Orange country singer and song writer Clancy Pye has been selected as a finalist for the Toyota Star Maker during the 50th anniversary of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The grand final was set to take place at the Tamworth Country Music Festival on Sunday but was postponed with the rest of the festival and will now take place on April 19.
The singer-songwriter grew up performing and touring the Central West with her then Oberon-based family band.
Now she works as a physiotherapist at Orange Hospital but still has a passion for music and this is the second time she's been selected for the grand final.
She said she was disappointed that the event was postponed because she was ready to perform, but is pleased the competition was not cancelled like it was in 2021.
"Any opportunity to get to perform your own work to such a big audience is such a real thrill," Miss Pye said.
"Hopefully some people that couldn't make it in January can come across. [It's the] 50th anniversary, it's going to be a bigger one than normal."
Miss Pye was one of the finalists in 2020, the last time the competition was held, but at the time she had not released any music.
However, the exposure from the competition brought her to the attention of people across Australia who now follow her music journey.
"I've released an EP and a couple of singles," she said. "I've written about 120 songs in the past year."
In 2015, Miss Pye's brother Mickey Pye won the competition, which enabled him to release and album and travel overseas.
"That was sort of my motivation in applying and giving it another go," she said.
"I was really excited, I had really been focussing on writing [music] in the last two years and now I'm looking at releasing music, it's such a prestigious competition too, even to make the top 10."
Any opportunity to get to perform your own work to such a big audience is such a real thrill.Clancy Pye
Toyota Star Maker coordinator Cheryl Brown said after the competition's cancellation in 2021 due to COVID-19, it was a huge thrill to resume the competition, particularly in the festival's 50th anniversary year.
"This year's top 10 are a truly inspiring and talented bunch, who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and talents, who've also managed to continue with their craft despite the past 18-months," she said.
Selected from almost 100 entries, the top 10 will perform two of their songs on stage at the Star Maker Grand Final at the 2022 Toyota Country Music Festival at Toyota Park.
Miss Pye will compete, along with: Billie-Jo Porter of Coffs Harbour, Brittany Elise, of Queensland, Charlie Fittler of Armidale, Heath Lancaster of Kempsey, Jade Gibson of Victoria, Jake Davey of Taree, Katie Jayne of Scone, Loren Ryan of Tamworth, and Max Jackson of Carrington.
Miss Pye said her two songs will both be originals and will include one she has released and one that has not yet been released.
"I have no doubt that the 2022 Grand Final concert will be one tough, but exciting competition," Ms Brown said.
"There's a large percentage of the Star Maker alumni who are kicking huge goals in their careers and we are very proud of their success, knowing the role Star Maker played at the very start.
"Having witnessed the rise of artists like Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan and Beccy Cole and the new crop of artists including Kaylee Bell, Rachael Fahim, Brad Cox, Blake O'Connor and many others through the years, validates the importance of a platform such as Star Maker."
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