LifestyleLocal artist Keely Ellen joins Junior Academy

Local artist Keely Ellen joins Junior Academy

Bundaberg's Keely Ellen is one of the talented musicians enrolled in the CMAA Junior Academy course taking place next month. Pic: Contributed

Bundaberg musician Keely Ellen is one of 21 aspiring singer-songwriters from across the country to be accepted into the Country Music Association of Australia’s Junior Academy.

The intensive residential course will run from 1 to 8 July in Tamworth in the lead-up to the Hats Off to Country Festival.

This is the first time the course has been run in its full capacity since 2019 and excitement levels are high.

“I’m super excited to be attending the Academy of Country Music 2023,” Keely said.

“It has always been a goal of mine to attend.

“I'm looking forward to it, honing my craft and being mentored by professionals within the industry.”

Keely is attending having won an RNA Ekka 2022 Junior Scholarship after performing at the annual Wringers Western Country Music Showdown at the Royal Brisbane Show.

“I was overwhelmed placing first, winning the Troy Cassar-Daley Scholarship to attend the Academy [and] a new guitar, photo shoot and recording time,” she said.

Keely started singing at the age of eight and picked up a guitar for the first time two years later.

Since then she has won over audiences throughout Queensland and New South Wales playing at events like the Tamworth Country Music Festival and performing as a headline act at the recent Lighthouse Country Music Festival.

“The music industry in Bundaberg is growing strong and [people] are very supportive of their local artists,” she said, adding that she still had plenty of aspirations for her musical career.

“I have my sights on releasing my own music in the near future.”

Golden line up

Ten-time Golden Guitar winner Lyn Bowtell will lead the academy as director with fellow Golden Guitar winner and Bushwackers member Roger Corbett as general manager.

Group leaders include Golden Guitar winners Ashleigh Dallas, David Carter and Aleyce Simmonds as well as touring multi-instrumentalist Liam Kennedy-Clark.

These musicians will mentor the students and their parents through everything involved in a music career including performance, musicianship, song writing, music business, social media and media relations.

Lyn said she was particularly excited about the young musicians attending and all they would learn from the line up of mentors.

“We have some young instrumentalists coming which is exciting because the academy is a wonderful environment for them where they get to learn so much and have support from Liam and other musicians and interns,” she said.

“It’s been a couple of years since we’ve run a full Junior Academy so it’s going to be nice to see everyone face-to-face and work with the students and parents in person.”