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Singing up the awards at Tamworth Country Music Festival


Zoe Satherley
22 January 2007
After more than a decade educating musicians and performers, Southern Cross University has dipped its toes into the Tamworth Country Music Festival for the very first time by sponsoring the major national songwriting award.

Dr Jean Griffiths, head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, will make a flying trip to the festival on Wednesday to present the Contemporary Country Song of the Year Award.

Finalists for the award include country music greats Graeme Connors and Mark McDuff, Lee Kernaghan, Colin Buchanan and Garth Porter, Anne Kirkpatrick, Beccy Cole and Allan Caswell and Brenton Roberts.

The annual songwriters’ awards, known as the Salute Awards of Australia, are held under the auspices of the Tamworth Songwriters’ Association Inc (TSA).

The TSA awards concert, traditionally a sellout event and major festival highlight, will be held this Wednesday, January 24, at 7pm, in the Blazes auditorium at West Tamworth Leagues Club Auditorium. The concert will feature performances of the short-listed songs by the artists themselves.

Dr Griffiths said this was, to her knowledge, a unique partnership in that no other university had ever forged ties with the long-established and much respected TSA awards.

“Although it will be a fleeting visit, I’m hoping to soak in some of the atmosphere of the festival and catch up with some of our star graduates,” Dr Griffiths said.

“Not many people would be aware of just how many graduates Southern Cross University has turned out in the past 10 years, many of whom are now making a professional living in the country music industry.”

The honour roll of Southern Cross University graduates includes Glen Hannah (Kasey Chambers' band/ Felicity Urquhart band), Scotty Hills (The Flood), singer-songwriter Jodi Martin and guitarist, songwriter/producer Sam Hawksley.

Photo: Dr Jean Griffiths, head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, will present the Contemporary Country Song of the Year Award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.