McDell top attraction in free Pro-Am event

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012

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Rising music star Jamie McDell has been named as the headline act for a free open-air concert at next year's New Zealand PGA Pro-Am golf tournament.

McDell is making waves in the music scene hot on the heels of chart-topping singles You'll Never Take That Away and Rewind, and has already earned comparisons to superstar songstresses Brooke Fraser and Taylor Swift.

With her debut album Six Strings and a Sailboat being released this week, McDell has the potential for a huge following by the time she hits the tournament's venue, The Hills golf course in Arrowtown, on Saturday, March 2.

The appearance will be her first in the South Island. The natural amphitheatre that lies within the course, and the potential to play to a crowd bound to contain a huge cross-section of people from many walks of life have acted as a strong drawcard.

"I'm looking forward to singing at The Hills and hearing my music resonate in a stunning natural amphitheatre, then exploring the mountains," she said.

While further acts have not yet been announced for the concert, the potential for other rising or established Kiwi stars to appear is high, as tournament director Michael Glading has many music-world contacts.

Before taking the undefeated All Whites' to the 2010 Football World Cup as the New Zealand Football chief executive, Mr Glading had a 30-year management career with Sony Music and was chairman and president of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand for nine years.

Scoring McDell as a headline act was a "coup" for the tournament, expanding its reach to a younger audience and cementing multi-platform attractions to the tournament, Mr Glading said.

"Following last year's inaugural event we always had plans to up the entertainment factor of the championship, so a concert was definitely on the cards," he said.

"It makes perfect sense to add to the enjoyment of a day at the golf with a relaxing and enjoyable, family-friendly and free concert . . . to add to the atmosphere of ‘The 19th' entertainment area with plenty of food and drink on offer."

The tournament runs from February 28 to March 3.

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- The Southland Times

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