BLOG: CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music celebrates

WEDNESDAY may be hump day in the rest of the world, but at the CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music, every day is a party and we’re on the downhill run to our amazing graduation concert at 7pm on Friday night at Calrossy Anglican School.

Everywhere you turn at the academy, there is music. There are small groups going over the songs they will perform that they may have written together, there is the band rehearsing their songs and learning charts and there are full-on rehearsals happening in the hall in preparation for one of the biggest nights of the students’ careers so far.

With rehearsals for the grad concert in full swing, the tension and nerves are almost palpable no matter where you go on campus, but it all makes for an amazing experience. This is all mixed with media interviews and today another four students appeared on radio with Jon Wolfe and Jodie Crosby. Continue reading

BLOG: CMAA Junior Academy of Country getting to pointy end

I’m a day late with this update, sorry. Day 4, Tuesday, was the biggest day at academy thus far. I can’t believe we’re halfway through already!

Tuesday brought with it more co-writing with Allan Caswell and Aleyce Simmonds as well as the group leaders and the students have been writing with their peers. I’m amazed at the calibre of the songs these young people are coming up with. I would find it very difficult to write a news story with someone else, let along pour my emotions or my story out into a song with someone else’s input. I am truly amazed by their talents. Continue reading

BLOG: CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music talent astounds

DAY 3 dawned in below zero temperatures as is the case at this time of the year in Tamworth, but the talent and music coming out of this CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music is hot, hot, hot.

The biggest news on the block was former student Judah Kelly’s win on The Voice. There were massive celebrations here last night in the boarding house, with cups of tea as it’s a dry academy.

Today we had the company of Allison Forbes again, along with fellow Tamworth artist Aleyce Simmonds and Allan Caswell was back in the writer’s hot seat. Joining us to chat about media and country music magazines was Country Music Capital News manager Cheryl Byrnes. Continue reading

BLOG: CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music Welcome

THE students, parents, group leaders and support staff members have moved in and the CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music is up and running. Coming from as far away as Western Australia and Tasmania, the students are in for a treat during their eight-day intensive course.

Excitement was high as they all arrived in Tamworth on Friday night and Saturday moved into their rooms at Calrossy Anglican School on Saturday morning. The students and parents all got to know each other on Saturday afternoon as the students ran through songs for the show on Saturday night at The Pub.

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Country music meets bowls

THE Wednesday of the Tamworth Country Music Festival saw me juggle publicity commitments for artists and defence, do an interview as I returned to being a journalist, write stories and play lawn bowls for the country music team against the Tamworth Regional Council mayor’s team.
It is a different look at the festival for me this year, after more than a decade of writing about it, and I’m loving the new perspective.
I spent time with the talented Adam Brand who has a surprise for his fans with his new album, which comes out in a couple of weeks. It’s upbeat and fun and encompasses everything that Adam is about.img_3234 Continue reading

Peel St – a must-see experience

Troy Cassar-Daley and Keith Urban busking on Peel St for charity... I was there and about 15. Photo: Northern Daily Leader

Troy Cassar-Daley and Keith Urban busking on Peel St for charity… I was there and about 15. Photo: Northern Daily Leader

TODAY, Tuesday, brought me a fairly quiet day in relation to shows and music. I spent most of the day in the CMAA office/ media centre writing and organising interviews, but I love that I can still enjoy the sounds of Peel St, or the Boulevard of Dreams.
Many people may think buskers are on Peel St because they can’t get a gig elsewhere, but that’s not always the case. For many, it is a starting point, but for others it is where they love getting in touch with their fans in the closest possible way – right at their level on the street at the mercy of the crowds. Continue reading

Fly, Doctor, Fly

TONIGHT’S blog post is dedicated to all those artists who take time out of their massive Tamworth Country Music Festival schedules to play at charity events for free. They expect nothing in return except the knowledge they are contributing to a worthy cause.
After a day on Peel Street and writing stories and press releases at the very warm media centre, I spent the evening at the Fly Doctor Fly fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Tamworth’s own Brendan Nawrocki organised it after he and I both shaved our heads for the cause in October last year. He decided he could do more and he proved that in bucket loads tonight.img_2597 Continue reading

Inspirational Sunday

AS MUCH as I love the festival, today it stepped up a notch with a chat with the always lovely Luke O’Shea and the Toyota Star Maker Grand Final in Bicentennial Park.
Earlier today, I sat down to have a chat with Luke about his work with Defence Care as an ambassador with Amber Lawrence, and about his three finalist placings in the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia. Australian country music is full of so many talented and intelligent singer-songwriters and Luke would have to be up there with the best of them. These artists are not afraid to shy away from the big issues in the world and the things that matter to them, personally, and affect everyone in the nation. They are a major inspiration to this little country journo.luke-cruisin-country-bec Continue reading

Family-friendly festival fun

TODAY was one of the best days at the Tamworth Country Music Festival I have had.
It began with the announcement of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame and Hands of Fame inductees at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. Brendon T.Moylan and Floreena Forbes were inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame and Amber Lawrence, The Davidson Brothers, Ginger Cox and Gary Ellis.img_2023 Continue reading

And the rain tumbles down

TAMWORTH is not known for it’s wet climate, but the weather gods made camping, outdoor concerts and street busking as uncomfortable as they could today as storms and rain streamed into town quicker than caravanners.

After working this morning, we braved the downpours and headed to Peel St to check out what the buskers had to offer this afternoon. However, there were only a few who decided to play in all weather conditions. Although there wasn’t a lot of music to be had at times, the city is full of people coming to soak up the country music atmosphere and we have it in droves.

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