ROLLING STONE: SCU Senior music degree lecturer Dr Barry Hill with 2021 Rolling Stone scholarship recipient Leon Holstegge who is aiming for a career as a session musician.
ROLLING STONE: SCU Senior music degree lecturer Dr Barry Hill with 2021 Rolling Stone scholarship recipient Leon Holstegge who is aiming for a career as a session musician.

School of Rock: Rolling Stone’s $15K scholarship for teen

A Northern Rivers university student who saved up bought his genuine Fender Telecaster guitar when he was 12 has been awarded the inaugural Rolling Stone sponsored scholarship.

Southern Cross University Bachelor of Contemporary Music student Leon Holstegge, 19, is the recipient of the scholarship which will give him a total of $15,000 to help with his studies and align him with the internationally-acclaimed publication.

In the second year of his degree, Mr Holstegge said he couldn’t believe his luck.

“I was scrolling through Facebook and saw the link for the Rolling Stone Scholarship and thought ‘this could be nice’ and then just went for it,” he said.

“I thought I wouldn’t have much of a chance then I got an email saying I was one of the top 10 applicants.”

Mr Holstegge is regarded as a versatile instrumentalist playing guitar, bass and drums.

“Currently I’m playing drums, bass and guitar and I’ve been messing around with piano a bit,” he said.

“My main goal is to become a session musician, I just like to play with everyone and across all the styles as well.”

Senior Lecturer in SCU’s music degree, Dr Barry Hill, said this would be a life-changing opportunity for the talented student whom he said displayed all the necessary attributes to secure the scholarship.

“Leon was a standout in the sense that both in his statement we asked for in the scholarship application and his university application where we witnessed his musicianship skills across many instruments including guitar, bass and drums, he especially makes his guitar sing,” Dr Hill said.

“The scholarship gives him $15,000 and having that connection to Rolling Stone gives him a marketing edge and a leverage into the industry where he’ll have a direct line to the editor of Rolling Stone.”

SCU said the scholarship is open to commencing and current students undertaking the Bachelor of Contemporary Music at the University’s flagship Lismore campus and the partnership will offer similar scholarships to students for the next three years.



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