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One of the most iconic and notable figures in New Zealand music, Sean James Donnelly (Sandy Mill), 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 coherant.”
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
The awards are proudly supported by Panhead Custom Ales.