Big night for local music

LOCAL musician Laura Zarb has placed third in the folk/acoustic category of the Australian Songwriting Contest for a song called Echo, which she wrote for her grandfather.

More than 500 people attended the Australian Songwriters Association National Songwriting awards gala in Sydney, which included a tough field of songwriters and musicians.

The Taree contingent of Matt Zarb, Jake Davey, Laura Zarb and Katie Hardyman all placed in the top 10 in Australia in their respective categories.

"The excitement from this table was electric and all our local crew did extremely well especially with a field of songwriters which also included the likes of Kate Ceberano and Michael Paynter," said Katie.

The judges congratulated all the songwriters whose compositions made it to the exclusive level of top 10 in this year's contest, saying it is very difficult to be included in this list.

They said it broke their hearts to cull many great songs that were entered and that those on it earned it and should be very proud.

The Australian Songwriting Contest is highly respected and extremely prestigious, offering more than $30,000 in prizes.

It is run annually, and is now in its 34th year.

Success in this contest assists songwriters along the difficult pathway to acquiring industry acclaim and public recognition.

Katie Hardyman was thrilled to be on the other side of the awards this year as well, honoured to present the winner of the "youth" category which went to 13-year-old Kaitlyn Thomas for her song Believe In You.

Katie says the future is definitely a bright one for young Australian songwriters.

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