Focus on the Land
Gisborne songwriter in contest final
Thursday, September 06, 2012
ENTERTAINMENT - JUST eight months after leaving her home town to further her music studies, a Gisborne artist has been named a finalist in the University of Auckland’s Songwriter of the Year contest.
Stevii Hill is one of six to be chosen as finalists in what the University says is “a key event in the music calendar that showcases the work of New Zealand’s up and coming singer-songwriters”.
All students at the School of Music’s Popular Music Programme, they were chosen from a field of 12 contestants at a semi-finals event held in July.
At the finals — on September 20 — the six contestants will each perform a solo acoustic work along with two pieces accompanied by a band.
The winner will be selected by a panel of judges made up from industry
representatives Brendan Smyth (NZ On Air), Stephen O’Hoy (Amplifier/The Audience/DRM) and Huia Hamon (Kog Studio).
“The Songwriter of the Year at the School of Music has proven its worth as a judge of talent,” says tutor Jeremy Toy, himself a Tate Music Prize winner (and member of indie duo She’s So Rad).
“Past finalists have taken their music and knowledge beyond study and are now becoming successful in the New Zealand music industry.”
Hill has already had a taste of success with music — her Gisborne Girls’ High School band Tetra Salute won the regional finals of the 2009 Smokefree Rockquest and the following year won the New Zealand Music Month Song Competition (in which Hill also made the finals as a solo artist).
Her latest achievement came with a “delicate and dreamy” performance of her original songs Cut The Anchor and Matchmaker.
And she is also determined to make her mark outside university boundaries. She will this week be joined by fellow artists Joshua Pritchard, Hannah Brewer and Sam Springett for her first formal gig in Auckland, on at city-centre venue Tabac on Saturday.
The finalists in the 2012 University of Auckland Songwriter of the Year contest are:
■ Stevii Hill
■ Emily Rice
■ Sam Allen
■ Sam Springett
■ Doug Robertson
■ Callum Lee
SONG-STAR: In just her first year of study at the University of Auckland’s School of Music, Gisborne artist Stevii Hill is already getting noticed for her songwriting skills. Picture by Gana Goldsmith
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