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We have invited industry professionals, from Australia and abroad, to judge the competition final entries on our behalf. Among them are successful songwriters, composers, publishers and respected music industry names. Their experience and impartiality will ensure that the best songs will be recognised for the quality they bring to The Song Comp.
Ella Hooper
Ella Hooper
Bill Page
Bill Page
Rico Soto
Rico Soto
Hayley Warner
Hayley Warner
Robert Case
Robert Case
Simon Johnson
Simon Johnson
Christie Lamb
Christie Lamb
Allan Caswell
Allan Caswell
Lea Goodrem
Lea Goodrem
Roger Corbett
Roger Corbett
Stewart Peters
Stewart Peters
Caitlin Harnett
Caitlin Harnett
Ryan Sampson
Ryan Sampson
Duncan Hill
Duncan Hill
Aleyce Simmonds
Aleyce Simmonds
Suzanne Serelle
Suzanne Serelle
Ned Kulasin
Ned Kulasin
Matthew Donlevy
Matthew Donlevy

Hayley Warner - APRA Songwriter Of The Year 2012 nominee
Hayley was a standout performer in the Australian Idol Top 12. She built a large and loyal following in a very short time and her high energy performances earned her massive credit.

Warner said her main ambition during the idol journey was "not to be boring." Warner has been described as a vocal "powerhouse" whose breathtaking performances displayed her versatility in range & emotion. Hayley's interpretation of Pink's "Funhouse" not only got her a standing ovation on Australian Idol but also scored her a "Rexona Moment". Idol judge, "Dicko" Dickson described her as "possibly the coolest 17-year old girl in the southern hemisphere." After the finale, Hayley was granted a record contract with Sony Music.

Hayley is one of only two contestants in Australian Idol history to make it to the grand final despite appearing in the bottom three or two on more than one occasion during the finals. All other contestants to make the final were in the bottom only once or never at all.

Rico Soto - Oxygen Music Group GM/MD
Rico Soto is the General Manager , Marketing Director and Talent Manager for Oxygen Music Group Recording Studios, Oxygen Records & Hydrogen Records.

With 8 years of experience in the Latin American and International markets as a Marketing Specialist in the music business, Rico specializes in artistic marketing and is a hands-on guru in the industry with a 360 approach to strategic branding.

He's led to success many international music projects in Latin-America and now he’s bringing his expertise to Australia.

Suzanne Serelle Suzanne Serelle

Suzanne Serelle is predominately known as a lead singer/bass player in the live music scene. She has performed all around Australian, played in Japan, England, America and Germany, but her accomplishments and musical journey are much more than this.

Serelle is also an award winning songwriter and she is her own producer, recording engineer, mix engineer and has the ability to write across many genres.

She has been accepted as voting ?member of the GRAMMY® Awards?, LA Chapter.

Stewart Peters - Song writer / Producer / CEO Soundshed Studios

Stewart has co-written and produced with successful artists such as Allan Caswell, Louie Shelton, Simone Hardy, Mitchell Shadlow, Anita Spring, SNEZ, Glenn Cunningham, Penny Pavlakis, Sarah Gardner (Australian Idol), Jay Collie-Sommerville (Jonah’s Road), Felicity Urquhart among many other songwriters over the past 15 years.

Awards include: winner of various sections of the of the ASAI Awards on several occasions. Stewart has also represented Australia as a finalist with the prestigious Vina Del Mar Song Contest in Chile; finalist in the Yamaha International Song Competition on several occasions; the Australian Song Competition; finalist for the Gibraltar Song Competition and winner of the Blue Mountains Acoustic & Roots competition.

Robert Case - CEO New/Old Pants Publishing

Robert Case President of New Pants Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP) Old Pants Publishing, Inc. (BMI) and New Pants Music, (SESAC) is a graduate of the Colorado Institute of Art, Denver, Colorado in the USA with an Associate’s Degree in Business with an emphasis in Music and Video Business.

Mr. Case’s songwriter’s songs have appeared in TV shows placements including Lions Gate Pictures, CW Network, Discovery Channel, A&E, Fox Sports, NBC, CBS/VHI/Universal HD show Love Monkey, One Life to Live on ABC Daytime, the Soap Network and South Park on Comedy Central in the US and Internationally in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. 

Christie Lamb Christie Lamb

Christie Lamb has been described as ‘the full package’, a vibrant multi-instrumental and award winning singer songwriter. Adding to her ever-growing mantle of awards, Christie was recently voted ‘CMC Female Artist of the Year 2018’ by Australian Country Music Fans. The talented songstress has also been the recipient of a Golden Guitar for ‘CMAA New Talent of the Year 2016’ and was also voted ‘CMC New Oz Artist of the Year 2015’ again by Country Music Fans.

Christie closed out 2016 by signing with ABC Music and subsequently released her first single, ‘Flamethrower’, which was selected as ‘Country Pick’ on Foxtel’s Country Music Channel and also picked up by BBC Radio UK. ‘Flamethrower’ reached #1 on The Music Network (5 weeks) and on Kix Radio Network (2 weeks). The 3 following singles from the album ‘Loaded’ all achieved #1 spots on radio and CMC.

Christie has achieved 10 top 5 singles on radio to date.

The prestigious title of ‘Female Rising Star’ was added to Aleyce’s list of accolades, which includes
  • 2005 Telstra Road to Tamworth Winner
  • Winner 2007 Victorian and National Vocal Collaboration of the year Award for the track ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ with Paul Costa.

Matthew Donlevy - CEO Peer Music Publishing Australia

Matthew is the Managing Director of Peermusic Pty Limited, Southern Music Publishing Co (Australasia) Pty Limited and Frankdon Music Pty Limited.

He is also a Director of the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (since 1991), Australasian Music Publishers Association Limited, David Platz Music (Australia) Pty Limited and Minder Music Australia Pty Ltd.

Matthew's previous appointments include professional manager of ATV Northern Songs and Castle Music.



Allan Caswell - Multi-award winning songwriter

In 2007 when Allan Caswell won his sixth Golden guitar in Tamworth (with Drew McAlister for “Vocal Collaboration Of The Year”), it marked 27 years since his first Golden Guitar in 1980. In the years in between Allan has experienced the highs and lows of a very successful and hugely varied career …

His song “On the Inside” (the theme for the television “Prisoner”) reached No.1 in Australia and New Zealand, No.3 in England and made the Country Charts in the USA (his own version was a top 20 country hit in Europe in 2004).

At last count, Caswell has had well over 900 songs published and over 500 recordings of his songs released world wide by artists of the calibre of Cilla Black, The Irish Rovers, Patti Page, Slim Dusty, James Blundell and The Living End. 

Ella Hooper - Award-winning songwriter

Ella Hooper is a much loved and active part of the Australian music scene.
She began writing her own songs at age 11 and by 13 had won JJJ's Unearthed competition with one of her first compositions with her brother Jesse, a song called Kettle.
As the teenage front woman of her band Killing Heidi she owned the 'Naughties, receiving numerous awards and accolades including a swag of ARIA awards.

Ella was the youngest person and very first woman to be honoured with the prestigious APRA songwriter of the year award, paving the way for young women in the field of songwriting. She has had number 1 singles, some of which have become part of the Aus music landscape (Weir, Mascara) plus number 1 albums and the fastest selling Australian album of all time. She has graced the cover of Rolling Stone twice, toured internationally and received critical acclaim. Her songwriting style like her voice, is unique and recognisably her own. She has traversed rock, pop, folk, alt-country and indie genres with various projects and is now embarking for the first time on a solo album, as well as branching into fields other than music.

Duncan Hill - Song writer / President TSA

Duncan Hill is a tireless worker on behalf of song writers, and especially those songwriting members of the Tamworth Songwriters' Association, having been elected president of the TSA in 2011, and having served on the committee for many years.

A keen songwriter, with a good ear for a hit, Duncan is usually busy within the walls of his home music studio, crafting his own songs, and working on demos for other song writers.

Roger Corbett - The Bushwackers - Multi-award-winning songwriter

Roger Corbett is a multi Golden Guitar winning, highly successful songwriter and Australian music producer with numerous successful chart songs to his credit. His songwriting credits include "The Fire Within" the theme song for the opening of the Sydney 2000 Paralympics Games, "Bridge of Love" the hit song for the 1994 International Year Of The Family and hundreds of other recorded songs with artists from every genre.

From his Blue Mountains recording studio, Roger predominately works with Independent artists in the singer-songwriter, folk, pop, rock, country, Christian and children's music genres.

Roger is a member and the manager of the legendary The Bushwackers Band. Named ‘The, ‘Australian band’ by Rolling Stone Magazine, The Bushwackers, now in their 40th year and with 20 studio albums behind them, continue to tour the country playing Festivals, clubs, pubs and events.

Caitlin Harnett -

Caitlin Harnett hails from Sydney Australia. She first appeared on the radar when at just 18 she was signed to Mushroom Music Publishing and went on to be recognised both internationally and locally for her songwriting. Her music is heard regularly on popular Australian Television Dramas. Over the last 3 years she has released two EP’s. In 2012 she was invited to showcase at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville.

The honesty and vulnerability of her live performances have endeared audiences in Australia, Canada, America and New Zealand. Caitlin’s much anticipated full length recording will be released in early 2014.

"Every now and then you run across an artist who you feel, rather than hear. I closed my eyes, and her music took me away. Yes, I heard it, but I also felt it which is a rare thing. Tim Daley XYZ Networks”

Bill Page - Mushrom Music Publishing

Bill Page has spent a lifetime in music. He was at the forefront of FM Radio when it began in Australia in the early 1980's. As Program Director and Music Director at Adelaide’s SAFM Bill was responsible for all the musical content and programming decisions at one of Australia’s most successful FM stations.
SAFM was recognized as a leader in playing cutting edge music with a particular focus on Australian acts. After 10 years Bill moved to Mushroom Records as head of A&R and spent the following 7 years signing and working with a variety of Australian acts developing and nurturing their music.

Now as Creative Manager of Mushroom Music Publishing he is again working with song writers across all genres signing their publishing and working at developing them as writers and setting up co-writing collaborations both locally and overseas as well as pitching songs to local acts from the Mushroom catalogue of local writers and from a variety of International publishing organizations.

Bill has also been head judge of the Telstra Road to Discovery for the past 3 years.

Lea Goodrem

Lea Goodrem is involved with artist development both locally and in the international market.

Lea brings a wealth of talent, drive and experience to the judging panel and The Song Comp is very happy to have her involvement with TSC 2013.

Simon Johnson

Simon is a freelance bass player and producer in the Australian Country Music Industry.

He operates a recording studio Simon Johnson Music studio from his home on the NSW Central Coast where he specialises in recording and producing quality projects at competitive rates.

Simon Johnson Music studio provides a very friendly and relaxed environment away from the hussle and bussle of the city where you can enjoy your music experience.

It is located on the Central Coast of NSW, more commonly referred to as 'Hillbilly Heaven' the home of many successful Australian Country Music professionals such as Kasey Chambers, Rod and Jeff McCormack, Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey and Gina Jeffreys.

The likes of Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey, Travis Collins and Buddy Goode have all recorded with Simon at Simon Johnson Music studio.

Ryan Sampson

Ryan’s early musical journey began when he was named 2006 Overall Queensland Champion of Champions.From there Ryan’s successes have included; Camerata, Junior College, CMAA College of Country Music and Toyota Star Maker - Grand Finalist.Appearing on Australian Idol 2009, Ryan was the only contestant to make it through as an automatic entry in the top 60, completing his Australian Idol journey in the top 40.

View
Ryan Sampson’s appearance on Australian Idol on YouTube:

2011 has seen the release two singles, “Marilyn Monroe was a size 14” and “Edith Annie”, as well as Ryan’s inclusion in major Country Music Festivals including; Tamworth – Charters Towers – Urban – Blue Water – Gympie Muster. On the 8th October 2011, Ryan won “Capital News Australian Independent Rising Star Male” at the Southern Stars Awards – Mildura Country Music Festival. In October 2011 it was announced that Ryan Sampson is a finalist in the 2012 Toyota Star Maker Competition to be held on the 22nd January 2012 at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Aleyce Simmonds

Winning the award for ‘Female Rising Star’ at the 2011 Australian Independent Country Music Awards of Australia in October made the masses again stand up and take notice to the 2005 Telstra Road to Tamworth 40th Jayco Tamworth Country Music Festival has now confirmed what many key industry people have been predicting - Aleyce Simmonds is one of our most promising Singer/Songwriters.

The prestigious title of ‘Female Rising Star’ was added to Aleyce’s list of accolades, which includes
  • 2005 Telstra Road to Tamworth Winner
  • Winner 2007 Victorian and National Vocal Collaboration of the year Award for the track ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ with Paul Costa.

Ned Kulasin -

Ned’s Musical career began in the early 80s, when he constructed a guitar from old left over bits and pieces (and a little Gaffa tape) while he was working part time at his local music store.

Spent 5 years working his way through his Original Project Band No EXCUSE.

Studying Music is a life long pursuit for Ned from Jazz fundamentals at the Sydney Con early on, to his current passion for Jazz Funk Piano & Bass Guitar.

His “day gig” struggles lead him into the intriguing world of Musical Instrument Retail & Wholesale. Deciding to take the plunge Ned joined
Carlingford Music Centre 2002 and has experienced the roller coaster Ride of Piano & Musical Instrument Retail.
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