The Northern Star by Lachlan Heywood

Sweet-sounding Simone

With such a beautiful instrument, a young Lismore woman could go a long way in the music industry, says the head of a leading American music school, Dr Warrick Carter. Dr Carter, from the acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, was talking about Simone Waddell. The instrument is her voice. So impressed was Dr Carter with Simone's singing ability during his visit to Southern Cross University, Lismore, this month, he offered the chance of a musical lifetime to Simone, a second-year SCU Contemporary Music student. She has been invited to finish her degree at Berklee, and is already packing her bags in anticipation. "Berklee is one of the best music schools in the world," she said. "It's such an honour to be chosen." Dr Carter said Simone's commitment was one her best assets. "You can be an extremely talented musician and still not make it into Berklee, but Simone has a combination of musical ability, self-promotion and commitment," he said. SCU music professor Clive Pascoe hopes Simone's invitation is the first of many. "It's a credit to the university that someone as prestigious as Dr Carter visited, and I think the faculty and students will reap the benefits," Prof Pascoe said. According to Prof Pascoe, ties with a music school such as Berklee are invaluable. "In the past decade we have begun to do what Berklee did 50 years ago. That shows how advanced it is," he said. The move to Berklee will be a financial challenge for Simone. A year of board and fees at Berklee can cost up to $25,000, so Simone is already looking for a scholarship as well as other financial help.

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