By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Shadow's Farm Photography.
The Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) Academy of Country Music proudly announces South Australian singer-songwriter Gemma Tiller as the recipient of the esteemed Keith Urban Scholarship for 2024.
The Academy rewarded Gemma’s outstanding talent and dedication with this scholarship that covers her tuition fees for the 2024 Senior Course that begins on Monday, January 8, 2024.
"Getting the phone call from Academy Director, Lyn Bowtell to say that I had been chosen as the recipient for this scholarship was definitely a 'pinch me' moment!” Gemma said.
Multi-award winning artist and Academy Director Lyn Bowtell said Gemma’s dedication and hard work was a standout when deciding on the successful recipient.
“Gemma's commitment to honing her skills and her infectious enthusiasm for The Academy experience made her a standout choice for the prestigious Keith Urban Scholarship,” she said.
“We believe she will continue to shine and inspire others with her artistry, and we are thrilled to support her on this remarkable journey."
Gemma’s journey with the CMAA Academy is not a new one, having graduated from the Junior Course in July 2023 and she now returns to Tamworth for the 12-day Senior Course.
"The CMAA Academy is something that is very close to my heart; graduating from the Junior Course in 2023, I knew that attending the Senior Course was the next thing on my list I wanted to tick off,” she said.
“I met so many beautiful, talented people that I am so lucky to now call my mates, I really 'found my tribe' and I am SO excited to do it all over again!"
The Keith Urban Scholarship, awarded annually, covers the full academy fees for one promising artist and began in January 2020 as a way for the international country music superstar and Aussie ex-pat to support emerging artists.
“I want to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to Keith and his team for supporting up-and-coming Australian artists like myself with this scholarship, and to the CMAA Academy team for all of your ongoing love and support,” Gemma said.
The Academy's mission is to nurture and inspire emerging Australian country music talents and 27 students will learn from the cream of the musical crop for 12 days in Tamworth starting on Monday.
Students will come from as close as Tamworth to as far away as Nashville, New Zealand, and most states of Australia, to attend the course that is the only one of its kind in the world.
Gemma Tiller is born and raised on her family's merino sheep and cropping property on the outskirts of the Clare Valley in the Mid-North of rural South Australia. Living and working as a 5th generation sheep farmer and contributing to her family’s sheep and cropping enterprise, working with horses and dirt bikes, the country lifestyle runs in her veins teaching her the value of a hard days’ work and to appreciate the value of the land.
Gemma is a graduate of the 2023 CMAA Academy of Country Music College in Australia’s country music capital, Tamworth, and has played and co-written with many Golden Guitar winning artists.
Inspired by artists such as Chris Stapleton, Zach Bryan, George Jones, and Jayne Denham, Gemma's brand new, self-titled EP features 4 of her original songs and a bonus track, currently exclusively available on CD only!
Gemma’s second single, a cover of the LeAnn Rimes classic ‘Blue’, showcases Gemma’s stunning vocals, Nashville’s Stuart French on guitars and bass, and Mick Albeck on fiddle, real country music at its best! The music video for Blue was filmed in Noosa, Queensland, shot and directed by Golden Guitar winner Michael McCartin from RagTag Studios.
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