New blood aims to give club tune up
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
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.
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.