Award ‘makes everything worthwhile’

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Jenny Mitchell has dreamed of winning the Gold Guitar Awards all her life.

Now that dream has become reality.

The 18-year-old, originally from Gore, took the overall winner’s prize in the senior section at the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards on Sunday night.

“I don’t even remember a life without the Gold Guitars. It’s ingrained in me. It’s in my blood.”

She could not remember a time when she had not wanted to win.

Miss Mitchell secured the top prize for her entry in the singer-songwriter category.

Her winning song, So Far, was written about life lessons she had learned.

She also prevailed in the female vocal, gospel and New Zealand song categories.

During a drawn-out drum roll, Miss Mitchell felt “so sick” waiting for the announcement.

When her name was announced, she could not believe it.

“It was very, very exciting and makes everything worthwhile.”

As part of winning the singer-songwriter category, Miss Mitchell will have the opportunity to go on a songwriting retreat and develop her skills.

“As an [Otago] uni student, that sort of thing isn’t really in my budget at the moment so it’s very cool.”

She will also be given studio time to record and release her own single and music video.

She was unsure what song she would record and release.

Miss Mitchell has already released one studio album, in 2015.

The singer tasted success at the Gold Guitar Awards when she won the intermediate section last year.

She said beating the many older and more experienced performers meant a lot.

Miss Mitchell’s father, Ron, has also competed in the competition over the years. Winning was not only her dream but his as well.

Awards publicity officer Shona Hewlett believed a full house of about 1200 people watched the senior awards ceremony.

The junior and intermediate awards show on Saturday was attended by about 1000 people.

The event ran smoothly, Mrs Hewlett said.

The senior overall runner-up was musical duo Flora Knight and Sean Donald, of Dunedin.