Songbirds take out Telstra Road to Discovery

THE race for the next two Telstra Road to Discovery winners has been won and run with 19-year-old Gena Rose Bruce and 21-year-old Melody Pool taking home the prizes.

Gena from Mitcham in Victoria won the performer category and Melody from Kurri Kurri in NSW took out the songwriter's section.

They each receive a 12-month music industry mentorship package aimed at helping them along their musical journeys.

The prize includes the chance to perform in Nashville USA, professional recording and co-writing opportunities, domestic and international gigs and networking alongside some of the most respected names in the music business.

Gena captured the attention of the crowd with her vocals and stage presence as she delivered an original song Only One to begin and backed it up with The Rolling Stones' Wild Horses.

She reached the final of the competition in 2011.

“Since competing two years ago, I’ve taken on board the judge’s advice and really worked hard to improve my performance,” she said.

“I was a little nervous before going on stage, but I wanted to show how far I’d come. I’m thrilled to have been awarded the 2012 winner; I’ve never been out of the country before, so I’m excited about heading to Nashville and the amazing opportunities the Telstra Road provides.”

Songwriter, Melody, demonstrated she was the full package with her performance of two original songs The Hurting Scene and Henry.

“I really felt the songs on stage and I was proud of how I performed,” she said.

“The recognition of winning is such a compliment, especially in the company of such esteemed talent alongside me.”

This year the Telstra Road to Discovery is celebrating its 10th anniversary milestone since crowning the inaugural winner, multi-award winning singer/songwriter and actress Jessica Mauboy in 2003.

Adding to the spectacular line-up of live music on the night, was a special guest performance by newly formed outfit The Hillbilly Killers in a musical collaboration featuring Bill Chambers, Tim Rogers, Catherine Britt, Michael Muchow with special guest Andy Toombs.

A swag of Telstra Road alumni also returned and teamed up to perform a series of memorable duets to the enthusiastic festival crowd on Tuesday night, artists featured included Tamworth local Aleyce Simmonds with David Garnham, Kirsty Akers and Corey Colum, Harry Hookey and Briana Lee, Luke Webb and Neda.

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