Rochdale talent Orladh & Leo to shine bright at Todmorden Folk Festival

Date published: 02 February 2019

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A young Rochdale musical duo, Orladh & Leo, will open the Todmorden Folk Festival in May after winning the Todmorden Folk Festival Youth Music Award on 27 January.

Orladh Dunne, 13, of Norden, and Leo Howard-Cofield, 13, of Littleborough, play acoustic folk, country and Americana in the Rochdale Music Service group ‘That's All Folk!’ Orladh sings and plays fiddle, whilst Leo plays guitar and mandolin.  

For the third year running, Todmorden Folk Festival organised a youth music competition to showcase local talent and offer the star prize of being the opening act for the main Saturday night concert at the Todmorden Unitarian Church.

Orladh & Leo proved very popular and put in a fine performance, playing three songs, plus an encore, on their way to winning the award.

The teenagers met around five years ago in the primary age folk group ‘Little Folk’. About 18 months ago, after watching the duo practise together before a gig, their current tutor, Cliff Woodworth, thought they'd make a nice duo, so he got them to perform at the Rochdale Music Festival.

Since then, they've racked up a number of performances, including bigger ones at 2018's Todmorden Folk Festival (as runner's up in the youth award) and supporting local Irish group, The Scattering, at a sold-out gig at the Curtain Theatre in Rochdale.

Todmorden Folk Festival takes place on 3-5 May 2019 with Orladh & Leo opening on 4 May 2019.

Orladh & Leo will also be performing at the Rochdale Music Service Festival of Performing Arts, at the Town Hall on Thursday 7 February and the Music for Youth Regional Festival at Wardle Academy on 31 March.

Orladh & Leo perform traditional American folk song, The Wayfaring Stranger

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