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Budding songbird wins award

Budding songbird wins award

2013 Secondary Schools National Songwriter Award winner Ruby Walsh.
Image credit: Anna Lovey

A young songwriter hailing from a small town in the Waikato has won the 2013 Secondary Schools National Songwriter Award. 17 year-old Ruby Walsh, a student at Hauraki Plains College in Ngatea beat 60 other entrants from across New Zealand to win the annual award from The University of Auckland.

Eight promising songwriters including Ruby initially made it through to the finals and were each awarded Emerging Artist Scholarships from the School of Music at The University of Auckland. This allowed the finalists to participate in two days of intensive music workshops taken by well-known songwriters and performers including AWA (Nesian Mystik), Laughton Kora and Rikki Morris. They also each received $150 worth of MusicWorks Vouchers.

The eight finalists were:
Madeline Bradley from Napier Girls High School, Napier,
Grace Brebner from Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland,
Hannah Horsfield from Kaipara College, Auckland,
Claudia Jardine from Cashmere High School, Christchurch,
Jack Larsen from Sacred Heart College, Auckland,
Lee Stuart from Marlborough Girls’ College, Blenheim,
Khona Va’aga-Gray from McAuley High School, Auckland,
Ruby Walsh, from Hauraki Plains College, Ngatea.

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Following the workshops each songwriter presented their songs in front of a live audience at the Kenneth Myers Centre in Auckland. The judging panel consisted of Laughton Kora, Rikki Morris, Godfrey de Grut and Kiri Eriwata. Ruby performed two stunning songs – Waiting and Venture - to win the Supreme Award. No stranger to winning prizes, last year Ruby won the SmokeFree RockQuest Women's Musicianship Award.

“I feel so filled with inspiration and passion after taking part in the two days of workshops and meeting the other seven talented scholarship winners. It has been a privilege to learn from industry professionals and attend the awesome lectures. This is an important milestone in my life. I can’t wait to see where this experience takes us all” says Supreme Award Winner, Ruby Walsh.

Ruby’s prize includes $2000 of Music Works vouchers and a professionally produced single of her original song courtesy of Roundhead Studios, KOG Studio and Godfrey de Grut, as well as a guest appearance on Charlotte Ryan's Afternoon Delight show on Kiwi FM.

The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the School of Architecture and Planning, Elam School of Fine Arts, the Centre for Art Studies (CAS), the School of Music and the Dance Studies Programme.

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