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Country Music Association of Australia
Winners are grinners!
The winners in the 13th CMAA Australian Country Music Achiever Awards were announced last night in a star studded event at WatersEdge in Sydney.
Country music’s most respected performers and industry movers and shakers were there to tip their hats to the Achiever Awards’ Class of ’07 which included those musicians, performers and organisations who have flown the country music flag over the previous 12 months.

The gala ceremony was held under the Sydney Harbour Bridge with performances by this year’s Entertainer of the Year winner (taking his total Achiever Award wins is five) and crowd favourite Troy Cassar-Daley. Troy’s non stop touring as well as his appearances on the last two seasons of “It Takes Two” have cemented him in the hearts and minds of fans and the industry alike.

Taking her 3rd Independent Entertainer of the Year Award in a row was the beautiful Felicity Urquhart, fresh from her performance before US President George W Bush and Prime Minister Howard during APEC week in Sydney. Felicity performed tonight with her partner and collaborator Glen Hannah, who also took home his 3rd Achiever Award in 2007 in the Cover Art of the Year category (for Ring Around the Moon by James Blundell).

In the industry awards categories, ABC Music Publishing solidified their standing as Publishing Company of the Year winning the Award for the 6th consecutive year and Shock Records took out their 2nd Record Company of the Year – Independent Award.

Also winning consecutive Awards were The Pub, Tamworth (Entertainment Venue of the Year) and John Nutting (Media Achiever of the Year – Individual). Sydney based label Compass Bros Records also returned to the podium for the 4th time as Record Company of the Year – Major Distribution.

In its 2nd year in the Achiever Awards calendar, the CMAA Board was proud to present the Musician of the Year Award to James Gillard whose long musical career has seen him move from the rock ‘n roll stage (Mondo Rock), to work with some of country music’s most respected bands (The Fargone Beauties, The Flood, The Stormwater Boys).

Each year, the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) acknowledges the Australian country music recording artist who has received that highest radio airplay during the previous year. The recipient of the PPCA Most Broadcast Australian Country Music Artist Award for 2006 was Keith Urban.
Click here Troy Casser-Daley's Artist Report Page
Click here Felicity Urquhart's Artist Report Page
The full list of 2007 CMAA Australian Country Music Achiever Awards are:
Rex Barry Award
Mike Smith

Entertainer of the Year
Troy Cassar-Daley

Independent Entertainer of the Year
Felicity Urquhart

Record Company of the Year - Major Distribution
Compass Bros Records

Record Company of the Year - Independent
Shock Records

Publishing Company of the Year
ABC Music Publishing
Media Achiever of the Year - Individual
John Nutting
Media Achiever of the Year - Organisation
Country Music Capital News

Musician of the Year
James Gillard

Engineer of the Year
Ted Howard

Producer of the Year
Garth Porter
Cover Art of the Year
Glen Hannah - Ring Around The Moon (James Blundell)

Retailer of the Year
The Country Music Store, Brisbane

Entertainment Venue of the Year
The Pub, Tamworth

Club or Association of the Year
Australian Bush Balladeers Association (ABBA), National

PPCA Most Broadcast Australian Country Music Artist - 2006
Keith Urban
CMAA Board Election
The results of the 2007 CMAA Board election, as voted by the Professional Membership, were announced in Sydney yesterday at the AGM. Elected to fill the two vacant Board positions for a term of three years were Rod McCormack and Chris O’Hearn.

Visit < http://www.country.com.au/index.cfm?page_id=1025  > to view all elected Board Members of your national industry organisation. All candidates show their support of the Australian Country music industry in so many ways.

Both the Board Election and the Achiever Awards were voted for online, and the response and feedback has been fantastic. Thank you for embracing this new quick and easy way of participating in the activities of the CMAA.
Achiever Awards finalists 2007
The Country Music Association of Australia has released finalists for the 2007 Australian Country Music Achiever Awards.
They are...
For the Rex Barry (industry achiever) Award... John Arnold, Roxanne Brown, Bob Howe, Lorraine Pfitzner, Mike Smith and Graham Thompson.

For Entertainer of the Year... Adam Brand, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey (pictured), Gina Jeffreys (pictured) and Lee Kernaghan.

For Independent Entertainer of the Year... Carter & Carter, Jonah's Road, Amber Lawrence, Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French and Felicity Urquhart.

For Record Company of the Year, Major Distribution... ABC Music, Compass Bros Records, EMI Music Australia and Universal Music Australia.

For Record Company of the Year, Independent... LBS Music, MRA Entertainment and Shock Records.

For Publishing Company of the Year... ABC Music Publishing, EMI Music Publishing Australia, Jimmy Forty Music, Mushroom Music Publishing and Shock Music Publishing.

For Media Achiever of the Year, Individual... Cheryl Byrnes, Nick Erby, Ray Hadley, John Nutting and Mike Smith.

For Media Achiever of the Year, Organisation... 98.9FM Radio (Brisbane), Country Music Capital News, Country Music Channel, Country Update and the Independent Country Music Bulletin.

For Retailer of the Year... Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre (Tamworth), Carisma Compact Discs (Sydney), The Country Music Store (Brisbane), Songland (Canberra) and St Mary’s Sound Centre (Sydney).

For Cover Art of the Year... Debaser for Everyday Girl (Shea Fisher CD), Glen Hannah for Ring Around The Moon (James Blundell CD) and The Mile (Amber Lawrence CD) and Matthew Williamson for Stronger (Melinda Schneider CD).

For Entertainment Venue of the Year... Antill Park Golf Club Club (Picton, NSW), Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club (Sydney, NSW), The Pub (Tamworth, NSW), The Vanguard (Sydney, NSW)) and Wests (Tamworth, NSW).

For Club or Association of the Year... Australian Bush Balladeers Association (ABBA), Capital Country Music Association (CCMA, Tamworth), National Belrose Country Music Club (Sydney) and South Australian Council for Country Music (SACCM).

Finalists for Producer and Engineer of the Year are yet to be released.

Winner of the Musician of the Year title and PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) for Most Broadcast Country Artist are determined separately and will be announced on the Awards night in September.

Weblink –
www.country.com.au .
Greetings from the CMAA Office and welcome to the CMAA newsletter.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, this newsletter serves as a bit of a reminder for some very important activities coming up in the coming months.
2007 Achiever Awards
Firstly thank you to all who nominated for the Achiever Awards. The nominations are currently being processed and we will be going out very shortly with the finalist announcements.
Make sure you keep Monday the 10th of September free in your diary to come along to the Achievers, as we are sure you will have a great night.
The venue has been finalised as WatersEdge Function Centre, situated at Pier One, 11 Hickson Road in Walsh Bay.

This fantastic venue offers spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and overlooks the water. This will add to what is already set to be a fantastic night where the hard working people in country music will be honoured by their peers.
More details will be finalised and tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks.

Website Visits
Very happy to release the latest figures of visits from the www.country.com.au  website. In just over two years the visits to the official CMAA website have grown from 28,000 per month to today's figures of 68,000 per month. With January reaching a staggering 120,000 views for the month - a good reason for making sure you keep us informed with your details, tours, gigs, festivals and events.

Special General Meeting
The Board of the Country Music Association of Australia has previously invited professional members to attend a Special General Meeting of the Association to be held on Thursday the 26th of July 2007 in Sydney, commencing at 11am.

The purpose of the Special General Meeting is for the membership to consider and vote on altering the current Articles of the Association (Constitution) in Part 111, The Board, Section: Constitution and Membership.

Notice of Special General Meeting
Thursday, 26th July, 2007
APRA Board Room
6-12 Atchison Street, ST LEONARDS, NSW
Commencing at 11am

If you are unable to attend this meeting and still wish to have your input, please register a proxy to vote on your behalf. The proxy form is available from the CMAA Office.

The Golden Guitars salute the songs of John Williamson
On Saturday the 7th of July some of country music's most recognised artists paid tribute to CMAA President John Williamson at a sold out concert in Tamworth.
The sell out concert at Wests was a special night for John who enjoyed the show from the audience before taking to the stage himself.
Paying tribute to John's songs were Gina Jeffreys, Beccy Cole, Sara Storer, Brendon Walmsley, Lindsay Butler, Tracy Coster, Jeff Brown and Jim Haynes.

Each artist performed two of their favourite Williamson songs.
The audience were treated to many wonderful moments, including the emotional delivery of a tribute poem by Tracy Coster that John had written about her Dad Stan Coster. There was also laughter with Gina, Beccy and Sara joining together as the Songbirds and performing a rousing rendition of Old Man Emu.

The concert was put together as the main show for the 2007 Hats Off To Country Festival in Tamworth. The CMAA would like to thank Tourism Tamworth, Tourism NSW and Artist Network for their assistance in bring such a wonderful and successful show together, and look forward to delivering another top show in 2008.

Call for staff for the 2008 CMAA Australian College of Country Music
Applications for the positions of Group Leaders and College Assistants for the 2008 College have now opened. Full position descriptions are available on the CMAA website at http://www.country.com.au/index.cfm?page_id=1155

If you are interested in applying for either of these positions and would like more information please contact Cheryl Hayes at the office on 02 6766 1577. Applications will close on 1st August 2007.

Announcing the Troy Cassar-Daley Scholarship ­ funded by Arts NSW to encourage the development of NSW based Indigenous Country artists.
The CMAA is thrilled to announce the creation of the Troy Cassar-Daley Scholarship to the Australian College of Country Music.
The Scholarship will fund an Indigenous country music artist based in NSW to attend the nationally recognised Australian College of Country Music.
The Scholarship, a direct result of funding obtained through Arts NSW will be offered for the first time in 2008.
The scholarship will cover course fees and living costs for the two-week College.
If members know of any NSW based Indigenous artists between the ages of 18 and 35 they should be encouraged to apply. Applications will be received until the 30th August 2007 with the scholarship expected to be announced in September. For more information contact Cath Grippo at the CMAA on 02 6766 1577.

Special Dates to include in Diary
Annual General Meeting
The date of the 2007 Annual General Meeting is set for Monday the 10th of September at the WatersEdge Function Centre, Sydney.

Achievers Voting
Voting papers for the 2007 Achiever Awards will be distributed the last week in July, and voting will close on Friday 17th August.

2008 Awards Nominations
36th CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia presented by Jayco nomination forms will be distributed towards the end of August.
Whether you’re a country music singer, songwriter or instrumentalist – if you’re committed to a career in Australian country music you can benefit by taking part in the College. It’s a ‘full on’ intensive program that covers songwriting, vocal technique, business, marketing, management and recording – just to name some of the main study areas. The College runs for the two weeks leading up to the official Tamworth Country Music Festival, and is fully residential. The course fee covers accommodation, meals, tutoring and master classes. Scholarships are available, so please feel free to contact us and find out which one may be applicable to you. The College commenced in 1997, and has proven to be a highly valued stepping stone to a professional country music career. Full time tutors and guest tutors are drawn from the cream of Australian artists and musicians. College Director, Peter Winkler, is renowned for his music programs both here in Australia and internationally. His knowledge of music, in all its forms and concepts, ensures a well-rounded curriculum for all students.

Interested in applying?
Contact: Cath Grippo, Projects Officer
P: 02 6766 1577
E: cathgrippo@country.com.au
Applications Forms online at < http://www.country.com.au/index.cfm?page_id=1048
 ** NEWS **
The Troy Cassar-Daley Scholarship Announced (22-Jun-07)
The Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) is thrilled to announce the creation of the Troy Cassar-Daley Scholarship to the Australian College of Country Music. For more information visit
< http://www.country.com.au/index.cfm?page_id=1002&news_display_
PDF File - Gig Guide
Attached please find the program for the Hats off To Country Festival. This
has been supplied by Tourism Tamworth. Should you have any queries please
contact Tourism Tamworth direct on 02 6767 5300.

If you are attending the festival and haven¹t sent in your order form for
tickets to premier event of the festival - The Golden Guitars salute the
songs of John Williamson concert - as yet, please send in asap to ensure
your premium tickets.
Dear CMAA Member
Attached please find the program for the Hats off To Country Festival. This has been supplied by Tourism Tamworth. Should you have any queries please contact Tourism Tamworth direct on 02 6767 5300.

If you are attending the festival and haven’t sent in your order form for tickets to premier event of the festival - The ‘Golden Guitars’ salute the songs of John Williamson concert - as yet, please send in asap to ensure your premium tickets.
Are you involved in your local country music club or association? If so, the following may be of interest to you.
We have had a query from a couple of people who would like to join a country music club within an hour’s drive of Maryborough, QLD. They are very keen.
Do you know a club that would suit?
Contact: Annette Horne
E: pickles54@xtra.co.nz

Please visit < http://www.country.com.au/index.cfm?page_id=1144  > to see if your local country music club is listed. They are state by state listings and new or updated listings are always welcome. These pages are visited quite a lot and as this is a free service it helps promote your club or association at no cost to you.
Follow the instructions listed at < http://www.country.com.au/index.cfm?page_id=1144 >
Hats Off To Country, is The ‘Golden Guitars’ salute the songs of John Williamson.
The premier event of the 2007 Tamworth mid-year festival, Hats Off To Country, is The ‘Golden Guitars’ salute the songs of John Williamson.

This concert is Saturday, 7th July at Wests, and features John Williamson, Gina Jeffreys, Beccy Cole, Sara Storer, Brendon Walmsley, Lindsay Butler, Tracy Coster and Jeff Brown, with MC Jim Haynes.

There is a very limited number of premium seats available to CMAA Members, and will be allocated on a ‘first in best seated basis’.
Click here CMAA Associate Members for tickets
Listed below is information received at the CMAA National Office that we would like to pass on to you.

After a long battle with cancer, Neil Beeby died 3.10am Sunday morning, May 6.

In spite of his illness, and up until a final examination a few weeks ago, Neil had been keeping his spirits high and continued to actively report on people and the Country Music events taking place in the Australian Capital Territory and Southern New South Wales through two associated radio programmes, 2XX’s Saltbush and Spinifex and Australian Country, and a number of publications, including Capital News.

Neil had been a member of the Country Music Association of Canberra Inc since 1974. He was a staunch supporter of Australian Country Music and was a longstanding member of the Country Music Association of Australia. Neil joined the Association in 1996 and regularly kept in contact with the National Office - his input and dedication will be missed.

Details for Neil’s funeral are:
Tomorrow, Thursday, 10th May, due for commencement 1.30pm
St Bridget’s Catholic Church
cnr Bancroft & Wiltshire Streets

Then on to Gungahlin Cemetery for a graveside service.

Flowers or cards can be sent to the church, and/or any donations may be forwarded to:
Clare Holland House (palliative care)
5 Menindee Drive

There is a new narrowcast 24 hr country station starting up in the Illawarra called Southern Country. It’s under the WAVEFM station. It will be on 105.3FM, with minimum advertisements, no announcers, and lots of music with big Aussie flavour! So tune in!!

The CMAA Board has set the date for the 2007 Annual General Meeting for Monday 10th September 2007 in Sydney (venue to be advised).

A notice of meeting and agenda will be distributed in the months prior to the Meeting. The Annual General Meeting will report on the activities of the Association for the 2006/07 year along with holding elections to the Board and presenting detailed financial records of the Association.

The 2007 CMAA Australian Country Music Achiever Awards will also take place on the same day. The Board chose the 10th of September to hold the events to coincide with the Galston festival occurring on the day prior.

Please be sure to mark this date in your diaries.

As we have previously informed members the format of the Achievers has changed with the formalities to occur over a luncheon that will directly follow on from the AGM.

We are thinking of possible guest speakers for the Achievers and would welcome any members suggestions.

Website Statistics
The CMAA website www.country.com.au  continues to go from strength to strength. In the past year visits to the site has increased by over 15,500 per month. March saw the busiest month to date with over 61,000 distinct visits and over 119,000 page views.

These figures have continued to grow since the website was re-developed to it's newer format in 2005. The most popular areas of the site continue to surround the areas of College, the Country Music Awards of Australia, and the Awards Program from this years Awards presented by Jayco is continuing to be downloaded daily.

We would like to remind members that one of the benefits to your membership is a listing in the Country Contacts section. So if your an artist and not listed please be sure to send us your information to info@country.com.au . Also don't forget to email through your news and tour details as well. The website is updated daily to ensure that all the information is as current as possible.

College Applications
As per our last correspondence applications have opened for the 2008 CMAA Australian College of Country Music. If you know of any up and coming country music singers/songwriters or instrumentalists encourage them to get more information from our website www.country.com.au .

Applications will close at the end of June.
We are pleased to announce the return of a New Zealand Scholarship to the College with the Gore Country Music Association becoming a partner in College.

The goal of the CMAA is to have every State and Territory in Australia represented at College via a Scholarship. We believe the talent is out there nationwide. At present Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria and the Australian Bush Balladeers Association, and now New Zealand hold Scholarship placements at College.

CMAA goes to New Zealand
In May this year the CMAA is partnering the Gore Country Music Association with a three day country music development workshop.

This program has been developed based on the successful College format and will assist NZ country music artists in broadening their skill base and creating new networks.

The Gore Country Music Development Program will run in Gore from the 26th - 29th May 2007. Any New Zealand artists over the age of 15 are encouraged to apply. More information can be obtained by either contacting Cath Grippo at the CMAA office cathgrippo@country.com.au  or The Gore Country Music Association by visiting www.goldguitars.co.nz/ .
Board Meeting
The next meeting of the Board of the CMAA is in Sydney on the 22nd May. For members wising to raise a matter with the Board please contact Cheryl in writing to enable your matters to be placed on the Agenda. cherylhayes@country.com.au

2008 CMAA Australian College of Country Music Applications Open
Applications are now open for the 2008 CMAA Australian College of Country Music to be held in Tamworth from the 3rd January 2008.  College is widely regarded as the leading industry specialist course in Australia for country music singers, songwriters and instrumentalists.   The curriculum for College has been carefully constructed to ensure the delivery of a specialist, practical and highly personalised course.

College runs for two-weeks with training and tutoring being delivered by Australia's leading artists and industry specialists.
Applications close on Friday 29th June 2008. All enquiries are to be directed to Cath Grippo at the CMAA.
Application forms can be downloaded from the CMAA website www.country.com.au  or by clicking here.
If you're a country music singer, songwriter or instrumentalist, College is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Welcome Elijah Renton
It is always a nice way to start a newsletter by announcing the arrival of the newest Renton to the CMAA family.
Elijah Renton was born at 11.22pm last night in Tamworth and is the son to Elissa and the grandson to Leanie Renton.
All are well and very very very happy.
(As a result we are now two staff down in the office and not completely sure when we will be able to get an ounce of sense from either of them)

The CMAA is moving forward with its program of events for 2007.
The 35th CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, presented by Jayco has now been reviewed internally with a series of meetings to occur in the months ahead.
The meetings will include key production personnel with the view of modifying and making improvements for 2008 both from a live and television perspective. We would also urge input from members and artists who participate in the planning and presentation of the Awards to make direct contact with the office and provide their individual feedback and suggestions.

The new Business Development Committee has held its first meeting and has some specific activities now in development.
The Committee met and outlined the areas in which it believes it can make an impact. The focus of the Committee will be to ensure that the CMAA is well positioned to take advantage of commercial opportunities on a continual basis. The Committee evaluated existing events run by the CMAA and looked at possible new ventures that would increase the exposure of country music nationwide.

As part of its charter to expand the impact of country music in metropolitan Australia, the CMAA staged a series of Golden Guitar Winners Concerts at Penrith Panthers Club last week.

Twenty One Golden Guitar winners participated over the three nights and the audiences loved every bit of every performance.
The seven piece super band led by Rod McCormack backed the artists.
Again, we are very grateful for all the artists and support staff who made this project such a success.

The CMAA's annual album release The Winners (which showcases the Finalists of the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, presented by Jayco) has been a successful release again. Total sales of the double CD (released and marketed by EMI Music) will be around 30,000 units.

Applications for the 2008 CMAA Australian College of Country Music will open at the end of March.
The CMAA is encouraging applications from instrumentalists as well as singers, songwriters and performers.
The purpose of the College is the delivery of a specialist country music professional development course with an emphasis on practical creative performance skills. The College is widely recognised and prides itself on developing the needs of each individual student.

Applications will close on the 29th June 2007 and can be downloaded on the CMAA website www.country.com.au . Enquiries are to be directed to Cath Grippo at the office on (02) 6766 1577.

The CMAA has been working consistently over the past 4 months to develop country music short courses derived from the curriculum delivered at the College. The short courses are lead by the same professional group of tutors and lecturers employed at the College. For information on bringing a CMAA course to your area please contact the Office to discuss your needs and ideas and we will tailor make a program to suit.

Radio in Australia begins moving to the digital platform in 2009. It will be a progressive roll-out, with regional areas following some time after the major markets.

The main interest for us is the expanded signal capacity that will be available for stations to carry additional programming and data. Some stations will have more than one programming stream ­ and that could mean full time Country Music stations on the air in major markets in the foreseeable future. (The ARN network with stations in most of the capital cities has recently introduced an on-line Country station called Pure Country. This was done as part of the network's positioning for Digital expansion in the years ahead.)

In our last newsletter we asked for you thoughts regarding the moving of the Achiever Awards back to a daytime function immediately following the Annual General Meeting. The feedback we received appears that this is a good idea, so now we will move ahead and look at the planning in detail.

The CMAA extends its sincere condolences to June Smyth and her family. June is the Country Music coordinator at the Tamworth Regional Council. On March14 June's husband Don passed away after a long battle with cancer. Don and June are fondly remembered as the original licensees of Tamworth's Longyard Hotel, which they established as a Country Music haven in the second half of the 1980s.
A message from Nick Weare of The National Film and Sound Archive
I wanted to make sure you were aware of the NFSA's recently established Sounds of Australia - the National Registry of Recorded Sound - and encourage you to nominate a significant recording for addition to the Registry this year.

You've still got a little time to think about it, as nominations close on 31st March. The nomination form plus info about the Registry is at http://www.nfsa.afc.gov.au/soundsofaustralia - or just email me with your nomination, including a few words as to why it's important.

Criteria for selection include artistic excellence, historical relevance, technical or scientific achievement, and prominence in shaping Australia's culture and identity. Recordings must have been made in Australia, or by Australians, and must be at least 20 years old. They can be a single item or group of related items; published or unpublished, and can contain music, spoken word, or any other sound.

A bit more about Sounds of Australia:
Sounds of Australia is a public registry of significant Australian sound recordings established by the NFSA. It was launched in February this year with a foundation list of 10 recordings from the National Film and Sound Archive selected by the NFSA's Director Paolo Cherchi Usai and the Recorded Sound team. Each year in June, 10 recordings will be added to the list, selected from public nominations by a panel of experts from the recorded sound industry and cultural institutions.

Thanks for your time,

Nick Weare
Sound Section
Curatorial Division
The National Film and Sound Archive
GPO Box 2002

Phone +61 2 6248 2177   Fax + 61 2 6248 2167
Mob : 0437 195 026
E: nick.weare@nfsa.afc.gov.au

The National Film and Sound Archive collects, preserves and provides access to Australia's Historic and contemporary moving image and recorded sound culture. We are part of the Australian Film Commission.

Check out the new online collection search facility - Search the Collection - faster, easier and a full free-text search at http://wwwcolsearch.nfsa.afc.gov.au
Following on from a very successful Tamworth Festival, where the CMAA was able to show profits from its activities our task over the next twelve months is to build the financial position of the Association and allow us to undertake all the activities needed to make our Association more successful.

On March 21-22-23 the CMAA is staging a series of Golden Guitar Winners Concerts at Penrith Panthers Club in western Sydney.
The CMAA would like to thank the twenty one Golden Guitar winners who are contributing their services to this initiative.

Thanks to CMAA Board member Marius Els and his team who have organised the concerts. Ticket sales are very strong with the Friday night concert already sold out.

Details are on our web site www.country.com.au  ­ and there are some tickets available for the Wednesday and Thursday night concerts at Panthers on 1800 061 991

Joan Douglas Resigns
Joan Douglas, Secretary of the CMAA Board resigned from the Board at the March 8 meeting. Joan told the Board pressure on her many commitments has forced her to rearrange her activities.

'We have come through an amazing restructure period and although I'm sad to be leaving I believe the CMAA is in a very strong position to achieve great things' Joan told the meeting.

In accepting Joan's resignation chairman Rod Laing told Joan the industry is very appreciative of her support and contribution, particularly during the difficult restructure times.

Joan will remain associated with the Professional Development Sub Committee, which deals with education matters including the CMAA's Australian College of Country Music.

Rod McCormack ­Joins the Board
The CMAA Board has asked Rod McCormack to fill the vacant position on the Board. Rod has accepted and will fill the position until this year's Board election in September.

Rod McCormack is a multi award winning record producer (Gina Jeffreys / Adam Harvey / Beccy Cole / Alyce Simmonds / Lou Bradley / Paul Costa), a highly regarded multi instrumentalist and a principle of Ocean Road Music.

Lee Kernaghan Appointed as CMAA Secretary
Board member Lee Kernaghan has moved onto the Executive of the Board in the Secretary's position.

During the broad discussion about the 35th CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia (presented by Jayco) general manager Cheryl Hayes revealed more than 500,000 people viewed the Awards on free to air television the week following the presentation via the presentation on Southern Cross Ten and Channel Ten. This represented a 27% increase on 2006, with the viewing audience in the metro audience exceeding the previous years viewing stats by close to 30,000. The Awards are being aired currently on CMC who have undertaken the massive commitment of programming the Awards 18 times.

There was a lot of feedback following the Awards ­ most of it positive. Matters of concern were discussed and all were noted for attention.

The main area of concern received via feedback was the editing of performances. The Board acknowledged that it will not be possible to include all of the performances or Awards presentations in the television broadcasts, however all of the CMAA Awards should be acknowledged in the broadcast, and this will happen in future.

Two years ago the CMAA conducted a major review of the structure and curriculum of our annual two week live-in education course staged just prior to the Tamworth Festival.

For two days prior to the March 8 CMAA Board meeting all those involved in operating the College held a two day review resulting in a number of modifications to be introduced in 2008.

Because of the huge amount of information that can be given to people seeking a place in the entertainment industry the College will focus primarily on producing a specialised curriculum that is unique and unique to the country music industry.

The CMAA College of Country Music will strive to attract more musicians, and offer more opportunities for them to build their career paths.

At its first meeting of the year the Board holds it annual planning meeting where it reviews its business plan and looks at its activities for the year ahead.

Two additional Sub-Committees have been established to build on two specific areas this year:

Business Development Sub-Committee
This committee will look at building both the image of Country Music and its position in mainstream entertainment. Board members Marius Els, Chris O'Hearn and Lee Kernaghan will be joined by corporate supporters Ray Heckendorf, Robyn Watts and Steve White.

This is a long term multi faceted project that will effect the future success of our industry. This committee will seek input from a wide range of expert contributors to ensure the CMAA exploits every commercial opportunity.

Membership Sub-Committee
A new committee has been introduced to oversee membership matters. Deniese Morrison, Ron Adsett and Rebecca Urquhart McCarthy will work on engaging the membership with the CMAA, reviewing services and benefits.

The Membership get together in Tamworth was a huge success and now will be an annual fixture for January. Likewise the members entrance to the Awards this year was also very well received.

At the Planning and Board meeting the Annual Achiever Awards was discussed with the priority on ensuring as many members of the Association are able to attend. The Board discussed possibly moving the function back to a luncheon that directly followed the Annual General Meeting. Let us know your thoughts, send us a line to info@country.com.au
The next Board meeting will be held in Sydney on May 22, 2007.

The 2007 Class of the CMAA Australian College of Country Music arrive in Tamworth today to begin the country music experience of their lives.
Within the Australian music industry, the CMAA Australian College of Country Music is widely acknowledged as a launching pad for country artists, many of whom have graduated to build a successful career in the industry.
Throughout the two-week residential course, students will receive tuition from some of the best in the business.
College runs from January 5 to 19 with the student’s graduation concert occurring on the opening night of the Tamworth Festival. The Graduation Concert will be held at Blazes on the 19th of January.

The 2007 students of the CMAA Australian College of Country Music are:
Willow (Woodford, Qld); 8 Ball Aitken (Brisbane, Qld); Katie Brianna (Elermore Vale, NSW); Brett Clarke (Tamworth, NSW); Corey Colum (Australind, WA); Courtney Conway (Maiden Gully, Vic); Leanne Cryer (Auckland, NZ); Jesse Davis (Wamuran, Qld); Jayme Delaney (Tennant Creek, NT); Nellie Donovan (Flaxton, Qld); Sharnee Fenwick (Glendale, NSW); Sarah Head (Dubbo, NSW); Kelly Hope (Lane Cove, NSW); Gina Horswood (Chinchilla, Qld); Lee Kirby (Morton Vale, Qld); Nick Laing (Wonthaggi, Vic); Matthew Manning (Casino, NSW); Sarah McMonagle (Stafford, Qld); Rae Moody (Cremorne, NSW); Vanessa Shirley (Murray Bridge, SA); Simon Wegener (Angle Vale, SA) and Talia Wittmann (Verdun, SA).

For further information please contact
Email: cathgrippo@country.com.au 

CMAA announces Life Membership awards
The Board of the Country Music Association of Australia has announced it will present CMAA Life Memberships to John Minson and Max Ellis at a special CMAA Members’ function to be held during the Tamworth Country Music Festival this month.
Max Ellis OAM has been arguably Australian Country Music’s greatest visionary, working tirelessly through two landmark periods of Country Music’s history.

Max was the foundation secretary of the CMAA. With the four other originators he coordinated the establishment of the Country Music Association of Australia in 1992.

Previously, Max had managed the establishment of the Australasian Country Music Awards in 1973, in his role as Station Manager at Radio 2TM. Over the following ten years Max nurtured the establishment of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

John Minson OAM was the voice of Country Music during the important renaissance period that saw  the establishment of Tamworth as Australia’s Country Music Capital in the early 70s, and the subsequent huge growth in the Country Music industry.

Known affectionately as “Mr Hoedown”, John’s nightly Country Music radio program “Hoedown” on 2TM built a huge following in country areas far beyond Tamworth. This in turn brought forward the idea to establish an annual awards event for recorded music.

Max and John join an elite field with Joy McKean, Smoky and Dot Dawson and Rick Carey previously being named as Life Members of the Association.

The Chairman of the CMAA, Rod Laing, said the Association was pleased that both men had accepted the offer of Life Membership. He added that celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Country Music Awards of Australia in 2007 by bestowing Life Membership to two important pioneers of the industry was a fitting tribute.
A “Golden” Opportunity
Tamworth, 16 November 2006:
Four of the major stakeholders associated with the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA), Tourism Tamworth, Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) and Telstra, are joining forces to present a stronger, united front for one of the biggest music festivals in the world.
Together, these organisations will shout in one, loud, clear voice to reinforce about the 35th anniversary of the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the celebration of the Country Music Awards of Australia.
This year, TRC, Telstra, CMAA as well as Tourism Tamworth are combining their resources to hold a joint metropolitan media launch for the Festival in Sydney on Thursday 7 December 2006. The event will include an address from Mayor James Treloar officially launching the Festival as well as the official announcement of finalists for the Awards by the CMAA.
“The finalist announcement is a very big event for the CMAA; it prepares the industry for the award ceremony and most importantly recognises the success and achievements of all the nominated artists and groups,” said Ms Cheryl Hayes, General Manager, CMAA.
“The nominations and the culminating Awards presentation are a stalwart event of the Festival; and the joint launch is a great way for the organisations to come together and celebrate all components of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.”
The official Festival launch in Sydney will be followed by a local community launch in Tamworth on the evening of 7 December. Expected to run from 6.00pm – 9.00pm, the event will include performances from up-n-coming artists plus a free BBQ for residents of the Tamworth region to come together and celebrate their Festival.
“With the name change adopted this year, the Festival has been ‘given back’ to the local community; everyone pulls together in order to make the Festival the great success it has always been and now they have a more fulfilling sense of ownership over it,” said Mr David Woodward, Marketing Manager, Tourism Tamworth.
“As the designated marketing and promotion body for the Festival, Tourism Tamworth is really excited about the joint launch and the coming together of these stakeholders. We believe the partnership with CMAA, and the Award Nominee announcement, will allow further promotion of the Tamworth Country Music Festival to a wider audience.
“We are extremely grateful to all the Festival partners; TRC, Telstra and especially CMAA, for taking this giant step to work together in showcasing the Festival to the world.”
For further information about the launch for the Festival or the Tamworth Country Music Festival in general, please contact Tourism Tamworth on 02 6767 5300 or log-on to
www.visittamworth.com  .
Associate Member
Limited opportunity to do Tamworth in style
Dave Ovenden, of Country Music Tours & Travel in Melbourne, reports that they have a rare number of vacancies on their 32nd Tamworth Trip.

Departing Melbourne at 7pm on Tuesday, 23rd January, the trip travels overnight arriving at the Best Western Sanctuary Inn (formerly the Country Comfort Inn) at 11.30am the following day. The trip is done in a Cobb & Co.1995 Scania coach with all modern cons and is under the control of two drivers for the duration of the Trip. The journey covers approx. 17 hours, punctuated by several scheduled refreshment and meal stops along the way.

Home in Tamworth is at the Sanctuary Inn in twin share or double accommodation for five nights, with dinner and breakfast included in the fare, as is a select seat at the Country Music Awards Concert.

All the above is included in the fare of $1350, which you'll agree is more than reasonable, also included is the knowledge and experience of Dave & Yvonne Ovenden who did their first trip to the festival in 1976, for know-how and guidance on how best to enjoy the week.

Contact Dave or Yvonne on (03) 9465 0501 all hours or on the net: cmtnt@bigpond .

All enquiries should be directed to the contacts above – the CMAA is purely bringing this opportunity to your attention and is not involved in the organisation of the trip in any way. Dave Ovenden has been a Professional Member of the CMAA for well over a decade.
The CMAA Country Music Achiever Awards
The CMAA Country Music Achiever Awards were staged at the Sydney Harbour Marriott on Monday night. As usual, it was a great chance for industry types to meet and mingle, and relax in salubrious surroundings. Host for the night was Channel Ten's weatherman, Tim Bailey, who has become a great champion of country music in recent years. To get the ball rolling, Tim introduced reigning CMAA Entertainer of the Year Beccy Cole, who showed the capacity audience just why she earnt that title, singing a brand new song, as cheeky as ever - and it could have been called The Lifeboat Song. Didn't quite catch the name - but the lyrics are still making me smile. She also sang her current hit single, Poster Girl.
Then afterwards, reigning Entertainer of the Year (Independent) Felicity Urquhart, accompanied by Glen Hannah on guitar, showed her class with two songs from her new album, My Life. That Boy Sure Can Jump a Train and her current hit single, Big Black Cloud.
It was a beaut night. The food was great. The company excellent. What more could you want?
Here are some happy snaps from the evening.
Anna Rose

CMAA projects officer Cath Grippo and Greg Brown, who ensured all production on the night
went off without a hitch.
Golden girl Gina Jeffreys with her husband, award-winning producer and muso, Rod McCormack,
who won the inaugural Musician of the Year, introduced for the first time this year.

The Compass Bros crew was all smiles on the night, taking out Record Company of the Year - Independent.
The Tamworth connection was out in force in the big smoke, with finalists Noel and Wendy Bennet from
The Big Golden Guitar tourist centre, and good mate, Southern Cross Ten executive, Peter Greenaway.
Here's a happy trio - Kate Nugent from Rural Press Events, Travis Collins and CMR's Nick Erby.
CMAA chairman Rod Laing, with his good buddy and the host with the most - Tim Bailey.
The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
CMAA Achievers 010
Lotsa costas in this pic - Paul and Suzie Costa, with Costa Atzemis from Artist Network Australia.
Skip Beaumont-Edmonds caught up with Jim and Robyn Haynes for a yarn.

Ken Date, Sydney's coolest DJ, with a group of gorgeous gals - Rae and Liz from The Harmonators,
Cath Grippo and Bec McCarthy.

Marius Els, from Artist Network Australia, with Trish and Al Skeed.

Dale Duncan, right, with his manager, Brian Clarke, left, and CMAA
College student of 2007 Kelly Hope.
A very popular result on the night was the Rex Barry Award winner Roxanne Brown,
pictured here with good mate, Mark Lucas.
Results of the Board Election announced at the Annual General Meeting held yesterday can be viewed by clicking http://www.country.com.au/index.cfm?page_id=1025
Winners of the
2006 Country Music Association of Australia
Achiever Awards Announced

Monday, 16 October, 2006: The winners of the Country Music Association of Australia’s (CMAA) 2006 Achiever Awards were announced tonight at a gala dinner at the Sydney Harbour Marriott.

Beginning in 1995 the Achiever Awards are part of the Country Music Association of Australia’s long history of recognising its supporters who have made major contributions to the development and promotion of Australian country music over the preceding 12 month period.

The 2006 Awards were hosted by Channel Ten’s Tim Bailey and presenters included Channel 9’s National Entertainment Editor, Richard Wilkins as well as Network Ten’s Entertainment reporter, Angela Bishop. Also presenting Awards were Melinda Schneider, Anne Kirkpatrick, Lee Kernaghan and Troy Cassar-Daley, the winner of this year’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Guests were treated to performance by Beccy Cole, The Baileys and the winner of the 2006 Independent Entertainer of the Year, Felicity Urquhart.

The 2006 Achiever Awards are the largest to date with the highest number of nominations received in the Awards’ history. This has meant that Media Achiever of the Year has been split into two categories to acknowledge both Individuals and Organisations. In addition to this, two new categories have been introduced to recognise excellence in Entertainment Venues and Clubs or Associations.

Nominations are sought from Professional Members of the CMAA for industry categories, from which finalists are determined. With a top line-up of artists, producers and record companies vying for these industry awards it confirms the continued growth in the interest and accessibility of country music in Australia.

“The Australian Country Music Achiever Awards are the industry’s way of recognising performers on stage as well as those tireless workers behind the scenes who as ambassadors for country music. The CMAA Achiever Awards are special because they acknowledge such a broad cross-section of people in our industry. Many of these hard working people would otherwise go unrecognised for their work behind the scenes” said Cheryl Hayes, General Manager of the CMAA.

The 2006 CMAA Achiever Awards winners are:

Inaugural Club or Association of the Year:
Capital Country Music Association

Inaugural Entertainment Venue of the Year:
The Pub, Tamworth

Retailer of the Year:
St Mary’s Sound Centre (2000 winner)

Cover Art of the Year:
Glen Hannah (My Life, Felicity Urquhart) (2005 winner)

Producer of the Year:
Joint Winners: John Williamson, Nash Chambers
(1st win in this category for John Williamson and the 4th win for Nash Chambers)

Engineer of the Year:
Jeff McCormack

Inaugural Musician of the Year (Special Board Award):
Rod McCormack

Media Achiever - Organisation:
Country Music Capital News (2005 winner)

Media Achiever - Individual:
John Nutting (2000 winner)

Publishing Company of the Year:
ABC Music Publishing (2001-2005 winner)

Record Company of the Year - Independent:
Shock Records

Record Company of the Year - Major Distribution:
Compass Bros Records (2005 winner)

Independent Entertainer of the Year:
Felicity Urquhart (2005 winner)

Entertainer of the Year:
Troy Cassar-Daley (1997, 1998 and 2000 winner)

Rex Barry Award:
Roxanne Brown

In addition to the CMAA categories, the Achiever Awards also hosts the presentation of the PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) Award for the Most Broadcast Country Artist in the preceding 12 months. The winner of this year’s Award is Kasey Chambers. This is Kasey’s 4th consecutive Most Broadcast Country Artist award having also won it in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Announcing the country class of 2007
Twenty-two very excited young people will meet in Tamworth in January to begin the educational experience of their lives.
The much awaited selection of applicants for the CMAA Australian College of Country Music has been determined and the first 18 students’ names announced.
8 Ball Aitken (Brisbane, Qld);
Katie Brianna (Elermore Vale, NSW);
 Brett Clarke (Tamworth, NSW);
Corey Colum (Australind, WA);
Courtney Conway (Maiden Gully, Vic);
 Leanne Cryer (Auckland, NZ);
 Jayme Delaney (Tennant Creek, NT);
 Nellie Donovan (Flaxton, Qld);
 Sharnee Fenwick (Glendale, NSW);
 Sarah Head (Dubbo, NSW);
 Kelly Hope (Lane Cove, NSW);
Gina Horswood (Chinchilla, Qld);
 Lee Kirby (Morton Vale, Qld);
 Matthew Manning (Casino, NSW);
 Sarah McMonagle (Stafford, Qld);
 Rae Moody (Cremorne, NSW);
Simon Wegener (Angle Vale, SA);
Talia Wittmann (Verdun, SA).

Four scholarship students will be decided once four important competitions conclude: in Queensland the Gympie Muster (late August); in South Australia the Rocky Page Memorial (mid September); in Mildura, Victoria, (early October) and the Queensland Champion of Champions (mid November).

In the country music industry, College is widely acknowledged as a launching pad for many highly successful performers over the past 11 years, quite a number of whom are now Golden Guitar winners.

On January 5 when the 22 students meet in Tamworth, they will undergo two weeks of tuition from some of the best in the business as they chase their dream of becoming a country star.

College director Peter Winkler and team leaders Merelyn Carter, Mike McClellan and Sean Rudd, will be joined by some of the Australian country music industry’s most successful performers, movers and shakers to learn the nuts of bolts of the business.

College runs from January 5 to 19, leading up to the biggest party of the year – the Tamworth Country Music Festival. In fact, the festival’s first day is College’s culmination.
The College graduation concert, staged in Blazes at Wests, is usually the first of many highlights of the 10-day festival and is now a must-see event on the festival agenda.

To learn more about college, visit the CMAA website, www.country.com.au .
• College was first staged in Tamworth in 1997
• In this year’s intake, so far there are students from New Zealand and all states of Australia bar Tasmania and the ACT
• There are seven students from NSW, five from Queensland, one from the Northern Territory, two from South Australia, one from Victoria, one from Western Australia
• College runs from January 5-19, 2007 in Tamworth
• In this year’s intake, so far there are six males and 12 females
• The age of students is from 18 to 34
• Students live on campus at Calrossy Girls’ School, Tamworth for the two-week duration of the event
• Celebrity guests visit college each day to impart their knowledge to students in all facets of the Australian country music industry
• Subjects covered include songwriting, musicianship, performance techniques, recording techniques and more
For further information please contact
Country Music Association of Australia
Cath Grippo
Tel: 02 6766 1577
Email: cathgrippo@country.com.au
Board puts Awards Changes on Hold
The Board of the Country Music Association of Australia announced today that all but 3 of the proposed changes to the Country Music Awards of Australia categories and nomination rules for the 2007 Awards eligibility period will be postponed and implemented in 2008.
This decision brings into effect the practice of the CMAA that changes or alterations to Awards rules or criteria benefit from 12 months notice.

This enables the industry to be fully prepared and understand the criteria when nominating.

Chairman of the CMAA, Rod Laing, noted that the Board Of The CMAA has agreed that implementing such changes to the 2007 Awards would not have given the industry adequate notice.

Rod Laing also noted that the proposed implementation of changes for 2007 sparked interest & debate from all sectors of the country music industry in Australia and that this feedback, which was from it's members on both sides of the debate, was and continues to be welcome.

The Board of the CMAA reviewed all the feed back swiftly and, in line with traditional practices, felt that postponement was in the best interests of the industry as a whole.

Changes that are deemed to be minor definition changes to the Country Music Awards of Australia and will go ahead for the January 2007 Awards are-
 Female and Male Vocalist Of The Year will be named Male and Female Artist of the Year, Vocal Group or Duo will be renamed Group or Duo;
 The awarding of an additional trophy to the writer of the Heritage Song of the Year where the song is an original piece of work.
For additional comments or interview
Cheryl Hayes, General Manager
Country Music Association of Australia
(02) 67 66 1577

Commercial Radio Networks - Expressions of Interest invited
The Country Music Association of Australia is calling for Expressions of Interest from Commercial Radio Networks to undertake the live radio broadcast of the 2007 Country Music Awards of Australia.

The CMAA is looking to ensure the widest exposure of the Awards via regional, remote and metropolitan radio signals to ensure as many Australians have the opportunity to listen to the live Awards broadcast.

Interested broadcasters are requested to read the information contained in Tenders on the CMAA website http://www.country.com.au/ and submit their Expression of Interest before 25th August, 2006.
For further information please contact
Country Music Association of Australia
Cheryl Hayes
Tel: 02 6766 1577
Email: cherylhayes@country.com.au
CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia
Nomination Package
Click here to download the 2007 Nomination Package.
Some categories have changed, please ensure you check all details.
If you have any queries please email
Nominations close on October 15, 2006. Awards will be presented
on Saturday, January 27 2007

CMAA Australian Country Music Achiever Awards - Monday 16th October
The arrival in Sydney of three little chicks from Dixieland has meant the CMAA Australian Country Music Achiever Awards date has been shifted back a week – to Monday 16th October.

The previously set date, 9th October, was the same night as the Dixie Chicks’ Sydney concert at the Acer Arena, so it was quickly decided the awards would be moved to avoid this conflict.

The awards venue, the Sydney Harbour Marriott, will be alive with excitement, providing the opportunity for the industry’s best to be celebrated.

As usual, guests will enjoy a fabulous night out, with reigning Entertainers of the Year Beccy Cole and Felicity Urquhart booked to perform. The evening will be finished off with high energy band The Baileys, who are sure to increase traffic on the dance floor.

An announcement will be made shortly on who the “host with the most” will be, so watch out for this one. It’s quite special.

A record number of nominations were received for this year’s Achiever Awards, and the list of finalists is extremely impressive.

Congratulations to the following finalists and a special welcome to the finalists in the new awards categories, Entertainment Venue of the Year and Club or Association of the Year.

Rex Barry Award
John Arnold
Roxanne Brown
Nick Erby
Barry Harley
Lorraine Pfitzner
Entertainer of the Year
Troy Cassar-Daley
Kasey Chambers
Beccy Cole
Adam Harvey
Lee Kernaghan
Independent Entertainer of the Year
Carter & Carter
The Flood
John Stephan
Felicity Urquhart
Jeanette Wormald
Record Company of the Year - Major Distribution
ABC Music
Compass Bros Records
EMI Music Australia
SonyBMG Music Entertainment Australia & NZ
Universal Music Australia
Record Company of the Year - Independent
ACMEC Records
LBS Music
Regency Sound
Shock Records
Shoestring Records
Publishing Company of the Year
ABC Music Publishing
EMI Music Publishing Australia
Jimmy Forty Music
Origin Music Group
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia
Media Achiever of the Year - Individual
Nick Erby
Bob Kirchner
John Nutting
Anna Rose
Mike Smith
Media Achiever of the Year - Organisation
Country Music Capital News
Country Music Channel
Country Update
Independent Country Music Bulletin
NfS Publicity
Retailer of the Year
Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre, Tamworth
Carisma Compact Discs, Sydney
The Country Music Store, Brisbane
Songland, Canberra
St Marys Sound Centre, Sydney
Cover Art of the Year
Louise Cook for The Late Late Show (The Flood CD)
Coolgrey Creative for The New Bush (Lee Kernaghan CD)
Glen Hannah for My Life (Felicity Urquhart CD)
Glen Hannah for Not Without You (Camille Te Nahu & Stuie French CD)
StudioEmotion for Firefly (Sara Storer CD)
Entertainment Venue of the Year
Blacktown RSL Club, Sydney
Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club, Sydney
The Pub, Tamworth
Rooty Hill RSL Club, Sydney
Wests, Tamworth
Club or Association of the Year
Australian Bush Balladeers Association (ABBA), National
Belrose Country Music Club, Sydney
Capital Country Music Association (CCMA), Tamworth
Country Music Association of Canberra
Tamworth Songwriters’ Association (TSA), National
Producer of the Year
Nash Chambers
Paul Kelly
Rod McCormack
Garth Porter
John Williamson
Engineer of the Year
Ted Howard
Herm Kovac
Jeff McCormack
Rod McCormack
Steve Newton
For further information on the CMAA Australian Country Music Achiever Awards log onto www.country.com.au 
For further information please contact
Country Music Association of Australia
Cheryl Hayes / Cath Grippo
Tel: 02 6766 1577
Email: cherylhayes@country.com.au  / cathgrippo@country.com.au
College of Country Music
18 years and over applications close 30th June 2006
Contact CMAA Phone 02 6766 1577
email info@country.com.au 
website www.country.com.au 
2007 CMAA Australian College of Country Music
Applications for entry into the 2007 Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) Australian College of Country Music open today, 3 April, 2006.

With a limited number of positions available combined with the reputation of the College, the spots for 2007 will be hotly contested.

The success of the College experience speaks volumes with six out of the last seven Golden Guitar New Talent of the Year winners and eight out of the last ten Star Maker winners being College graduates.

The two-week course runs from 5 to 19 January, 2007. Particular focus will be given to 18-35 year old instrumentalists/musicians. Whilst the College annually attracts a healthy level of applications from talented singer/songwriters, 2007 aims to attract a cross section of students including fiddle, dobro and banjo players, drummers, guitarists, and bass players.

The College prides itself on developing and enhancing each student’s own area of need. Specialist tuition is delivered in the areas of songwriting, vocal technique and delivery, business management and marketing studies, personal and performance techniques, instrumental technique and music theory.

The College is now in its 11th year with over 210 students graduated including Sara Storer, Jedd Hughes, Brendon Walmsley, Lyn Bowtell & Karen O'Shea from Bella, Tom Curtain, The Sunny Cowgirls, Nick Kingswell, Travis Collins & Samantha McClymont.

Each year the students receive advice and tuition from the music industry’s elite. The College is an initiative of the CMAA and leads into the Tamworth Country Music Festival, where many of the students remain to exercise the skills they have learnt in the preceding two weeks.

Applications for the 2007 College close at 5.00pm on 30 June, 2006. An application form can be downloaded here. .
Plan unveiled for new Australian Country Music Hall of Fame

Australia will finally get its major country music hall of fame if a plan launched in Tamworth today comes to fruition.

The plan, put together by the Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF), is for the construction and fit-out of a building on a new site in Tamworth with a projected overall cost of $12 million.

Members of the Foundation have been working almost constantly since January compiling the plan with the assistance of consultant Vicki Brooke of Purple Patch Consulting and underwritten by grant funding from Museums & Galleries NSW to establish the viability of a larger country music hall of fame in Tamworth.

The plan allows for the construction of a new building with space for exhibitions, collection storage and workspace, reference and study libraries, mastering studio, coffee shop and bistro, small performance theatre and meeting rooms as well as merchandising and administration areas.

The plan also contains detailed financials covering capital, operating and fundraising income and expenditure in the five years leading up to the opening of the proposed new Hall of Fame and the first five years of operation.

“Our plan for the construction of a larger Australian Country Music Hall of Fame is a major new vision for Australian country music,” said ACMF President Bob Kirchner.

The Foundation has been gradually building the Hall of Fame in smaller leased premises in Tamworth’s central business district since formation in the early 1990s.

Following the recent merger with the Heritage Hall group, an organisation with similar aims and objectives, the need for additional space became urgent. With the two now combined collections, the ACMF’s current building, the city’s former Mechanics’ Institute, is almost literally bursting at the seams.

“Together with the space needed for collections, we also desperately need more room for our exhibitions,” Bob said. ”This January, for example, we expanded our hall of fame displays to almost 30, but there are stories of hundreds more performers, musicians and songwriters in Australian country music to tell.

“Add to this the entire history of country music in Australia since early last century and the need for a major Australian country music museum becomes apparent. We also have important recognition schemes like the Hands of Fame and Country Music Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame to highlight.

“And the many significant  country music events which have taken place over the last 70 years or so. Not to mention the history of country music recording and the music industry over the years. And the exciting developments of new stars in our country music history being made today.

“The Australian Country Music Hall of Fame acts as the one main collection point for all of this history,” he said, “and a place for much of it to be displayed to fans, the industry and general public.”

If all goes according to plan, the new Country Music Hall of Fame will open in January 2010.

The ACMF will be looking at setting up major partnerships with Tamworth Regional Council and the NSW and Federal Governments to enable the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame to become a reality.

Strategic alliances will be established with similar attractions, including the Stockmans’ Hall of Fame at Longreach and the proposed Slim Dusty Centre at Kempsey, together with regional, state and national tourism authorities.

“The new Australian Country Music Hall of Fame will be a substantial facility for Australian country music,” Bob said, “and another major attraction for Tamworth, Australia’s Home of Country Music.

“It’s certainly a big project,” he said, “but one we believe is achievable.

“We will be working very hard over the next few years and look forward to the support of many thousands of people in the industry, government, media and general community to make it happen.”

Further information can be obtained from http://www.countrymusichalloffame.com.au or by telephoning the Foundation on 02 6766 9696.

Click here Photos and Results of CCMA Talent Quest 2004

Joy McKean honoured by country music industry- 2003

Joy McKean ­ retiring President, long-time Treasurer and foundation member of the Country Music Association of Australia ‹ was honoured by her peers at the Association¹s annual meeting in Tamworth today.   A motion to confer Honorary Life Membership on Joy was adopted by members unanimously and by acclamation.   

Joy joins husband Slim Dusty and country music pioneers and industry supporters Dot and Smoky Dawson as the only four people to have received this honour from the CMAA.

Together with Slim, John Williamson, Phil Matthews and Max Ellis, Joy was instrumental in the establishment of the Association in 1992, staying directly and heavily involved until she took the decision to stand down from this year.

John Williamson was welcomed at tthe as the new CMAA President, with Vice President John Arnold, Secretary Barry Harley and Treasurer Janine Byrne.   

Board members elected for the 2003 year were Ron Adsett, Jeff Chandler, Joan Douglas, Pat Drummond, Jim Haynes, Sue Jarvis, Bob Kirchner, Arthur Laing, Rod Laing, Dobe Newton, John Nutting, Denise Toranbeek and Grenville Turner.  

In an address to the meeting, John Williamson said the CMAA was respected in the music industry as one of the most effective organizations in Australia and had done ³tremendous work for our industry with literally dozens of achievements we can be proud of.  

³Conditions are always changing² he said, ³and the CMAA must be ready to meet the many challenges that face us.².

During the meeting, CMAA members voted to reduce the size of the Association¹s Board from 22 to 11 including the four office bearers.  The change will take effect for the 2004 year. A new sub-committee structure directly involving more members in the organisation was foreshadowed.