Star comparison inspires young country singer
An Australian country music star has likened Nelson teen singer Rebecca Scholfield to Patsy Cline - and the budding country music singer doesn't mind the comparison.
Rebecca, 16, has taken another step towards a career in country music after spending a week at the Country Music Association of Australia Junior Country Music Academy in Tamworth, New South Wales, joining 20 other budding country music artists.
"It was amazing," Rebecca said.
"It was indescribable really."
At her graduation concert, award-winning Australian country music artist Catherine Britt called her "a young Patsy Cline", one of Rebecca's musical heroes.
"It was so inspirational," she said.
Last year, Rebecca won a $7000 scholarship to the academy, after taking out the Best of the West Country Music Awards in Westport.
Her older sister Kaitlin, 19, accompanied her to learn about management.
"I was quite nervous because I wasn't sure what [the others students] were going to be like and how amazing they would be," Rebecca said.
"I found that I wasn't too different to them."
Rebecca, who sings and plays the guitar, banjo, and mandolin, made the finals in the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards in Gore last month and was part of State Highway One, which was runner-up in the senior finals.
The Australian course covered vocals, instruments, management, and performance techniques.
Rebecca said the best part of the course was the performance, and she also enjoyed songwriting, which gave her the chance to learn from Australian singer/songwriter Tamara Stewart.
Her grandparents, Stoke's Jan and Arthur Bradbury, introduced her to country music as a 7-year-old.
They were heavily involved with the Nelson Country Music Club, and Rebecca was set the task of collecting the teacups.
She was seven when she won her first award: a duet with her grandmother, singing Scarlet Ribbons.
Rebecca said she was now hoping to organise some local gigs and put her new experience to good use. "I want to get myself out there. I was really inspired to actually start doing stuff now."
Mrs Bradbury said her granddaughter worked "extremely hard".
"When she first started off she just had a wee sweet voice, and over the years you see her getting better with the guitar because she practised," she said.
"Then as her voice matured we'd say: ‘You're going to have to put yourself out there personality-wise too, you can't just stand and sing'.
"Now her little face lights up and she's making the audience sit up, and then she just has the audience in her hand.
"I'm not just being a stupid grandma; she really does take you away with the song she's doing," Mrs Bradbury said.
Check out facebook.com.com/rebeccascholfieldmusic for more.
- © Fairfax NZ News