New blood aims to give club tune up

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TERESA HAT­TAN

Mata­mata Coun­try Mu­sic Club is look­ing to freshen up the way it op­er­ates in or­der to at­tract those keen on the mu­sic genre. At its re­cent an­nual meet­ing, a new com­mit­tee was elected which aims to bring fresh ideas to the popular com­mu­nity group.

The club hopes to cash in on the fact coun­try mu­sic seems to be go­ing through a re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion, with the likes of Mae Val­ley rep­re­sent­ing the genre on TV3’s X Fac­tor.

Michael and Ash­ley Tip­ping, who form the na­tion­ally ac­claimed duo Coop­ers Run, have re­turned to their coun­try roots here in Mata­mata. The cou­ple have stepped up, tak­ing on roles within the com­mit­tee.

‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing. We’ve got a new com­mit­tee and we hope to lift the pro­file of the club,’’ Michael said.

And that’s not say­ing what was done be­fore wasn’t work­ing, he said. The new com­mit­tee sim­ply wants to grow the coun­try mu­sic club fur­ther.

The club has re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced suc­cess with coun­try mu­sic com­pe­ti­tions. ‘‘A lot of our mem­bers en­ter the awards, es­pe­cially a lot of our younger singers. That’s a hugely im­por­tant part for the club, to de­velop and nur­ture ju­niors and in­ter­me­di­ates, even new tal­ent and new peo­ple who want to give it a go,’’ Michael said.

‘‘For us, coun­try mu­sic as a genre is lucky to have coun­try mu­sic clubs around the place. For other gen­res, where do you go? There aren’t rock mu­sic clubs.’’

Michael’s wife Ash­ley feels its im­por­tant to have a club that doesn’t fo­cus solely on abil­ity. ‘‘ The coun­try mu­sic club pro­vides a safe en­vi­ron­ment where they can go and feel con­fi­dent and feel com­fort­able, not only as a singer, but with a band . . . it’s a place where we can nour­ish tal­ent of all abil­i­ties.’’

The club also feels strongly about shar­ing their love of coun­try mu­sic with the public. It hosts club nights once a month, where

all

ev­ery­one, not just club mem­bers, is wel­come to per­form and play for a crowd. The public are al­ways in­vited to th­ese nights. This month’s club night, tak­ing place on April 17, will fea­ture in­ter­na­tional guest artist Den­nis Au­gust.

Host­ing guest artists is an­other as­pect the club hopes to ex­pand on in the fu­ture.

Ash­ley said the com­mit­tee have other great ideas and they are look­ing for­ward to putting those into place over the next few months.

Michael said they’ve re­cently lifted the stan­dard of the band.

‘‘For us, it’s im­por­tant to have a band that can play the songs that are brought for­ward to them.’’

He said the club also plans to foster mu­si­cians, not just singers.

Photo: TERESA HAT­TAN

Mata­mata Coun­try Mu­sic Club has a new com­mit­tee and fresh ideas. Pic­tured are, from left, Michael Tip­ping, Kay Tappin, Ash­ley Tip­ping, Sharon Lawrence and Lee Johns. Ab­sent: Com­mit­tee mem­bers Mur­ray Ste­wart, Phil West, Sue Mel­gers, Vaughan Hawkins, Kevin Tappin and Lisa Ste­wart.

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