HOME-GROWN TALENT: Bangalow sisters Nerida (left) and Melia Naughton, of Scarlett Affection, take to the stage at yesterday’s opening of Southern Cross University’s newly-revamped Studio 129 music space, assisted by electronics technician Troy Schmidt.
HOME-GROWN TALENT: Bangalow sisters Nerida (left) and Melia Naughton, of Scarlett Affection, take to the stage at yesterday’s opening of Southern Cross University’s newly-revamped Studio 129 music space, assisted by electronics technician Troy Schmidt. Jacklyn Wagner

Bangalow sisters sing university's praises

WHILE sisters Nerida and Melia Naughton were excited about playing at yesterday’s opening of Southern Cross University’s refurbished music space, Studio 129, alumni Nerida admitted it was ‘a bit strange coming back and seeing it all again’.

Over the past year, improvements have been made incrementally, making for huge changes since the centre was originally opened in 1993.

“It is incredible what they have done here, and the quality of the facilities means so much to students,” Nerida said.

The sisters, from Bangalow, first performed together in the final stages of Nerida’s study at SCU, and since then have been touring as folk duo Scarlett Affection.

Dr Jean Griffiths, head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, said that while there were still ‘two or three things to be done’, materials and equipment had been upgraded in order to create a working space as ‘close to real life as possible’.

“If we have this equipment here, it gets them ready for the real world,” she said.

Nerida and Melia agreed, saying to ‘have this facility here is incredibly valuable’.

“It is amazing to work with state-of-the-art equipment. The team of people behind it are also so supportive, and it is lovely they have invested their time to teach us and create this as a gift for us,” Nerida said.

Jean said that the refurbished Studio 129 would ‘help the SCU students in wonderful ways’, as both a performing space and classroom.

“We feel it is a responsible use of resources and it has been a real co-operative effort across the university,” she said.

Jean hopes the newfacilities will lift the standing of SCU, and bring benefits to the community in the future.

Having returned to ‘the birthplace’ of Scarlett Affection, the sisters feel the new facilities will lift SCU’s reputation even higher.

“We keep running into SCU graduates in music wherever we perform – the degree covers everything you need to know,” Nerida said.

“Yeah, I wish I had done the degree here too,” Melia said.


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