Local musical talent, Cath Purcell has extended her career after being accepted for a country music program in Tamworth, New South Wales.
The singer and songwriter will travel below the border in January to partake in a developmental program that will assist musicians with their performing and songwriting etiquette.
Ms Purcell heard about the program through social media and decided to challenge herself and her musical capabilities.
“I have been influenced in music for a long time and I follow a lot of industry people on Facebook including The Country Music Academy, so when I saw them advertise the program, I applied,” she said.
“It is not a scholarship as such, but I was required to put together a portfolio to apply for a place in the program.
“It includes two weeks of training and a concert at the end of the program that kick-starts the Tamworth Country Music Festival.”
Ms Purcell said she wanted to take part in the program to learn songwriting techniques, performance techniques and become more involved in country music.
“I entered because country music is my style of writing. I like to tell stories through my lyrics and I have been strongly influenced by artists like Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar – Daley, Luke Bryan and Natalie Pearson,” she said.
“When I got accepted into the program I was really excited, but since then the nerves have kicked in.
“The thing that makes me the most nervous is singing, songwriting and play guitar are not things I have been doing my whole life, it is new and inspiring. So I am nervous about travelling down there and being judged or critiqued.
“I will be required to work collaboratively as a team with other people from all walks of life and musical experiences, so I am sure it will be a very supportive atmosphere.”
Ms Purcell was introduced to music 10 years ago when she was living in Brisbane. Her housemate attended karaoke every second night, to which Ms Purcell attended also.
“This inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and sing in front of others,” she said.
“Then moving to Mount Isa, I had a phone call from Bandanna who was looking for a female vocalist, so I said I would try out and give it a go.
“From there I needed a lot of help so I got a vocal coach to give me a hand to transform my vocals over the years and I still have a coach today.”
Last year Ms Purcell started the Emergency Services and Defence band, The Hoax.
In their 12 months the band held many gigs around Mount Isa including opening for Troy Cassar – Daley at a local concert in August.
“At first it was very frightening to hear the sound of your own voice over the microphone then over the years I got over those fears of what people might think of me.
“I then moved onto writing something original, so I got some lessons in songwriting and entered in the Queensland Music Festival competition.
“I wrote a song and submitted it and I got picked for the mentorship. My mentor was Deborah Conway.
“She gave me some advice and tips on my song, I then went away and re-wrote it until it was good enough to play and then The Hoax recorded the song ‘Who do you want to be?’ and released it on White Ribbon Day this year.”
“It is so nice to be able to tell your story that sounds good and people enjoy.”
Ms Purcell plans to write some more songs, sharing different stories from Mount Isa and the outback that have inspired her over the years.