Photo of Sue Irwin and Henry Dorrell

Henry Dorrell, a passionate young musician hailing from Harvington, has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Olly Irwin Award. This award, introduced in June through a collaborative effort between Severn Arts and BIMM Institute Birmingham, serves as a tribute to the memory of the late local musician Olly Irwin, who regrettably left us in Worcester in 2021.

The award winner said:

It is a big honour to be the first recipient of the Award. I’m so proud that I’ve been chosen to carry on Olly’s legacy. It is amazing that Olly is still helping people today. It means a lot to me because I’ve always struggled to afford the correct equipment. I feel very excited and hope this brings me good opportunities in the future. I’d like to say thank you to Sue for making this possible and I hope I make Sue and Olly proud.”

Henry’s application showcased a deep and enduring passion for music, as well as a resolute determination to grow and gain insights from seasoned and knowledgeable musicians. It was this unwavering dedication, coupled with his aspiration to invest in additional digital equipment for recording his own music, that impressed the judging panel and led to his victory.

As part of the Award, Henry will benefit from six online mentoring sessions with Jonny Amos, a distinguished music technology expert from BIMM Institute, who said“It’s an honour to be playing a part in such an important project that creates a legacy in the memory of Olly Irwin. It will be great to be able to offer Henry some valuable time and insight on his music making path.”. Additionally, he will be granted £500 to allocate toward the purchase of equipment or engaging in activities that will further enrich his musical journey.

Sue Irwin, Olly Irwin’s mother said:

This award is a wonderful way to honour Olly’s life and to continue the extraordinary legacy that he has left behind. Henry’s passion for music, together with his courage and determination to further develop his skills and knowledge make him the perfect young person to receive the award. Speaking on behalf of Olly’s family, I’d like to wish Henry good luck and every success for the future.”

All Worcestershire young people aged 15 – 17 years with an interest in music technology, DJ-ing and music recording looking for an opportunity to develop their skills in music production and music technology were invited to apply for the Award.

Through a fundraising event ‘Ollyfest’ Olly’s friends and family raised £3393. This money has been donated to Severn Arts and will fund the Olly Irwin Award in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Severn Arts is committed to offering new, inclusive arts activities that focus on widening access to the arts for all, with a particular emphasis on children and young people. 

The BIMM Institute is part of BIMM University, a Higher Education provider specialising in music industry focused courses. Covering performance, songwriting, production, business, media and event management, BIMM is Europe’s most connected music university.

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