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Sound City

Sound City



What: Newcastle Music Week
Author: Jade Lazarevic

NEWCASTLE'S music industry was given a boost in 2002 with the introduction of two events that have become an annual addition to the city's cultural calendar.

The 1233 ABC NEWCASTLE MUSIC AWARDS and the MAJOR MUSIC EXPO gave musicians from the Hunter Region a chance to expose their talents to a wider audience.

As well as creating a buzz on the local music scene, the events have also gained national recognition.

IMMEDIA's PHILLIP TRIPP cemented the success of the Major Music Expo when he applauded the event during his speech at the AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC CO ERENCE in August.

``The event was one of the best run, most imaginative, i ormative and encouraging that could have been staged in its inaugural year,'' Tripp said.

The event has now grown from a one-day event to a week-long attraction.

Renamed NEWCASTLE MUSIC WEEK, the event will begin this weekend and offer workshops, seminars, trade stalls and live performances.

Newcastle Music Week is the brainchild of students from the Music Industry Department at NEWCASTLE TAFE.

The event has been 12 months in the making and course co-ordinator CHRISTINA SYKIOTIS said it would be a major step up from last year's inaugural event.

``Last year was the Major Music Expo which was a one-day event,'' Sykiotis said.

``This year the students decided they wanted to go bigger and better and we held a workshop to discover what wasn't working with the live music scene in Newcastle and what we could do to help that situation.

'' One of the major attractions of the event will be a daily concert series at WHEELER PLACE.

It will be launched on Sunday and continue with highlight shows each night featuring styles such as folk, jazz, blues, hip hop, punk, rock, classical and world music.

As well as live performances, the event will feature a smorgasbord of guests presenting seminars and workshops.

Seminars will take place in NEWCASTLE CITY HALL and include guests such as METALLICA producer ROGER SOMMERS, ROLLING STONE journalist JEFF APTER, former BARDOT star KATIE UNDERWOOD and photographer TONY MOTT.

Workshops will also be held by local and national instructors who will provide hands-on experience.

``The whole idea is that we want to make Newcastle a bit of a music centre.

``It is already getting a pretty good name with people like the SCREAMING JETS, SILVERCHAIR and THE PORKERS but we're hoping to pull more music industry into Newcastle.

'' Newcastle Music Week will also coincide with the second annual 1233 ABC Newcastle Music Awards which will culminate during a ceremony at CIVIC THEATRE NEWCASTLE on October 28.

When it debuted last year, the awards attracted an astounding level of interest from local musicians.

This year the event has attracted more than 460 entries from 260 entrants from all over Newcastle, the Upper Hunter and the Central Coast.

The event will present awards in a variety of categories including Best Young Talent, Best Vocals, Best Song, Listeners Choice and the ABC Music Best Artist.

The ceremony will also feature 11 performances from acts such as AMY VEE, ON, COTTON SIDEWALK, VIAPOP, SUPERSONIC, BITE MY CHILLI, MIKE MCCARTHY, RUSSELL THORNTON, ANOUSHA VICTOIRE, BROOKE LEAL and EMPRESS.

Sykiotis said Newcastle Music Week and the 1233 ABC Newcastle Awards both had a common goal to improve the live music scene in Newcastle.

``What we want to do is make it grow every year.

``It would be really nice to think that in a couple of year's time it will be the TAMWORTH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL equivalent of Newcastle.

'' For more i iormation on Newcastle Music Week visit: http://www.hunter.tafensw.edu.au/newcastlemusicweek

For information on the 1233 ABC Newcastle Music Awards visit http://www.abc.net.au/newcastle/musicawards/



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