THE CMAA Academy of Country Music will be inundated with more star power and special guests than you can poke a guitar at.
The event, which kicks off on Sunday, will include tutors Kevin Bennett, Amber Law-rence, Brad Bergen, academy general manager Roger Corbett, Tamara Stewart, Jim Haynes and Jayne Denham and a special guest list that reads as a who’s who of country music.
Wednesday will see Kasey and Nash Chambers drop in to chat with the students with past academy student Ashleigh Dallas. Ashleigh was at the academy two years ago when Kasey discovered the multi-instrumentalist and offered her a place in her band.
“Kasey is always on the look out for stellar talent,” Mr Corbett said.
There will also be visits from Matt Fell, Australia’s top country producer, Tamworth-based multi-instrumentalist Lawrie Minson, who’s played for just about every big-name Australian country artist and Troy Cassar-Daley might also drop in to chat with the students towards the end of the course.
Guests including Grant Cardwell from Fender, Bill Page from Mushroom Records, Tim Daley from the Country Music Channel, Country Music Capital News editor Cheryl Byrnes, who will talk about print press,
Wests’ Carolyn Stier, The Pub Group’s Joan Douglas and Peter Harkins from Cheapa Music will all speak with students about the country music industry.
Some of the highlights, other than the two graduation concerts, will include a jam night with Kasey Chambers and a concert at The Pub on Friday, January 10, a taster night for the senior academy graduation concert.
Mr Corbett said the networking was the best thing the students took away from academy.
“I always think the best thing about it is the social interaction – having 45 students who are all interested in country music in the one place at the one time, talking, writing, playing and networking,” he said.
The senior academy course starts at Calrossy Anglican School on Sunday, January 4, and graduates on January 17 and the junior course starts on January 10 and graduates on January 16.