One of the most iconic and notable figures in New Zealand music, Sean James Donnelly, has been announced as the Music Director of the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Awards.
Considered one of the most prestigious accolades in Kiwi music, the awards not only pay tribute to the country’s finest songwriters, they’re presented at a ceremony which has become renowned for its unique and special live performances. This involves bands and musicians being selected to perform one-off renditions of the finalists’ songs.
With seven albums, critical acclaim and countless awards to his name, Sean James Donnelly, AKA SJD, has a lengthy and esteemed track record in the New Zealand music industry. A previous finalist and performer at the APRA Silver Scrolls, the Auckland-based singer-songwriter is honoured to take on the task of Music Director at this year’s event.
“I’ve always enjoyed the Scrolls, first and foremost, as a celebration of songwriters. As the Music Director, I get to curate a show using a lot of my favourite musicians and singers, to try and put something together that is fun but also musically coherent.”
The Music Director oversees all performances and works with the selected artists to put a unique spin on their covers of the top five finalists. As well as covering the five finalists’ songs on the night, there will also be performances of the winning Maioha, SOUNZ, and Hall Of Fame tribute.
Donnelly isn’t giving too much away about what the night holds but explains his vision: “It’s a tasty combination of some well-known names and some really exciting artists you might not have heard of. Most everybody will be interestingly out of their comfort zones.”
Previous music directors have included Jon Toogood, Don McGlashan, Lukasz Buda, Godfrey de Grut & Cherie Mathieson and Karl Steven.
This year’s awards will be held at Vector Arena in Auckland on Thursday, September 29. RNZ Checkpoint host, John Campbell, will MC the event and for the first time in its 51-year history, it will be broadcast free-to-air by RNZ on Freeview Channel 50. The ceremony will also be streamed live on http://www.radionz.co.nz/music
The awards are proudly supported by Panhead Custom Ales.
FULL LIST OF FINALISTS – 2016
2016 APRA SILVER SCROLL AWARD
Lydia Cole – ‘Dream’ – Lydia Cole
The Phoenix Foundation – ‘Give Up Your Dreams’ – Samuel Scott, Lukasz Buda, Conrad Wedde, William Ricketts, Thomas Callwood, Christopher O’Connor (Native Tongue Music Publishing)
Thomas Oliver – ‘If I Move To Mars’ – Thomas Oliver (Mushroom Music Pty Ltd)
Street Chant – ‘Pedestrian Support League’ – Emily Littler, Billie Rogers, Alex Brown, Christopher Varnham (Arch Hill Music Publishing / Native Tongue Music Publishing)
Tami Neilson – ‘The First Man’ – Tami Neilson, Jay Neilson
APRA MAIOHA AWARD
Rob Ruha feat. Tiki Taane – ‘Kariri’ – Rob Ruha
IHI – ‘Mana Whenua’ – Thomas Rawiri, Mokoia Huata (Woodcut Productions / Waatea Music)
Kirsten Te Rito – ‘Tamaiti Ngaro’ – Kirsten Te Rito, James Illingworth, Joseph Te Rito
SOUNZ CONTEMPORARY AWARD
‘Piano Trio’ – Kenneth Young
‘Rainphase’ – Salina Fisher
‘Viola Concerto’ – Chris Cree Brown
APRA BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A FEATURE FILM AWARD
Hunt For The Wilderpeople – Samuel Scott, Lukasz Buda, Conrad Wedde (Native Tongue Music Publishing)
Mahana (The Patriarch) – Mahuia Bridgeman-Cooper, Tama Waipara
The Art Of Recovery – Tom McLeod
APRA BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A SERIES AWARD
800 Words – Karl Steven (Native Tongue Music Publishing)
Jiwi’s Machines – Age Pryor
The Brokenwood Mysteries – Tami Neilson, Jay Neilson