A singer from Loughton is the first ever to receive a coveted award.

Classical soprano Joanna Forest has been awarded the first Future Classic Women Award following Women’s Radio Station search for the best new female musicians.

Joanna made chart history when she became the first independent artist to reach the No.1 spot in the Official Classical Charts, with her debut album, Stars are Rising.

This year saw the release of her follow up album, The Rhythm of Life, which is a concept album bringing classical music to the whole family. Joanna duets on the album with children’s TV presenter Andy Day and BGT winner Paul Potts. Joanna is passionate about the magic of classical music and is on a mission to bring it to it to younger ears. Joanna may be used to singing in front of large audiences from proms concerts to football stadiums, but has recently faced a new challenge in bringing her new album to schools, hoping to ignite a passion for music amongst children.

The search for the winner was headed up by pianist and presenter Stefania Passamonte.

Joanna said: “Stefania interviewed hundreds of wonderful artists for a whole year so to win this award is an amazing feeling. I had so much support from everyone who voted for me, that I felt like a winner already. Stefania has brought us artists together in such a brilliant way.”