Northern Stars under big top
TAYA SMITH came late to singing, but she came at a run.
Until starting at Goonellabah's Kadina High School in 1992, Taya's vocal career was limited to singing at home.
Now 15 and starting Year 10, Taya is being paid to sing at events and also plays piano and cello. Last year she was one of the winners of the Accelerator music competition, earning a track on the CD of the same name.
Now she is aiming higher, hoping to sing in a solo or duo at the Northern Stars Under the Big Top schools spectacular at Lismore seven weeks from now.
"This is a perfect opportunity to kick-start my music career," Taya said.
She's serious. After performing at the 2003 Northern Stars Under the Big Top, three of her friends were accepted into the same Sydney-based music industry training program that produced Australian Idol star Paulini.
Speaking at the media launch for the show at Southern Cross University yesterday, Education Department northern region director Greg Cloak promised a knockout event with more than 2700 students from about 80 schools.
To prove his claims, he came backed by a few of the students performing at this year's show, including Taya and four students from Mullumbimby High School, who wowed a crowd of about 50 people with a mix of rock and jazz-style numbers.
Also boosting the appeal of this year's show was news Lismore's Australian Idol star, Ngaiire Joseph, had agreed to join the line-up.
Mr Cloak also announced sponsors for the event, including, among others, SCU, Lismore City Council, Harvey World Travel, the Lismore Showground Society, The Northern Star, Country Energy and Teach NSW. Anyone wanting to sponsor the event should contact producer Michael Coleman on 66671102.