Country music takes centre stage

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by Rachael Comer

Country music was top of the pops in Timaru at the weekend.
The annual Southern Alps Country Music Awards were held on Saturday and Sunday , and competitors travelled from throughout the country to take part.
Southern Alps Country Music Awards convener Andrew Nelson said the event, now one of the major awards in the South Island, had been a success.

Trophy .. Serenity Grace Neilsen, of Dunedin, was the junior overall winner at the Southern Alps Country Music Awards.

“It was an excellent weekend, with extremely high standard across all sections.
“We had a near-capacity attendance at the finals concert and a very good audience over the weekend.”

In performance .. Ken Ward, of Timaru, won the senior novice section at the Southern Alps Country Music Awards, held at the Caroline Bay Hall on Saturday and Sunday.

The supreme senior overall winner was Lana Mackay, of Gore.
Seventy-nine competitors took part in the competition. The youngest was Georgia Martin (4), from Riversdale, Southland, and the oldest 81-year-old Diane Taylor, of Timaru. Twenty-two competitors were from South Canterbury.
The Southern Alps Country Music Awards, in its 29th year, is a non-profit making organisation originally set up by a group of volunteers.
Auditions were held on Saturday and Sunday at the Caroline Bay Hall and Caroline Bay Community Lounge, as well as at the South Canterbury RSA rooms.
The finals concert was on Sunday, in the Caroline Bay Hall.