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Top Notes on Norfolk Island

 Photos show Briana Lee with her award and out touring the island.

Talented young Victorian singer Briana Lee scored an international music award and $10,000 in prizes when she visited Norfolk Island for the annual Norfolk Island Country Music Festival last week.

Briana, 18, of Shepparton, finished ahead of seven other performers from Australia and New Zealand to win the island's 12th annual Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year Award.

A graduate of Tamworth’s Camerata Music College, Briana started singing at the age of 10 and is keen to use her award as a springboard for a big career in country music.

Boyfriend Dean was on hand on May 23 to see Briana take out the top Norfolk Island award, which included $4000 in cash, $5000 in recording time at PVG Productions studios in Auckland and $3000 worth of publicity for the recording from new sponsor, ABC Music.

ABC Music’s Marketing Manager, Libby Bain, said she was amazed at the standard of contestants in the Norfolk Island Country Music festival.

“I went across not having heard of any of the contestants and not knowing what to expect from the event,” she said. “But the island is just beautiful, the quality of the music was extremely high, and Briana is a dynamic little talent who we look forward to helping get started on what’s bound to be a very successful country music career.”

Norfolk Island Country Music Association president Jackie Pye said she was delighted with support received from the ABC, given its impact on music in Australia.

“We suspected we were onto something really important in country music with the festival, but gaining this sort of recognition and discovering great talents like Briana and the other contestants really motivates us to promote and grow the event even more.

“Competition was again very stiff this year, but Briana is a stand-out talent and deserved the decision of our three judges – from Australia, New Zealand and Norfolk Island,” Ms Pye said.

Runner-up to Briana in the Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year Award was Kimberley Bowden of Tully in Queensland, while Victoria Edwards of Dubbo NSW took home the Norfolk Island Country Music Association Encouragement Prize. Kiwi Neil McKenzie Hall received the Dead Ringer Band Encouragement Award.

Ms Pye said next year’s Country Music Festival would be held on the tiny island, 1600km north-east of Sydney, from May 27-June 4, 2007, with details soon to be posted at
www.nicma.nlk.nf  or email Jackie Pye on nicma@norfolk.net.nf

• Photos show Briana Lee with her award and touring around Norfolk Island.

Media Contacts:
Bill Gray MG Media Communications 02 9904 0011
Issued: May 30, 2006

Briana Lee with Bill Chambers at The Pub Tamworth 2003
Talented Shepparton singer/songwriter Briana Lee has just won the Victorian Champion of Champions competition at the Mildura Country Music Festival.
Briana came home with an impressive 10 awards, cash prizes & guest appearances at the Tamworth Country Music Festival & the prestigious Trans Tasman Entertainer of the Year May 2006 in Norfolk Island.

The 18 year old placed 1st in Senior Country Rock & Senior Duet, 2nd in Senior Vocal & Open Instrumental & 3rd in Senior Australian Vocal at the Top of the State Talent Quest Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th September. But the awards didn’t stop there. She then took out senior Over-all Winner & Grand Over-all winner from a field of very talented singers & musicians from all over Australia & New Zealand.

From placing 1st & 2nd in the sections qualified Briana to compete in the Victorian Champion of Champions on Monday 26th September against winners from other Victorian talent quests & finalist in the Top of the State talent quest.

For the finals of the Victorian Champs the Notre Dame College student who is currently preparing for her Year 12 exams sang a Patty Loveless song “Blame it on your heart” & a heart felt rendition of the Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody”. She took out Open Female award & the notable Victorian Champion of Champions title.
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For further information contact Briana on:


Regional Australia’s biggest sporting event is setting the scene for a promising young singer from regional Victoria to perform on the world stage.

Teenager Briana Lee Brassil from Shepparton in northern Victoria will sing the national anthem at the 2004 Cinzano Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, to be held at Phillip Island on October 15-17.

Briana Lee, 17, is already making a name for herself around regional festivals and shows, but now she will get the chance to perform in front of tens of thousands of spectators at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, plus millions of television viewers, both in Australia and around the world.

To top it all off, she will perform on the starting grid just metres from a field of 24 MotoGP riders and their machines, including superstar Valentino Rossi, minutes before the start of the big race.

“It will be the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” said Briana Lee, a Year 11 student at Notre Dame College in Shepparton.

“It’s going to be an all-new experience. I’ve never been to Phillip Island and I can’t wait to get there and to sing on the grid.

“I think I’ll be nervous but I won’t let it get to me.

“My biggest problem at the moment is finding something to wear!”

Nicknamed “Shirley Temple” as a child for her blonde ringlet curls and angelic voice, Briana Lee was 11 when she really started singing.

“The first gig I did was at a primary school fete,” Briana Lee said. “My parents didn’t even know I could sing, so I think they were pretty surprised.

“Since then I haven’t stopped singing.”

Indeed, a recent performance of the national anthem was with her proud family in Shepparton when her cousin, Brett Lancaster, won Olympic gold as part of the Australian men’s cycling pursuit team in Athens.

Naming country singers Patsy Cline and Kasey Chambers as some of her influences, Briana Lee was thrilled to be invited to perform at the closing ceremony of this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Other achievements include awards for best ballad and best female vocalist at the 2003 Kool Skools national recording project, winner of the Telstra “Road to Tamworth” Shepparton heat – where first prize includes a trip to Nashville, USA, to record a single - and performing the national anthem at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena for the Australian Supercross Masters.

Briana Lee Brassil will sing the national anthem at the 2004 Cinzano Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Victoria's Phillip Island.
Picture copyright-free for editorial use, courtesy Australian Grand Prix Corporation

Kirsty Nicholls
Australian Grand Prix Corporation
Tel: 03 9258 7125 Mobile: 0417 774 192
Fax: 03 9682 0410

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