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Winter Blues Festival 2023
“Winter Blues Songwriters Studio”
Connecting you to music.

Three days of songwriting and performance workshops on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th, leading up to the public performance on Friday 28th July from 5pm to 7pm.
NEW VENUE: Paramount Picture Theatre, 392 High St Echuca
If you would like to participate in this year’s “Winter Blues Songwriters Studio” you can apply exclusively online via the link below.

There is a $92 participation fee. Online registrations close Friday the 21st July at 5pm. Please note we will not be doing “cash on the day” as per previous years.
This year for the first time, we are very excited to be offering four spots on the Festivals Homegrown stage on Saturday to participants of the Songwriters Studio. Spots are paid, and subject to availability commitment, and the student being able to bring their own equipment as needed.

If you have any questions contact Michael Pollitt, on 0415 869 658 or 
Email: [email protected]

The Winter Blues Festival Songwriters Studio is supported by APRA AMCOS


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato

The ability to express yourself in a positive and creative way is sometimes difficult for young people in traditional Australian school environments where sport is king. There is now significant neuroscience which shows that playing music is one of the most game-changing positive activities a young person can do to improve their emotional and cognitive abilities.

WBF’s Songwriters Studio helps participants to discover their tribe, and themselves, and explore the fun, joy, and life changing self-confidence that playing music in a group can deliver.

WBF’s Songwriters Studio is a fun and challenging, two day and one evening, highly interactive workshop, where participants will gain theoretical and practical music industry skills from experienced music industry professionals with a strong focus on original song composition. The skills will then be practically applied via a public concert at the Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival. The performance will feature as many original songs as possible.

WBF’s Songwriters Studio is designed for all instruments and is for students from 12 to 25 with an intermediate ability level for instrumentalists and beginner to intermediate level for vocalists. Students with learning difficulties are encouraged to attend.

WBF’s Songwriters Studio encourages freedom of expression and


fosters cooperation and team building, and also deals with performance skills, song writing, and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). Our outstanding group of industry professional tutors have the experience to answer questions on every aspect of performance and the business side of music in a practical and useful way.

WBF’s Songwriters Studio will explore the craft of songwriting and stage performance with an APRA Songwriting Ambassador as well as APRA Workshops where participants will register as APRA songwriters, register their original compositions, in preparation for their first APRA Return!

Participants to please bring:

  • Original songs completed or partially written (priority will be given to these), and
  • Song titles as ideas, or theme ideas for new original compositions; and
  • List of possible other or 'cover' songs that we can workshop in-between the original songs.
  • We kindly request the students to bring their own exercise books, AND copies of lyrics printed for their band mates.
  • Students to please bring their own instruments/amps, strings, strap, leads, picks, sticks, notebooks, lyrics, lyric stands, and chord charts!

The WBF Songwriters Studio is drug and alcohol free.

Songwriters Studio TUTORS 2022

Kelly Auty – Co-Leader Vocal specialist.

Kelly delivers inspiring shows with her earthy and powerful singing style. She teaches singing and stage-craft to all ages in education centres, schools and privately. Kelly is known for her successful work with young people who want to develop confidence; as well as comfortable, safe singing techniques. Trained classically and in the Jo Estille figures for voice model, she also developed and ran a highly successful program called “Noisy Girls” over several years for disadvantaged young women in numerous Community Education centres.. Kelly was the MBAS Australian Blues performer of the year in 2017/18.

Michael Pollitt – Co-Leader

Apart from running a successful social media music marketing business, performing as “Mr. Black & Blues” and with his new band HEAVY MEDICINE nationally and internationally, and running his own record label, Michael was a mentor /tutor for students during the highly successful 2014/15/16 Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society (MBAS) Youth in Blues program. Michael has received accolades such as: Australian Artist of the year, Best Australian Blues Album, and Best Australian Album by Rhythms Magazine Readers Poll.

Shane “Steele” O’Neill

Shane is a drummer, percussionist, bass player, songwriter and mental health councillor who rose to national prominence in 90’s hit band “Ooh La la”. As a much sort-after drummer Shane can be seen regularly performing around Australia with luminaries. Shane also records with bands and other songwriters including the Widowbirds, and perennial festival favourite The Pigs.

Sweet Felicia

Sweet Felicia charms audiences around Australia with her distinctive and powerful yet touching vocals and bass work. Her band swings hard and her music reminds us of the hot clubs of the 40s and 50s. Sweet Felicia played bass for Lil Fi and the Delta Rhythm Kings for four and a half years and during this time a highlight was supporting the legendary BB King. She has numerous awards to her credit including semi-finalist in the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis USA.

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We respectfully acknowledge the Yorta Yorta and the Dja Dja Wurrung people, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which we are located. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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