Telstra Road to Discovery WINNERS

Gena Rose Bruce and Melody Pool take their music to the next level after winning Telstra Road to Discovery!Gena Rose Bruce, 19, from Mitcham in Victoria and Melody Pool, 21 from Kurri Kurri in NSW, were announced as the overall winners of the Telstra Road to Discovery at the 10th Anniversary Final event at the 2013 Tamworth Country Music Festival on Tuesday night. Performer category winner Gena Rose and Songwriter category winner Melody outshone the competition and will each receive a 12 month music industry mentorship package which will elevate their careers to the next level.

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.

Performing an original song ‘Only One’ to start, Gena Rose grabbed the attention of the local crowd with her unique vocals and endearing stage presence. In a brave move, she then backed up with a performance of The Rolling Stones ‘Wild Horses’, leaving the judges unanimous in their decision to award her the winning performer title.

Performer winner, Gena Rose, had a point to prove after previously reaching the finals in 2011.

“Since competing two years ago, I’ve taken on board the judge’s advice and really worked hard to improve my performance. 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 a great stage presence and compelling lyrics that resonated with the audience.

The judges praised Melody for her brave and soulful performance of two original songs titled ‘The Hurting Scene’ and ‘Henry’.

“I really felt the songs on stage tonight and I was proud of how I performed. 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.

Telstra Executive Director, Telstra Country Wide, Rebekah O’Flaherty, presented Melody and Gena Rose with the major prize and commended the variety of talent featured in this year’s Telstra Road program.

“Telstra developed this program a decade ago to support the aspirations of independent music artists and to provide a platform for them to share their talent,” Ms O’Flaherty said.

“Over the past 10 years, we have uncovered an extraordinary amount of talent from around the country, and tonight’s show is a testament to the longevity of the program and its place in supporting the next generation of Australian music.”

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.

The stars congratulated the winners and praised the Telstra Road program, after performing an energetic set in their debut performance together.

“Congratulations to the winners tonight. It’s a fantastic award and it’s been a privilege to be involved in this year’s Telstra Road to Discovery and play some killer music. Thanks for having us!” – The Hillbilly Killers.

In celebration of the 10th year anniversary event, a swag of Telstra Road alumni 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.

The event also included a special performance by former 2011 Telstra Road winners, Andrew Redford and Kelly Menhennett who relinquished their titles on the night, after a massive year touring with some of Australia’s biggest solo artists such as Pete Murray, Shannon Noll and Monique Brumby.

This year’s winning performer and songwriter of the Telstra Road to Discovery will receive a fully tailored package designed to help launch their professional music careers, some highlights are listed below:

Performer Prize

  • Return airfare to Nashville, USA with living and accommodation expenses;
  • A recording session in Australia with a leading producer;
  • Two tickets to a leading American Music Festival in Nashville;
  • The opportunity to perform as part of a showcase in Nashville;
  • Production of a video clip and a professional photo shoot with a stylist;
  • Performance opportunities throughout the 2013 Telstra Road to Discovery
  • Media training, and professional music industry career guidance;
  • Website development
  • Music marketing and promotional support from Mushroom Marketing and Mushroom Music
  • National publicity and exposure through their association with the Telstra Road to Discovery;
  • Admission into the CMAA Academy of Country Music; and
  • Telstra products and services to the value of $1,000.

Songwriter Prize

  • Return airfare to Nashville, USA with living and accommodation expenses;
  • Songwriting appointments with leading Nashville songwriters;
  • The opportunity to record a professional demonstration track in a US or Australian studio;
  • Two tickets to a leading American Music Festival in Nashville;
  • The opportunity to perform as part of a showcase in Nashville;
  • Production of a video clip and a professional photo shoot with a stylist;
  • Performance opportunities throughout the 2013 Telstra Road to Discovery
  • Media training and professional music industry career guidance;
  • Website development
  • Music marketing, promotional support and songwriting guidance from Mushroom Marketing and Mushroom Music
  • National publicity and exposure through their association with the Telstra Road to Discovery;
  • Admission into the CMAA Academy of Country Music; and
  • Telstra products and services to the value of $1,000.