The Gympie Music Muster have announced the finalists for the 2023 NAB Talent Search!
The Muster Talent Search has a history of 30 years supporting musicians and is responsible for helping launch the careers of Mark O’Shea from the duo O’Shea, sisters Brooke and Sam McClymont from The McClymonts, Drew McAlister and Brooke Schubert.
Committed to the development of musicians seeking a career in the music industry, the talent search program offers prizes and provides a platform for the musicians to develop their talent, make connections and showcase their abilities. The total prize pool is valued at over $22,000 and includes career-building opportunities, mentoring, music equipment and even a trip to Nashville for the open category winner.
The open section finalists are Cassi Marie, Felicity Dowd, Finnian Johnson, Briana Dinsdale, The Slims, Ethan Calway, Denvah, Corey Legge, Sari Abbott, Chloe Styler, Ruby Jane, and Cassidy-Rae.
Dinsdale captioned on social media, “So unbelievably grateful for this! So much talent going to be on one stage, and I’m honoured to be a part of it. Congratulations to everyone involved!!!”
While Denvah wrote, “Yeeeee hawwww babyyyy!!! So beyond excited for this and so grateful for the opportunity.” And Cassie Marie added, “So this is very exciting - I’m officially a finalist for the NAB Talent Search at the Gympie Music Muster this year!! Super keen to be heading back to the muster, hope to see some of you there!”
In the junior section (12 – 17 years), the finalists are Amy Ryan, Shanleigh Rose, Phoebe Rose, Dennis Comino, Henry Catania, and LilG.
NAB Talent Search co-ordinator Mike Turner, owner of Mothertone and Nashville prize sponsor, said Australian music was in safe hands if these emerging talents were any indication.
“We’re looking for a combination of hard work and talent: someone who is going to be easy to work with and who has talent we can develop further. We are wanting to give artists a step up,” Turner said.
As well as their musical talents, the judges took into account the entrants’ social media presence. Among more than 100 entrants, there were many more female than male artists, which was represented in the finalists.
Turner said he was most impressed with the number of 2022 finalists who were good friends and supported each other through the competition, even when they didn’t win.
“It was a really nice group and that’s something that doesn’t always happen in the outside world, so I’m hoping to see that again this year,” Turner said. “Events such as academies (including the CMAA Academy of Country Music) and songwriting retreats where they work together, and they hang out already are really valuable for building strong friendships.”
The 2022 open section winner, Brittany Elise is currently in Nashville as part of her prize and is soaking up every experience she can get her hands on.
“What an incredible opportunity it has been to come to Nashville and meet some of the best musicians and songwriters in the world,” Elise said. “I hit the ground running as soon as I landed, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve been able to continually learn and grow as both a songwriter and an artist, and I believe I’ve written some of my best songs to date whilst being in Nashville.
"I can’t wait to share them with Australia at the Gympie Muster 2023. The connections have been invaluable and I’m forever grateful for the belief in my career. Here’s to the next chapter!”
The Gympie Music Muster will take place from August 24 to August 27 with finalists performing in the Semi Finals on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the Muster, while the Grand Final is on Sunday. The finalists will vie for the crown during the festival with the overall winners announced on August 27 before they take to the Muster Hill Stage.
Branded as Australia’s favourite country music and camping festival, the Gympie Music Muster features more than 100 artists, performing in five venues over 4 days staged deep within the natural surrounds of the Amamoor State Forest, approximately 40 kms south-west of Gympie.
Applications for the 2024 Talent Search will open early next year.
See the list of finalists below:
Amy Ryan, Chambers Flat QLD
Dennis Comino, Grange QLD
LilG, Chittaway Bay NSW
Henry Catania, Conondale QLD
Phoebe Rose, Birtinya QLD
Shanleigh Rose, Maleny QLD
Briana Dinsdale, Loganholme QLD
Cassi Hilbers, Caboolture QLD
Cassidy-Rae Wilson, Cleveland QLD
Chloe Styler, Runaway Bay QLD
Corey Legge, Albion Park NSW
Denvah, Rockhampton QLD
Ethan Calway, Drouin VIC
Felicity Dowd, Bega NSW
Finnian Johnson, Maryland NSW
Ruby Jane, Chamber Flat QLD
Sari Abbott, Sunrise Beach QLD
The Slims, Newtown NSW
Tickets, info and full line-up is available via muster.com.au