• Hannah Phillips

Are you Australia's Next Country Music Star?

The Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) Junior Academy of Country Music is ready to help shape the next generation's Australian country stars with just a few places left in their 2018 course to be held in Tamworth in July.

With applications closing next Tuesday, May 15, people are encouraged to get their entries in now.

Successful applicants will participate in the CMAA Academy, an eight-day intensive course for students under 18 years old, that attracts people from right across Australia and New Zealand.

Group leaders this year include Jayne Denham, David Carter, Simon Johnson and Liam Kennedy-Clark with guest lecturers Allan Caswell and Amber Lawrence, and Lyn Bowtell returning as music director.

“We have world-class tutors, musicians and songwriters leading the course, which is the only one of its kind,” CMAA Academy of Country Music general manager Roger Corbett said.

“All the academy staff members are excited to discover new talent among the students who will come to Tamworth and we love seeing the growth of their stage craft and songwriting over the eight days.

"The CMAA believes one of its most important duties in the music industry is to nurture and grow new country music talent to ensure the industry retains its high standards.”

Parents or guardians are able to accompany students to the academy, as well as participate in a comprehensive business course focused on managing their talented child’s potential career.

Tutors focus on nurturing the students’ different styles within the broad definition of country music, with Roger adding: “The beauty of this one-of-a-kind experience is that we have the cream of Australia’s musical talent tutoring these young artists."

Tuition covers all aspects of the country music industry from performance to songwriting, musicianship to working in a group, and even harmony singing.

Opportunities are also available for the young talents to co-write with other students and professional songwriters, network with professional artists and get a first-class foundation course in country music.

The course winds up with a chance for the students to showcase what they’ve learned, with a graduation concert open to the public in Calrossy Hall on Friday, July 13.

For more information and to apply, visit academycountrymusic.com.au.