Muster searches for a major star

Chan Tilly
Chan Tilly

THE Muster Talent Search is steeped in history, having given some of the biggest names in Australian country music their start in the industry.

They include Brooke and Samantha McClymont of the McClymonts, Drew McAlister and Mark O'Shea, to name a few.

There is more than $30,000 worth of prizes to be won including a four track EP recorded at Pacific International Recording Studios, valued at $10,000.

The 26 competitors in this year's Talent Search will perform on the Gympie Music Muster main stage between 11am and 1.30pm on the Friday and Saturday of the festival.

Judges will select one winner from the junior section and four finalists in the open section from those performances.

The open section finalists will perform for the judges again on Sunday on the main stage between 12.30 and 2pm.


Muster Talent Search 2015 Semi-Finalists

Forbidden Road

Hometown: Hervey Bay, Queensland

With their roots firmly in Modern Country Forbidden Road also perform rock n roll, blues and classic rock songs including originals. With Glenn and Kellie's Vocals, Ryan's amazing drumming coupled with Paul's rock solid bass, musically and vocally these guys will take you down Forbidden Road.


Bec Thornton

Hometown: Nambour, Queensland

 Bek Thornton has been singing all her life. From school choirs to musicals to performing at the Homestead Country Music club and various country music festivals around Queensland. She often performs in duets with her sister, which have lead to winning the Queensland Champion of Champions duet section a couple of years ago. As a solo artist, she has placed almost every year for the last 5 years at the Queensland champs. She loves to perform and have fun on stage!


Hannah Jones


Hometown: Ipswich, Queensland.

Hannah Jones is a 15 year old singer from. She has been singing from a very young age. Hannah is passionate and inspired by country music and is currently learning guitar and has performed in many country competitions across the state and been successful in several. Her motto is Sing ... Because you love it.


Ebony Hamacek

Hometown: Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Singer/songwriter Ebony Hamacek has a been a regular performer at venues, festivals and songwriting competitions since the age of 11 in Brisbane as well as her hometown. Ebony has been the support artist for Australian musicians Steve Kilbey (The Church), and Katie Noonan.


Tori Somers

Hometown: Nanango, Queensland.

Tori Somers began performing at the age of 11 and loves performing and singing both covers of her favourite country songs and originals. Tori won the Troy Cassar-Daley scholarship to the CMAA Academy of Country music in Tamworth at the Ekka in Brisbane this year.


Will Day

Hometown: Goondiwindi, Queensland.

Since moving from his hometown of Goondiwindi in 2008, Will has completed a Bachelor in Popular Music and is a regular face around the Brisbane music scene. He has been writing songs since he was 14 and has recently attended a singer-songwriters retreat at The Dag Sheep Station in Nundle where he co-wrote with the likes of Kevin Bennett.


Tiana Dennis


Hometown: Noosa, Queensland.

Since teaching herself how to play the guitar from YouTube, Tiana Dennis joined the Australian Institute of Country Music's(AICM) Country Rocks'Kool music program in her grandfather's home town of Gympie and hasn't looked back! Tiana loves performing with her fellow AICM students at local gigs and in the AICM showcases at the Muster and other country music festivals. A highlight was supporting Caitlyn Shadbolt at The Brothers League Club during the 2015 Tamworth Country Music Festival.


Michaela George

Hometown: Bundaberg, Queensland.

Michaela is an indigenous singer who found a passion for music while attending school in NSW. Michaela performs at gigs across the region that include NAIDOC Balls & Healing days and was the winner of Bundy Unplugged. Michaela believes in connecting with a song & the story it holds, conveying raw emotion & a level of sincerity that the listener can connect with.


Tyson Lucas


Hometown: Townsville , Queensland.

Tyson Lucas has been performing country music for around 2 years and his passion for country music is growing by the day. He is a 2015 graduate of the CMAA Academy of Country Music Junior Course in Tamworth. With his true country look and deep voice he hopes to pursue a career in the Country Music Industry.


Erin McKinney

Hometown: Belfast, Ireland.

Born in Belfast, Ireland, raised in Dubai, lived in Australia 10 years. Erin is a part time registered nurse, part time horse trainer, part time singer! She loves incorporating her music in to nursing, and solo travelled Europe with just her guitar last year, meeting new friends and sharing her music.


Phoebe Jay


Hometown: Townsville, Queensland.

Phoebe Jay is a 2014 CMAA Academy of Country Music Academy Graduate among many achievements in her musical journey so far. Phoebe has loved every aspect of the many country music festivals and events that North Queensland has had to offer. Never missing the change to sing country music to a crowd. Inspired by Dolly Parton, this girl's voice is often described as a 'Mini Dolly'.


Andrew Swift

Hometown: Berwick, Victoria.

Fire-faced, singer/songwriter, Andrew Swift has had a busy 2015 so far with performances at Tamworth Country Music Festival, a month long residency at Melbourne's Reverence Hotel, an east coast tour, an 8 show U.S.A tour & gigs with the likes of Harmony James, Gretta Ziller, Jen Mize, The Weeping Willows & Andrew Strong of The Commitments.


Jessica Cash


Hometown: St Lawrence, Central Queensland.

Jessica Cash, aged 14, has lived on a cattle property all of her life and currently boards at Whitsunday Anglican School in Mackay. Jessica has been engaged in country music festivals since the age of 10 and has been part of the Sarina Country Music Association for most of that time. She is involved in the music curriculum in her school including boarder band, string ensemble and choir and continues to search for other opportunities. As well as singing, Jessica also enjoys playing guitar, piano and violin.


Charlie Scott

Hometown: Dayboro, Queensland.

Charlie Scott spent most of his time on cattle properties and competing at rodeos prior to considering music as a career opportunity. Since his first stage performance at Caboolture Urban Festival in 2013, he's won various country music awards around Queensland. Charlie was runner-up at the 2013 Mud Bulls and Music Talent Search and won the 2015 Tamworth CCMA Senior Male Vocal award.


The Floyd Family Breakdown

Hometown: Brisbane, Queensland.

With a shot of country, a dash of bluegrass, and a swizzle of western swing, The Floyd Family Breakdown delve into the country music heartland to dish up a hearty jambalaya of good ol' Country and Western roots music. The Floyds have been working those floorboards to develop their own sound with original songs, and also give a refreshing take on gems from the roots of Country and Western. Get ready to tap those toes, take those dancing feet for a spin, and a holler an' a shout.


Caitlyn Wessels

Hometown: Brisbane, Queensland.

Overall winner of the 2014 Redcliffe Country Music Festival and winner of the Junior Songwriting of the Queensland Champion of Champions competition, Caitlyn Wessels is an 18 year old modern country music singer songwriter from Brisbane. A multi-instrumentalist, she began writing songs at age 11 on guitar, which she plays left handed. At the beginning of 2015, Caitlyn attended the Academy of Country Music in Tamworth, which broadened her country music and song writing knowledge.


Sam Maddison

Hometown: Maryborough, Queensland.

Sam Maddison has been performing on the Fraser Coast for the past 6 years and has grown from humble beginnings as a busker at local markets into an engaging entertainer using a unique style of blended folk, country and rock. In 2013 Sam won the inaugural Battle of the Bands competing against solo, duo and full band entries at the Airlie Beach Music Festival.


Chris Matthews

Hometown: Kununurra, Western Australia.

Chris Matthews has a unique style of song, some startling guitar chops and a voice that sounds like no one but himself. The down-to-earth countryman is one of the hardest working musicians around, playing over 200 shows a year in every corner of the land. He's gone song for song with Luke O'Shea, jumped up with the Bob Corbett Band and the Hillbilly Goats, and supported Lee Kernaghan, Adam Harvey, John Butler and Sara Storer just to name a few, and is one of those performers who once seen, you won't forget.


Mackenzie Timms


Hometown: Goondiwindi, Queensland.

Junior contestant Mackenzie has a passion for music and is love entertaining her audience. As well as performing locally and in competitions, during 2015 Mackenzie's highlights include playing at various venues and on the Telstra stage at Tamworth Country Music Festival, performing a lead role in her school musical "Throughly Modern Mille" and winning at the 2015 River Jam in Secondary and open sections.


Scott Douglas

Hometown: Gold Coast, Queensland.

Scott has been actively involved in the Australian Country Music festival circuit performing in multiple competitions and showcases. Scott's highlights include co-writing with Bill Chambers and performing at the Gympie Muster on the main stage in the semi-finals as well as the Stony Creek Mini Muster. Last year Scott opened for Amber Lawrence in Yamba on her 'Superheroes' tour and received this year's QLD Champion of Champions CMAA Academy of Country Music scholarship.


Ruby Gilbert

Hometown: Moorina, Queensland.

Ruby Gilbert has performed a wide variety of places from Tamworth and Sydney all the way to Gympie Muster. Since she attended the CMAA Academy of Country Music earlier this year, she has been focussing on her song-writing. Her hard work has started to pay off and she was recently added to the line-up of the Murwillumbah Country Roots Festival, where she will play alongside some of her musical influences, Kasey Chambers & Harry Hookey.


Anthony Quinsee

Hometown: Melbourne, Victoria.

Anthony Quinsee was born in Melbourne and lived most of his life in the rural areas in the north east. He found his love for country music when he would travel with his father, driving interstate trucks. Anthony has been strumming his six string and writing songs since he was a young teen drawing on his adventures along the way. He enlisted in the Army in 2008 and has served in Afghanistan. This year he has decided to try and do something he has always dreamt of and pursue a career in country music.


The Dennis Sisters

Hometown: Noosa, Queensland.

The Dennis Sisters are a country/folk duo formed by sisters Briannah Dennis on bass guitar and Tiana Dennis on acoustic guitar. These sisters enjoy putting their own flavour on a variety of covers and originals and are recent gold medal winners at Homestead and current semi- finalists in the Battle of The Rising Stars for under 20s. They enjoy playing to live audiences at Showcases, open Mic nights, festivals, pubs and Restaurants.


Tanya Sims

Hometown: Bellmere, Queensland.

A graduate of the CMAA Australian Academy of Country Music in 2011, Tanya Sims is a singer-songwriter with powerful vocals and a dynamic stage presence. Tanya has spent many years entertaining audiences around Australia and is ready to take the next step, and is pursuing a professional career in the Australian music industry.


Matthew Munro


Hometown: Bundaberg, Queensland.

Matthew is a 15 year old country singer/guitarist, who enjoys singing many styles of country and popular music. He has been competing in country music festivals around the state and has achieved much success. His most recent performances include Agrotrend and Bundaberg Relay for Life events.


Chantilly Hometown:

Dunedin, New Zealand.

ChanTilly is the fun up beat country rock duo of Casey Kennett and Teisha Seymour all the way from New Zealand. These two ladies have been performing together as Chantilly for 4 years but have been working and singing together for many years before Chantilly was formed. Teisha (music student Otago University) has been very successful winning many overall placings including New Zealand Gold Guitar Overall Runner-up 2015. Casey (Teacher) is a true country girl who has sung all over the world including USA, Canada & Australia. Last year's Muster Talent


Search Winner Leigha Moore and Junior Winner Cassi Hilbers will be guest performer at the Grand Final on the Main Stage on Sunday from 12.30pm to 1.45pm.

Cassi Hilbers Last year's Junior Muster Talent Search Winner Cassi Hilbers will perform on Sunday during the Muster Talent Search Grand Final on the Main Stage from 12.30 - 1.45pm Cassi is 13 years old and lives on the Sunshine Coast.

Since winning the Junior Muster Talent Search last year (at 12 years of age), Cassi has gone on to perform at the many festivals and events over the past year. She has just finished recording her new EP with 4 of her original songs, and can't wait to release that very soon.

Gympie Times

Topics:  country music, entertainment, gympiemuster2015, music

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