Invercargill student to perform at National Country Music Awards


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James Hargest College student Holly Muirhead will perform at New Zealand's biggest country music event, the Entertainer of the Year Awards, in October.

Robyn Edie / Stuff

James Hargest College student Holly Muirhead will perform at New Zealand’s biggest country music event, the Entertainer of the Year Awards, in October.

As the year progresses, the musical achievements keep improving for Holly Muirhead.

The Invercargill singer-songwriter is still in turmoil after winning his spot in the New Zealand Country Music Association’s Artist of the Year awards at Taupō in October.

“It’s exciting,” said the 17-year-old James Hargest College student.

She secured her place in the awards by winning the overall standings in the Intermediate Section, as well as winning the Open Songwriters Division, at the Waikato Country Music Awards in Putaruru, near Hamilton, recently.

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“Winning with one of my own songs, especially when you’re in an open section, and you’re up against adults who have been doing it for years, was exciting.

“When they announced [I won] intermediate overall it just added … I can go to Taupō for two things.

The success follows Muirhead’s victory in the solo-duo section of Rockquest’s Southland final in June, finishing second in the intermediate duo, as well as the senior section final, at the NZ Gold Guitar Awards in June, and being an overall intermediate finalist at the Auckland Country Music Awards in April.

The trip to Waikato was his last chance to qualify for the New Zealand Country Music Association Artist of the Year awards.

James Hargest College head of music Emma Jarman said Muirhead should be extremely proud of qualifying for the awards.

“That’s one of his goals for the year … it’s the biggest event on the New Zealand country music calendar.”

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