GOLF

 NZPGA Championship organisers John Hart (L) and Michael Glading (R) with singer Jamie McDell at an event launch at The Hills, Queenstown.  NZPGA Championship organisers John Hart (L) and Michael Glading (R) with singer Jamie McDell at an event launch at The Hills, Queenstown. CREDIT: NZ PGA Championship

Rising star Jamie McDell to headline NZ PGA Championship concert in Queenstown

Tuesday 13 November 2012, 4:09PM
By NZ PGA Championship
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TRENTHAM

While big name sports stars and up-and-coming young golfers plan to take the spotlight on The Hills golf course next February, another rising young star has plans of her own.

Young Auckland musician Jamie McDell has been announced as headline act for a free open-air concert to be held at The Hills as part of the 2013 NZ PGA Championship, being held from Thursday February 28 to Sunday March 3 2013.

The 20-year-old rising star, already being hailed by critics as the next Brooke Fraser and compared to Jewel and Taylor Swift, is a relatively new arrival on the music scene with her debut album out this week.

Her single ‘You’ll Never Take That Away’ spent four weeks at  the top of the New Zealand singles chart earlier this year, and another song ‘Rewind’ also made number one.

NZ PGA Championship organisers said bringing her to Queenstown for her first appearance in the resort town was “a coup” for the event.

“Following last year’s inaugural event we always had plans to ‘up’ the entertainment factor of the championship, so a concert was definitely on the cards,” said NZ PGA tournament director Michael Glading.

“It makes perfect sense to add to the enjoyment of a day at the golf on the Saturday (March 2) with a relaxing and enjoyable, family-friendly and free concert that evening to add to the atmosphere of ‘The 19th’ entertainment area with plenty of food and drink on offer.”

A highlight of this year’s event – apart from the extraordinary standard of golf - was The 19th’, the ‘final hole’ for the best in Central Otago food, wine and entertainment.

Singer and songwriter Jamie McDell will be performing original tracks from her debut album ‘Six Strings and a Sailboat’ as part of an entertainment package scheduled to start late afternoon on the Saturday.

She said the album title reflected the fact that the sea had always been part her life, as a diver, surfer and sailor who had spent a number of years in the Mediterranean with her family.

Having first picked up a guitar at the relatively late age of 15, she was offered a development contract by EMI Music a year later. “Writing music is very much part of who I am,” she said. “At the end of the day my passion is about music, not becoming famous.”

She said she was looking forward to bringing her music to a Queenstown audience at the NZ PGA event on her first appearance in the resort.

“The escalation in popularity and people knowing about me has been a bit overwhelming at times,” she said. “But as long as it’s about getting my songs out there, I’m very grateful.

“I’m looking forward to singing at The Hills and hearing my music resonate in a stunning natural amphitheatre, then exploring the mountains,” she said.

Mr Glading said they were very much looking forward to having Jamie’s beautiful voice grace the stage at The 19th.

“I’m sure she’ll win herself a whole new legion of fans in the South Island,” he said.

Further information on the Championship is available on www.pgachampionship.co.nz.  Tickets for the event go on sale soon and are $55 for the season (all four days), $20 for the Thursday or Friday and $30 for the Saturday or Sunday. Children under 10 are free. Children aged 10 to 17 are $15 for the weekend.