Hall of Fame for Maureen

Recognition for traditional singer Maureen Jelks.
Recognition for traditional singer Maureen Jelks.

Kirriemuir singer Maureen Jelks has been accepted into the Scots Music Hall of Fame and will receive her award on Saturday.

The honour will be bestowed on Maureen who will go back to her roots to attend the 13th MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards and Gala Concert in the Caird Hall in her home town of Dundee.

The annual awards ceremony is recognised as the “Oscars” for traditional music.

Maureen is a highly regarded and powerful interpreter of traditional song, whether as a soloist or in vocal groups such as Palaver, Tapsalteerie and the Dundee Rep Women’s Singing Group.

In her youth she was crippled by shyness and it wasn’t until she was 40 she plucked up the courage to enter for the traditional singing competition at Auchtermuchty Folk Festival and amazed herself by winning it.

The festivals enabled her to re-discover her Scottish roots.

Her success at various TMSA competitions at festivals helped her shed the shyness which had held her back for so long.

As well as developing her solo performance, making her a favourite at folk clubs and festivals, she pursued a love of harmony singing, performing with other, like-minded singers. In 1996 she worked with the Newcastle-based theatre group Northern Stage, playing a traditional singer in the Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca’s Blood Wedding. Further theatre work has included a stage production of Betsy Whyte’s Yellow on the Broom; on the radio, she took part in a programme about the fishing industry, The Working Year, with Archie Fisher and has further broadcast on both BBC Radio Scotland and Radio Tay.

She was presented with an Angus Achiever’s Award by her local council. The last few years have also seen Maureen greatly enjoy teaching traditional song in schools in Dundee and Fife.