Kavinda Herath / Tips
Zac Griffiths of Tapawera won the Intermediate Prize at the Gold Guitar Awards in Gore.
Talented teenager Zac Griffith will soon be recording his music in Australia after winning his age group award at the Gold Guitar Awards in Gore.
For 46 years, the South Island city has hosted the prestigious awards, and this past weekend artists from across New Zealand competed for top honors.
Griffith, 16, competed in the middle age group this year, a few years after his performance in the junior section in 2017.
The Garin College student says he started singing when he was just seven years old after watching a movie about country music legend Johnny Cash.
* Music festival-goers pay tribute to four people killed in tragic accident near Ashburton
* New Zealand Gold Guitar junior and intermediate winners named in Gore
* Third time is a charm as Jaydin Shingleton wins New Zealand Gold Guitar Award in Gore
After falling in love with country music, Griffith went to the Tapawera pub which had a country music club.
He performed the classic Cash Ring of fire.
This sparked his passion for the stage and he bought a guitar a few months later.
Taking a golden guitar for himself was a dream come true for Griffith. He says, “I was blown away and didn’t know what to say.
“I loved it on the big stage.”
Griffith dedicated his performance in the gospel section to the four people who died in a horror car crash in Ashburton, on their way to the Gold Guitar Awards.
he sang Go and rest high on this mountain. He said it was a touching thing to do but he “felt compelled to dedicate a song.”
Griffith attended a country music academy in Australia, which helped him learn to write songs.
He is the most proud of his song “When the tracks had trains”Inspired by the old railway line of Tapawera, and his family.
On Saturday night Griffith of Tasman was named the overall intermediate winner, and on Sunday he claimed the traditional section victory with group Nelson The Harmony Hunters.
Nelson’s Luke and William Connor won the instrumental category of the competition.
Griffith’s mother, Lynette Ellis, cherishes the photos she has of her five-year-old son with a guitar.
“He’s always been crazy about music. Even when he was a baby, if I put on music, he would go crazy.
Ellis is proud that her son won the Intermediate Student Award because it was “the ultimate goal for Zac, he was really upset and grateful” when he won.
Griffith’s prizes include a seat at the Country Music Festival in Tamworth, Australia.
He’s going to be able to record a song in Sydney. The prize includes a marketing package to promote the song and the lyrical music video in New Zealand and Australia.
Griffith’s biggest dream is to perform on stage in Tennessee.