Solo stars shine brightly

TWO young stars made their mark in Koroit this past week, and if their performance yesterday afternoon is anything to go by, they will burn brightly for years to come. 

For the first time, the Stars on the Lake performance highlighted two young solo performers, who captivated the crowd with strong and beautiful voices and toe-tapping fiddle tunes. 

Seventeen-year-old indie-folk musician Maggie Rutjens from Crystal Brook, South Australia, and 16-year-old fiddler Georgia Rose from Valencia Creek in East Gippsland, were exposed to four days of intense tutoring in performance art and given the opportunity to record.

The program is supported by the Port Fairy Folk Festival, and the girls were given a grant of $3000 for tutorage across the Lake School program. Tutor Geoff Macarthur said the Stars on the Lake concept was born from the Lake School’s Paddy O’Neil award, which brought young musicians together to form a band. 

“We decided to try something a little bit different this year and go with solo artists,” he said. 

“They look at everything associated with being a professional musician. It’s a bit like a seeding program, and gives them a taste for life in the industry.” 

He said as part of the program, the girls would be invited to perform on the frINge program of the 2013 folk festival. 

Both girls said the program had helped broaden their horizons, and they were looking forward to performing at the festival. “It’s been a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m so excited about coming back for the folk festival,” Maggie said. 

“I really didn’t know what to expect from this week, as an indie singer coming to an Irish music school, but it has been a huge influence.

“They are setting us up and helping get our names out there. This has been an amazing experience, and the opportunity to perform at Port Fairy is huge.” 

Georgia said the program had encouraged her to add some vocals to her repertoire. 

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