AT the heart of Irish music is the song Danny Boy and local artists will deliver their best renditions at the 17th Koroit Irish Festival this weekend.
With judges Irish-born singer-songwriter Damien Leith, musical actress Jennifer Vuletic and local music teacher Sarah Joybells, the winner of the Australian Danny Boy Championship will rest easy knowing they earned the $1000 prizemoney.
Leith will perform a show on the Saturday of the festival and is also this year’s ambassador.
As well as judging the Danny Boy finals on the Saturday night, his duties will include presenting the award to the winner.
Co-ordinator Vivienne Porter said all ages were invited to partake in the championships and performances must be solo.
“Some people play guitar or violin or keyboard. It’s just to celebrate the core of Irish music which is Danny Boy,” Ms Porter said. On Tuesday there were 10 entrants with room for more.
“It will start about 1.30pm at the Koroit Hotel on the Saturday and there are still spots available,” Ms Porter said.
She said it was pleasing to secure such high-calibre judges.
“We have a famous Irish singer, Jennifer who has a musical background and then a local person. Between the three of them they’ll be wise judges.”
Jennifer Vuletic toured nationally and internationally with the hit musical Mamma Mia! playing Tanya for two years from 2003, a role she later reprised in the 10th anniversary tour.
Sarah Joybells has taught music locally for many years.
Ms Porter encouraged people to come along and support the competitors.
“If local people can give everyone a round of support — there’s nothing like a good crowd to make them feel fabulous.”
To enter phone Ms Porter on 0402 758 429.