CELTIC FLARE: Leah Chynoweth-Tidy is part of the mentor program 'Songs That Made Me' with Katie Noonan.
CELTIC FLARE: Leah Chynoweth-Tidy is part of the mentor program 'Songs That Made Me' with Katie Noonan. Contributed

Agnes Water celtic singer draws on life and nature

WITH a flare for Celtic notes, Leah Chynoweth-Tidy impressed the judging panel of 'Songs That Made Me'.

One of four Gladstone region women selected for the mentoring program with Katie Noonan and other female artists, Leah had to submit a song she had written with significant meaning to her.

Inspired by the Celtic way, Leah said she used memories of her special places in the United Kingdom to draw on for her song.

"Basically it's my husband's and my beliefs that this life is not the only one we have,” she said.

"Love goes on and on and in special places the vale between the two worlds is very thin.”

Wanting a scenery change, Leah and her husband moved from Gladstone to 40 acres at Agnes Water with a mission to live a sustainable life.

Drawing on the time they spend in nature every day, Leah said she used a lot of references to the ocean and sky in her songs.

While many artists diving into the music industry are young, Leah said although she was a late bloomer, she had been around music most of her life.

"My dad thought he was Elvis, always singing for people,” she said.

"He used to get me up to sing in front of families and friends, I wasn't too keen on it but at school I was in the choir.

"I also did get my first guitar when I was young but Dad kept pinching it off me.”

But it wasn't until Rockwiz came to Gladstone for their first national tour in 2010 that Leah got up on stage and had a feel for performing.

"When I had to do a karaoke bit, I thought 'ooh I'm out the front singing in front of Rockwiz orchestra,” she said.

"I got a bit of a taste and thought 'ooh this is cool'.”

Loving the fact she gets to dress up and entertain people, Leah said the mentor program aimed to get more women into the music industry.

The four chose women, including Leah, will go through a variety of workshops with different female artists where they will get the chance to perform with an all female band alongside Katie Noonan, Hayley Marsten and other artists.

"The percentage of women (in the music industry) is only about 20% ... the program looks to assist women in regional areas to increase the percentage,” Leah said.

Songs That Made Me free concert is at GPC Parklands Marina Stage, July 15 from 7.30pm.



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