concert will be particularly special.  “We have a lot of really good musicians come forward (for the award) but her enthusiasm and excitement about music – that’s what really stood out”. 

Joely’s concert will be entitled Sounds of the Summer and will be held at St John’s Church, Warminster on Saturday 10th September. 

WRM supports young people with bursaries to help them afford music lessons and professional instrument hire and Joely has been part of this scheme for most her of her education. Previous winners have gone on to musical careers taking them to perform around the world, as well as inspiring the next generation of musicians across Wiltshire and bringing joy into the lives of isolated communities, with projects like “Keep Music in Mind”, which WRM currently takes into Wiltshire care homes.  

For tickets to Joely’s concert and to learn more about the music charity go to their website: wiltshireruralmusic.co.uk

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