Musical . . . Ron Mitchell and daughter Jenny Mitchell are both finalists for this year’s MLT Song writing Award. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Two homegrown talents are finalists for the 40th MLT Songwriting Award, which will be held in Gore in June.

The award showcases unrecorded country songs by musicians from Australia and New Zealand.

Among the 10 short-listed are Jenny Mitchell, of Gore, with her song If You Were a Bird, and her father Ron Mitchell with Tired as a Possum

New Zealand Country Music Awards committee chairman Jeff Rea said he was “delighted” the pair had made it to the finals.

“It’s an indicator of their abilities because now .. the calibre is really high.”

A hundred and seventeen people entered the competition.

“Some very very well established writers entered material this year. Some are in the top 10 and some aren’t, but it indicates the stature the award is garnering.

”I’m amazed at the ever-increasing standard of songs entered.”

Australian finalist Erin Reid would be travelling to Gore to take part in the event.

“As long as [Covid-19] doesn’t rear it’s head again, that’s going to be a reality, so that’s pretty exciting,” Mr Rea said.

Finalists will perform before a winner is announced at the New Zealand Country Music Awards at the St James Theatre on June 3.

Winners of the Tui award for Recorded Music NZ Best Country Artist and Apra Best Country Song will also be announced.