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Musical partnership puts the beat in Lismore’s heart


Sharlene King
8 June 2021
Mykaela Jay music student
Southern Cross music student and headline act Mykaela Jay

Southern Cross University and the Northern Rivers Conservatorium have joined forces for the fifth year in a row to deliver a high calibre line-up of emerging talent at this year’s Lismore Lantern Parade.

Performing on the Heartbeats Festival Stage at the Lismore Showground, Saturday June 19, the singers and musicians will be located in the middle of all the action. 

Headline act Mykaela Jay studied at the Conservatorium for five years under the vocal tuition of Executive Director Anita Bellman. Mykaela is now thriving in her Bachelor of Contemporary Music studies at Southern Cross University and recording her debut album ‘Mother Dearest’.

Mykaela Jay describes her music as: “a collision of layered harmonies, funky bass lines, danceable grooves and dreamy lyrical tales”.

Anita Bellman, NRC Executive Director, said she was incredibly proud of Mykaela and the relationship built between the Conservatorium and Southern Cross through the Lismore Lantern Parade.
“Sharing live music and live performance is a vitally important part of the cultural life of our community,” said Ms Bellman. 

The Heartbeats Stage is bursting with a full day of entertainment, with performances from Southern Cross Music students the Dylan Johnston Ensemble, Maya and Leon Holstegge, the Mason Bannon Band and soloist Georgia Cummins; in addition to acts from the Conservatorium such as the Youth Jazz Orchestra, Chamber Strings Ensemble and Blackwood Band.

Plus there will be folk, hip-hop and jazz music was well as belly dance, flamenco and even a fashion parade of original recycled creations.

Music students performing at the 2018 Lismore Lantern Parade.

Practical experience is a core part of the music degree at Southern Cross University and Lecturer Dr Leigh Carriage said the event gave students not only the opportunity to perform professionally, but experience hosting, stage managing and running a stage at an event.

“Kyra Cumming has already gained work doing sound for the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay so this is yet another string to her bow,” said Dr Carriage.

“Many of the students are performing original compositions. In between sets, Lachlan Wheeler, who is the MC, will be playing work from those not performing.”

River FM will be broadcasting a live feed for the entire program.

Visit Lismore Lantern Parade for program and ticketing

2021 Heartbeats Festival Stage line-up

Southern Cross University acts:

  • Mykaela Jay (Headlining)
  • Dylan Johnston Ensemble
  • Maya & Leon Holstegge
  • Mason Bannon Band
  • Georgia Cummins

This year’s Lismore Lantern Parade theme is INNOVATION INSPIRATION REGENERATION celebrating the real-world innovation, creativity and resilience of our community and the positive effect we can have on our future and on our environment.


Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University, 0429 661 349 or [email protected]