Rory Phillips (Australia)

    Rory Phillips has had a love of music since birth and made his first guitar out of cardboard and bits of string when he was four years old. Sticks, brooms and tennis racquets had to satisfy his urge to play guitar until at last; Rory received his first real guitar for his fifth birthday. Family and friends endured a year of “music” and “concerts” until his parents enrolled him in guitar lessons at age six, as it was apparent by then that this was not “just a phase”. With an obsession to learn and a lot of practice, it wasn’t long before Rory was actually playing some real music, and it was during an afternoon spent jamming with a friend, that the idea was formed to start a band. From there, “Next Generation” was born; a three piece band with friends Billy (drums) and Daisy (lead vocals). “Next Gen” gave their first impromptu performance at the Tumut Races, followed by a couple of gigs at the Youth Council’s "Party in the Park" and at the Festival of the Falling Leaf’s “Gala Day” in Bila Park in 2014. Rory had now been well and truly bitten by the performing bug and, not content with only one or two performances per year, he decided to branch out on his own. Rory started making regular appearances busking at various locations around town, including the Terrace Café, in front of Summit Pharmacy and at the Friday Forage Farmer’s Markets. Soon he was making a name for himself around the region and was asked to perform at various events, such as the Wynyard Fishing Club Christmas Party, the Legacy Ladies Christmas Lunch, the Tumut Mitre 10 Grand Opening, the Five Ways Car Boot Sale and even at a wedding! A regular jammer at "The Pit" at the Tumut Boy’s Club, Rory has also joined Andrew Wortes on occasion for his "Sunset Sessions" at the Royal Hotel and has sang and played as part of an ensemble (led by Natasha Proos-Fitzsimmons) in Wynyard Street, BUPA Nursing Home and the 2014 Carols by Candlelight in Richmond Park. On Australia Day 2015, Rory competed against teens and adults in the StarFM Talent Quest in Wagga and was awarded the Encouragement Award for his rendition of "Riptide" by Vance Joy. Staged at the Wagga Civic Theatre with an audience of about 500 people, this was a real performing highlight for him. In April 2015, Rory was asked by the Youth Council to be a guest performer (as part of “Next Gen”, as well as a solo artist) at their "Battle of the Bands" event and then in May, he graced the “Ciderspace Stage” at the hugely successful Batlow CiderFest. More recently, Rory has had the honour of being asked to be a Special Guest Performer by one of Australian Country Music’s greats, Bill Chambers, at two shows he has done with award winning Australian Country Music star, Catherine Britt. These shows took place in Tumut and Canberra at the end of May 2015 and led to Rory also joining Bill on stage at a further concert in Penrose during June. For an 8 year old kid who has only been playing guitar for about two and a half years, he’s managed to fit a lot in so far…and has big plans for the future!