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Finalists announced for Songwriter of the Year

Finalists announced for Songwriter of the Year

A night celebrating creativity and original music, will see some of New Zealand’s most talented songwriters and performers showcased at the Maidment Theatre next month. Five emerging artists currently studying Popular Music at the University of Auckland will perform to compete for the coveted Songwriter of the Year Award.

Nominees are Brayden Jeffrey (from Tauranga) Henry Beasley (from the North Shore, Auckland), Possum Plows (from central Auckland), Michael Murray (from Te Kao, Far North), and Sio Andrews (from Manurewa, South Auckland), all selected at the semi-finals in July from a field of twelve hopefuls.

All five contestants will perform two original songs with their band. The generous prizes are $1,000 of MusicWorks product, from MusicWorks, for the winner plus four finalist awards of $200 each of MusicWorks product, a mixed and recorded single at Roundhead Studios, mastering of the recorded single by KOG Studio, produced by Godfrey De Grut and promotion of the single by Kiwi FM.

Five additional awards will also be announced including NZ Music Commission Best Vocalist, APRA Best Arranger, MusicWorks Best Instrumentalist, Mushroom Music Publishing Best Lyricist and NZ On Air Best Song, acknowledging the highest quality in each category.

The judging panel includes Vicky Blood (artist Manager for Gin Wigmore, ex-BMG UK), Don McGlashan (artist, The Mutton Birds) and Jason Huss (Roundhead Studios engineer).

The finalists, who are all students at the School of Music, have all been developing their craft under the tutelage of leading music and industry professionals including Godfrey DeGrut (producer, songwriter), Kiri Eriwata (vocalist, songwriter), Neal Watson (guitarist, songwriter), Stephen Matthews (NZ Music Award finalist, composer), Jeremy Toy (She’s So Rad, Tate Music Prize nominee), Graham Reid (reviewer, lecturer) and Laughton Kora (Kora).

"The School of Music’s Songwriter of the Year Awards have become a benchmark for music industry insiders to see who some of the next break-through artists will be. Past award nominees and winners have received significant songwriting, performance and recording opportunities after being spotted at this annual event by industry professionals,” says Stephen Matthews, Head of the Popular Music programme.

A special feature at this year’s event will be a guest performance from Adam Sowman, who took out the Supreme Award at the Secondary Schools 2014 National Songwriter Awards recently.

Hosted again by the remarkable Rose Hope, the awards evening is one of the School of Music’s premier events, delivering a sell out show each year.

The University of Auckland’s annual Songwriter of the Year Awards 2014 will be held at 7pm (for 7.30pm start) on Thursday 2 October at the Maidment (8 Alfred Street, Auckland). Tickets $5-$15. Bookings from the Maidment. Phone 308 2383 or visit


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