2013 Song and Tune Writing Award Winners


“for an original song or tune in traditional or contemporary folk style”

A big thank you to all the entrants, participants, supporters, judges, hosts etc for another successful Folk Federation of Tasmania Mike Silverwood Memorial Songwriters Award, writes Peter Hicks.

Report on Songwriter’s Concert Brookfield Margate 2013


On Saturday Nov 16th I had the privilege of hosting  terrific collection of songwriters and instrumentalists who on hand to display their turn of phrase and creativity.  We were also bidding farewell to a fantastic centre of folk in southern Tasmania – the Brookfield, Margate.


A great mood was created by members of Ethereal who performed a short bracket including two pieces which were submitted as part of the competition.  The blend of harps, brass wind and didgeridoo is unique and this act deserves all the accolades they have coming to them .  Look out for their new CD coming soon.  Their tune Morning Delta was judged  winner of the tune award which has been renamed the Helen Lindsay award in honour of the enormous amount of effort Helen has put in to the folk scene over the past decade.

Marty Spurway-Smith launched the singer songwriters with a great bracket including Song for a Single Father  which was judged as the best song for 2013 by our Northern judging panel of Beth Sowter and Patrick Gambles.  It was a good choice although the performances from all acts was testament to the fact that any of the songwriting acts could have been winners on the night.  Rory Campbell gave us a treat with a bracket consisting of the songs he submitted and a more jolly piece – The Banana Song which had many audience members in tears – with laughter.


Anna Hebblewhite performed her thought provoking reflective pieces with amazing poise and her beautiful piano playing and singing had the crowd hushed.  Also thrilling was young Finn Clarke who announced he had only started playing piano in April and proceeded to perform three original pieces with great confidence and flair.  Shaun Pearce was accompanied by Graeme Ewing and as usual played a bracket including his entry on the Mt Lyell mining disaster which was an epic in the best sense of the word.


A thrilled audience cast their votes and waited while the organisers went to count the tally. Steve Gadd and Emily Wolfe entertained with original and traditional tunes.  The vote for People’s Choice went to the wire with two performers polling equally and voting went to preferences. But there could only be one winner and Finn Clarke walked away a worthy winner.   We are all looking forward to next year’s competition but it will be hard to find a venue that could match the atmospheric surrounds of the Brookfield.


The winners were:

FFT Song Comp winner:  Marty Spurway-Smith for song “Song for a Single Father”

Tune Award:  Winner: Ethereal for tune “Morning Delta”

u-19 winner:  Beatrice Harrison-Day for tune: “Music Teacher”

People’s choice: Finn Clarke

Commendation:  Marc Smith for song “Leaving the Land”

Commendation to :  Matthew Dames for song “Piano Girl”