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New music mentoring program to shine spotlight on female vocalists

Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman today joined Queensland Music Festival’s Artistic Director Katie Noonan to launch Songs That Made Me as part of this year’s festival to mentor and support emerging female singer-songwriters.Photo: Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman, QMF Artistic Director Katie Noonan, and singer-songwriter Kristin Berardi launch 'Songs That Made Me'

Ms Fentiman said Songs That Made Me encourages female singer-songwriters from regional Queensland to dream big, while sharing vital skills that could launch new careers.

“As we celebrate the state’s second ever Queensland Women’s Week and on the eve of International Women’s Day, it is essential opportunities such as Songs That Made Me are provided to female artists,” she said.

“This initiative aims to help more women find their voices through music mentorship in the regions of Gladstone, Mackay and Mount Isa, with the incredible talents of Katie Noonan, Deborah Conway, Clare Bowditch and Hannah Macklin, in addition to local mentors, all lending their support to our emerging regional singer-songwriters.

“This year we are supporting Queensland Music Festival to realise several new programs that focus on social cohesion, youth engagement, community revitalisation and empowering women— including Songs That Made Me.”

Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government was proud to support the Queensland Music Festival and the incredible work the organisation does to connect and transform communities across the state through music.

“Katie Noonan’s vision of providing our community with a voice through music is inspiring,” Ms Fentiman said.

“I strongly encourage emerging regional female singers and songwriters from Gladstone, Mount Isa, and Mackay to apply online.”

QMF Artistic Director Katie Noonan said Songs That Made Me was created in response to the low percentage of female musicians identified in APRA AMCOS (The Australian Performing Rights Association and The Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) statistics, which highlighted a female membership of only 21 per cent.

“I am committed to continuing Queensland Music Festival’s mission to transform lives through music and am particularly passionate about empowering female musicians. I hope Songs That Made Me will help launch the careers of talented artists from regional Queensland,” Ms Noonan said.

Finalists in each region will be selected to participate in a mentorship and performance program, where they will connect with some of Australia’s leading female artists and local talent.

Songs That Made Me culminates with local concerts in Mount Isa, Mackay and Gladstone in July 2017, and a special concert finale at The Tivoli in Brisbane on 16 July 2017.

Entries can be submitted at www.qmf.org.au, applications close on Friday 19 May 2017 and finalists are expected to be announced in late May.