UK Music's Michael Dugher collects LCoM Fellowship

By Kath Hartley


UK Music's Michael Dugher is set to collect his LCoM Fellowship in a ceremony this Friday 30th November. 

Following on from musician Pauline Black collecting her LCoM Fellowship during July's graduation ceremony, Michael Dugher will collect his award this evening. 

LCoM has a long-standing history of awarding fellowships to music industry professionals, selecting artists and entrepreneurs whose professional practice reflects the ethos and ambition of the conservatoire.

Michael Dugher

Michael Dugher

As CEO of UK Music, Yorkshire-born Michael Dugher is one of the most high profile champions of the music industry. Michael became CEO of UK Music in May 2017, after stepping down as Member of Parliament for Barnsley East after seven years.

During his time at Westminster he held several senior positions in the Shadow Cabinet including Shadow Secretary of State of Culture, Media and Sport, as well as being actively involved in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music.

The former MP and Shadow Culture Secretary is a representative from the music industry on the Government’s Creative Industries Council and is a member of the Mayor of London’s Music Board. He has also helped to establish metropolitan festival ‘Barnsley Live’, is patron of one of Yorkshire’s top brass bands Worsborough Brass and as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brass bands he successfully campaigned for increased funding for brass bands in England.

This Fellowship recognises Michael’s contribution to music in the UK, most recently through his appointment as Chief Executive of UK Music. Throughout Michael’s career he has been a powerful advocate for music in society, not least here in Yorkshire during his tenure as MP for Barnsley East, but through his patronage and support for music organisations in our region.

On receiving his fellowship, Michael Dugher said “I’ve always believed that music has the power to transform lives. I first started playing various instruments from the age of 12 when I was growing up in Yorkshire. Music gave me self-confidence and self-belief at a critical time in my development and I’m sure that meant I did better academically and went on to achieve the things I eventually did.

 There’s a lesson for policy-makers here about not neglecting the importance of music in education and ensuring every child from every background has access to music.”


The Fellowships were announced at graduation in July 2018, where Pauline Black made a compelling speech to the graduands. 

Pauline Black

Pauline Black

Performer, singer, artist, bandleader and songwriter Pauline Black has dedicated four decades to the music scene, whilst supporting and campaigning for racial equality throughout her career.

Inspired by a love of punk and reggae, Pauline joined ska band The Selecter in the 1970s and soon became a renowned and influential pioneer of the 2 Tone movement. Her career has seen her travel the world, sharing her passion and music.

After releasing their first album, Too Much Pressure, in 1980, The Selecter went on to release five top 40 singles in the UK, and to this day continue to write new music and inspire new audiences. Pauline released her autobiography ‘Black by Design’ in 2011 and the film rights were picked up by Molimetro Films this year.

LCoM honours Pauline’s contribution to the UK’s musical landscape and her impact on our social fabric and popular culture. Pauline and her fellow 2 Tone pioneers are a vital and important part of the country’s musical tapestry, and Pauline’s work is an inspiration to the students of our diverse institution.

On receiving her Fellowship, Pauline Black said; "I am delighted to receive a Fellowship from Leeds College of Music.  As one of the pioneers of the 2 Tone movement, I have spent most of my forty years in the music business advocating for diversity and artistic integrity. 

Indeed, The Selecter's earliest show as a touring band, was at the lovingly remembered F Club in Leeds, supporting The Specials with Elvis Costello in attendance in 1979.  It was the beginning of a long musical association with the city. Therefore, it is a privilege to accept such an honour given by an institution that promotes the very same values that I hold so dear."

 Principal and Managing Director of Leeds College of Music, Gerry Godley, says;

“We are delighted to honour these two inspirational Fellows, both of whom play a vital role in championing not only artistic development and diversity, but also the vital importance of music within our society.

 We carefully select Fellows whose artistic and professional values match those of the conservatoire, and both Michael Dugher and Pauline Black have a clear belief in the power of music that reflects that of the community here at LCoM. They display an integrity and commitment to making the industry a better place - which is exactly what we encourage our students to aspire to as they embark upon their careers.”

Previous Fellowship awards at Leeds College of Music include Marc Almond, Nick Hodgson, Vanessa Reed, Daniel Miller, Terry and Liz Bramall, Johnny Kalsi and Fiona Cunningham.  

You can find a full list of the Leeds College of Music Fellows, here.

By Kath Hartley

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