The newest country music star from the Bega Valley has returned from an inspiring music course with new skills and ideas.
Felicity Dowd of Bega was accepted into CMAA’s Junior Academy of Country Music, an eight-day course designed to tutor students in performance, songwriting, musicianship, working in a group and harmony singing.
Finishing on July 15, she wasted no time in putting her new skills to practice and was performing at the Wyndham Markets on Sunday, July 22.
“I’d do it again, it was a good experience!” the 14-year-old said.
“It was great meeting with people who like the same sort of music I like and getting the opportunity to improve my skills.”
One of the most useful activities was learning how to write chord charts.
“Because when you go to things like talent competitions you need to write specific chord charts. When there’s a band you can use, you can give them the chords and they can play it for you,” Felicity said.
There were 23 students at the course between the ages of 11 and 17, with Felicity saying she made some great friends.
“Within an hour of meeting each other we were as thick as thieves,” she said.
“We’d share each other’s skills and learn what each of us was good at.”
Another highlight from the course was co-writing a song with Roger Corbett of The Bushwhackers fame.
“It was the first time I had ever co-written with someone, but it was great because you’ve got someone to feed off and get ideas from,” she said.
Earlier this year Felicity performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
It was a huge achievement for the Sapphire Coast Anglican College student, who first started piano when she was six, guitar when she was nine before only beginning performing one-and-a-half years ago, and said in those early days she could not imagine achieving the things she has achieved.
“When I first started I was not very confident at all, I was very scared getting on stage,” she said.
“But as I’ve done it more often I got used to it.
“I didn’t imagine it actually happening, but now it is!”
Felicity still has a couple of rounds of the busking championship left to compete in and will try and get into more festivals as a performer.
She busks at least once or twice a month and can often be seen at Candelo Market.