Trio of Queensland Music Awards

Past and present students at the 2016 Queensland Music Awards.

The Queensland Music Awards have honoured graduates of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University this week with three major awards.

Progressive alternative rock band Caligula’s Horse took out the Best Heavy Song category for their track “Marigold”, BFK Music was awarded the Jazz category for their song “Hope in My Pocket”, and Avaberée was presented with Most Promising Songwriting Team for “Can’t Get You Off My Mind”.

Past and present students of the Bachelor of Popular Music program were also nominated fourteen times across eleven different categories at this year’s awards.

Sam Vallen and Zac Greensill of Caligula’s Horse both studied Popular Music — something Sam says forced them outside of their comfort zone to bring everything to the highest level it could be.

“The course was amazing, in particular for what it gave us access to…it opened up avenues that we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” Sam said.

Since graduating, the band has toured nationally and internationally, gained U.S. representation and supported a host of international acts.

Queensland Conservatorium Director, Professor Scott Harrison says it’s a coup for both emerging and established talent alike to be recognised as the State’s best and most innovative.

“This year’s success is testament to the ongoing contribution our graduates are making to music in Queensland,” he said.

“We are proud to see so many of our alumni on stages here, throughout the country and internationally, making their mark and being celebrated by the industry.”

The collaborative trio of Kristin Berardi (vocals), Sean Foran (piano) and Rafael Karlen (saxophone) — all graduates of the Jazz department, where Kristin now teaches – were awarded for a track from their debut album.

Kristin has a string of accolades already, having previously won the Montreux Jazz Festival’s International Vocal Competition, the National Freedman Fellowship, two National Australian Bell Awards and the National Jazz Vocal Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival.

The Most Promising Songwriting Team award for Genevieve, Aimee and Irena of Avaberée follows on from previous success this year, capturingthe attention of US pop culture website Entertainment Weekly, where their song “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” was premiered online to over 3.1 million followers.

The 2016Queensland Music Awards were presented by BOQ and Hutchinson Builders, and was produced by QMusic with support from APRA AMCOS.