Monday, May 16, 2011

Welcome back

Well it has been such a busy time since I traveled to Nashville. It seems so long ago but still so fresh in my sights.  Nashville, Memphis and more 2012, I cannot wait!
Until yesterday I had not even really thought about my blogging and how much I enjoy sharing little things with lots of people, so indeed Welcome Back!!!
I would sincerely like to thank the people or person at Spotify that left an inspirational comment on this blog page.  It is little things like “that small sentence” that really motivate someone like me to continue to be motivated.  Thanks and I hope that my coming blogs will will be enjoyable reading for you.

Where do I begin to update all the happenings of the last couple of months?
I am yet to finish the blogs on my fantastic trip to the States, a place that I absolutely love, but they will surely be posted weekly from here on in.
As you may or may not know I am a trainee in “OnStage Delivery and Success”, a position that I am totally enjoying.  It is a job that never has the same format from day to day from week to week, what’s not to love in that!
We have only last week returned from a very busy trip to “Tamworth”, the Country Music Capital of Australia.  With 18 or so students, some of their families, teaching staff from our organisation and The Country Music School of Excellence,  we journeyed through flood effected countryside to showcase some of the wonderful talent we have coming through our classrooms.  They did themselves and our small town proud and it is an extreme pleasure to be associated with their growth as musicians.
Each student excelled in their particular field of musicality performing to many avid listeners in a multitude of venues and competitions.  It is difficult to list any one student or band as a highlight as I am so very proud and impressed with all of them.  From small beginnings big things grow and it will be an honor to grow with the students we teach.  Sincere congratulations to all of you!
In the hectic schedule there was little time to get about checking out much else apart from what our timetable listed but in a stolen moment I did get a chance to check out another young talent who calls Gympie home.  Miss Emma Barlow, singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist and awesome fiddle player was entertaining at West Diggers with The Harrisons.  With childish truancy myself and 2 other absconders spent a couple of hours enjoying their show.
I remember Emma as a junior high school student with aspirations of becoming recognised in her field.  At under 21 years of age she has accomplished that.  Recognised this year as “Youth Achiever of the Year” Emma is making her mark in the music industry here in Australia and I know in the years to come she will surely become well known overseas or wherever her feet hit the shores abroad.  Congratulations to a truly inspiring young lady who is still the country girl I met some years ago.
With great pleasure I must mention the many firsts that our most mature aged student Mrs. Noella Dwyer experienced.  It was her first trip the Country Capital, her first time busking on any street let alone Peel Street, her first time staying in dormitory accommodation with high spirited young ladies, her first time in a Tamworth competition where she received her highest score for any competition she has ever entered .  Noella is the true representation of doing something because you love it.  We have worked together for some months now and her energy is something special to see and feel.  There is much joy in the happiness and new found confidences she is experiencing with her Traditional style of Country Music.  A job well done Noella I hope we share many more times like that with you in years to come.
Okay now to give a brief outline of what was achieved by the students of The AICM and The CMSOE:
Stepahanie Ward-Wrigley winner of  the Junior Vocal section in the Champion of Champions Competition back in November here in Queensland was winner of the CCMA Competition for her age group, under 13 years in the  Country Capital.   A very talented young lady that has the world in front of her.  Stephanie’s name is now on the same shield that adorns names such as Kieth Urban, Travis Collins etc. etc., quite prestigious. Job well done Steph.
Olivia Nolan a tiny little pocket rocket wowed them in the Mt Franklin competition receiving 2nd in the finals against some pretty tough competition.  We have watched young Livvy really head into her own of late.  Turning 14 while we were a way this young lady has a bright future in the industry if she so desires.
Livvy’s sister Ariana also found her moment busking on Peel Street.  Ariana is just beginning to connect with her musical side so it will be interesting to watch this quiet young lady share her hidden musical talent as the months go on.  Very surprising and a very pleasant experience to be part of.  It is all a confidence thing at their age.  Pier pressure can be a damming consequence and here at the AICM it is my job to focus on the things that instill confidence allowing students to take the chance and become all they can be.
The lovely Jess Fox performed on many stages and her casual laid back style was well appreciated by her audiences.  Jess has been working with us for some time now and we are expecting that this year, her final year of high school, will be the one where she really excels in her musicality.  Jess made it through to the semi-finals of the Mt Franklin Comp.  A special thanks to Jess who filled as lead singer in the band Aiming High on a couple of occassions.  This is an extremely difficult task and she did a great job.  Without her and Stephi there would have been times that the guys would have missed out on getting to the stage.  Thanks again, much appreciated.
Jake Reid is a young man with a big voice and he did a great job in all that he delivered onstage.  Jake is Mr.Cool and takes to the stage in blue jeans and bandana.  He has been a pleasure to work with over the last couple of years and we will surely miss him and his bass playing as he moves on to the next stage of his young life.  Jake begins high school and will be more involved at the CMSOE this coming year.  I am sure we will still get to enjoy his performances next year in Tamworth.  Good luck Jake you are a fine young man.
Disbanded, well what can I say.  With a brand new line up and little time to practice together due to the floods and festive season the youngsters did a cool job.  Creating bands is a difficult task.  It is the marrying of flavors.  Flavors that will compliment each other in all musical aspects.  Here is hoping we have the mix right for this year as there is some truly awesome talent in amongst these kids.  We thank Aiden Patrick who has come on board now.  Aiden is another gifted multi instrumentalist and we are happy to have his presence here at the AICM.  I will mention that Aiden, Pania Tapper and Brad Williams played in several of the bands that were performing so they had much to learn in a short space of time.  Great job you musical buffs!
Aiming High ran on a handicap of sickness the whole week but excelled in the long run.  With lead vocalist Caitlyn Shadbolt sick from the time she arrived in Tamworth it was touch and go on each performance they were listed for.  As the week drew to a close they did perform in their heat of the  Coca-Cola Battle of the Bands and wow perform they did.  They made it to the finals in some heavy competition and were tipped at the post on points for a place.  Sensational effort for them with Cait being as crook as and them not being able to practice all week as a unit.  Very proud of the boys stepping up with their onstage presence showmanship.  As I keep telling them every step forward is a step in the right direction.  Keep smiling and just enjoy what you do guys, that’s what the audience wants to see.
Also with us was the band Evolution which we had the priviledge of working with for a short time towards the end of the year.  Michelle Blavius really stepped up her presence onstage and became the front girl and did a super job at it.  If you can get them out of their chairs and dancing you are doing the right thing for your audience.  Congratulations on all you have achieved in your musicality Michelle.
Southband with the wonderful Alice Benfer as lead vocalist were appreciated by all members of every audience.  We attended the launch of Alice’s much awaited cd and enjoyed some traditional country artists in the process.  Alice is a remarkable young talent whose focus is Tradition Country and the dying art of The Yodel.  Keep an eye out for her cd or purchase it online here at www.aicm.
The only thing left to share with you today is news about “The Duke Wilde Band” who are currently signed to AICM Records.  The boys did a great job in Tamworth and were well received at all their gigs.  We all attended the launch of their cd at The Pub and if you were in attendance you were lucky enough to hear a selection of what is up and coming in the original repetoire’. Unbelievable stuff so check them out and grab a copy of their first cd.  They were constantly introduced as “The Hottest New Country Band” so that says it all!
Remember performing is about making moments not just singing songs, how many moments will you create in your next show.
Cheers and we shall gather again next Tuesday!

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