A passion for the young
Award-winning country music singer Valerie Joyce’s dream has come true in more ways than one.
Joyce picked up a bunch of awards at the Waikato Country Music Awards recently.
The singer won the gospel, western, female open and overall veteran categories at the competition, enabling the crooner automatic entry into the prestigious Entertainer of the Year Awards later this year.
However, her victories are not what keeps the passion ignited for this songstress.
‘‘My passion lies with the young people in this country. Country music clubs are a great outlet for the young to sing, learn musical instruments, stage presence, diction and most importantly self esteem.’’ Joyce said.
The singer believes country music clubs, of which there are many throughout the country, are an avenue for youth to flourish.
‘‘So many of our young ones are getting into trouble and have nowhere to go. They think country music, ‘oh yuck’ but the reality is, that the clubs celebrate a variety of music. These clubs are great for our young people to learn to be confident and showcase their talent with a group of supportive members and pick up valuable tips to improve their performance. We have so much talent in this town, we have the best guitarist in New Zealand, Willie Barrett playing for a local club here and the youth are brimming with so much musical talent and think they have no outlet, well, that is exactly why our country music clubs are here for.’’
Joyce credits her husband, John Simcock, for unyielding support.
‘‘He is my biggest fan and my greatest critic. He has helped me improve my performance and is also an amazing singer as well.
‘‘When I was young sitting by my mother’s knees listening to her sing, I dreamed that one day I would use the gift I have to help people, that has always been a dream of mine and I have been asked to perform at a charity concert in Waihi. I am living my dream and I don’t know anyone that can say that.’’
For now, as Valerie prepares for the Entertainer of the Year Awards she hopes to see more young people at local country music club days.
‘‘It’s a great atmosphere to enjoy and participate in top quality performances.’’
LIVING THE DREAM: Award-winning country music singer Valerie Joyce is living the dream.