Music residency sings the tune of Cardinia

Published: 16 December 2019

Cardinia Shire Council has just wrapped up its Music Residency Program and the result is music to locals’ ears.

Through the program, music industry heavyweights were connected with emerging talent to create new opportunities.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Councillor Jeff Springfield said that as part of Council’s drive to foster arts in the local community, Council started the Music Residency Program to help industry relationships grow and create an even stronger foundation for music in Cardinia Shire.

“The Music Residencies Program, focussed on skills development, capacity building and knowledge development, was a way for us to both support our local emerging musicians to launch their professional careers while building the profile of our local musical talent,” Cr Springfield said.

Cardinia Shire Council’s Arts Manager James Fischer said with a large active music population centred around the towns of Emerald, Cockatoo and Gembrook, it became obvious the talent was there but the connections to cross that talent into the commercial and professional music industry could be improved.

“We’re thrilled with the results of the music residency and know the local talent that have taken part in the program are going to be part of Cardinia Shire arts history,” Mr Fischer said.

Applications for the Music Residency Program, opened in August 2019, included spots for either individual or group artists, and four talented musicians were chosen to participate.

The creative individuals chosen for the Music Residency came from a broad range of music styles:

Lili Violet

A singer songwriter from the hills, Lili Violet has been singing since she can remember and loves spending her free time writing new and exciting songs. She also makes her own versions and covers of already written music.

Coby DeMaria

Known for her beautiful voice and remarkable songs, Coby has been communicating to audiences for over 20 years, delivering a soulful expression of life and love through an infusion of musical styles. Her writing and musicality have been recognised all throughout Australia, with her arranging and vocal directing talents coming to the fore in the songs she produces.

Sophie Louise

Take one cup of Americana, two scoops of indie/folk, brew in an old-soul teapot and pour. Emerging from the Americana and folk/soul genres, Sophie blends electric guitar and stirring vocals to convey her evocative stories of love and loss. She will take you from foot tapping to tears in the space of a song.

Edward Willoughby

Edward is a pianist, singer and composer of classically tinged original songs, backed by an imaginary chamber orchestra.


Successful applicants for the program were mentored by industry professionals, enabling the musicians to create sound, take creative risks, and learn the industry ropes.

The residencies ran over October and November 2019 with each successful applicant given time to focus on their own practice. Mentors delivered tailor-made activities that focussed on fostering and expanding skills and knowledge.

Support for the program was given by:

  • Artist/Songwriter/Performer, Tristan Goodall (The Audreys – triple Aria winners)
  • Artist/Producer/Engineer, James Seymour (Feelds, Merpire)
  • Artist/Artist Manager/Booking Agent, Jarred Young (Bad Pony, Feelds)

See the musicians perform at Lake Side Sounds at Emerald Lake Park on Sunday 16 February and Sunday 1 March 2020.

Follow the Arts and Culture - Cardinia Shire ( Facebook page for more opportunities in 2020.

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