By Rebecca Honeyfield
Aleyce Simmonds was a member of the Class of 2004 at Calrossy Anglican School. Her first memories of Calrossy were walking through the big gates and beautiful garden with her parents, shaking like a leaf with a mixture of nerves and excitement!
“During my years at Calrossy, I made friendships that are even stronger today and I was able to build on my love for music due to the amazing opportunities offered,” she said.
Aleyce credits her music teacher, Heather Barman for having a huge impact on her life.
“I loved the fire she had for music and the passion and dedication with which she taught. It was more than a job for her, it was her life and love,” she said.
“I decided I wanted to be just like her and impact upon other people’s lives in the way that she had mine, through music.”
Aleyce’s ambition of being a music teacher didn’t quite work out when she won the 2005 Telstra Road to Tamworth and as a result traveled to Nashville, Tennessee.
“Every day since, I’ve lived my dream (whilst working and doing uni, but that’s all part of the master plan). I strive to make people ‘feel’ through my music and show the people I love that you can do absolutely anything if you believe and work harder than you thought possible.”
In 2007, Aleyce won the Victorian and National Vocal Collaboration of the Year with Paul Costa for the song The Way You Make Me Feel.
She released her first single in 2009, The Keeper which made it onto the Winners 2010 album – a compilation of the best Australian Country Music releases in 2009.
This song also won her ‘Female Rising Star’ at the 2011 Australian Independent Country Music Awards.
Pieces of Me is Aleyce’s debut album which she launched at the 2011 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
This show was one of only two shows to sell out prior to the commencement of the festival. Her third single off the album, The Healing Hands of Time earnt her a finalist berth for ‘Telstra New Talent of the Year’ and ‘Female Artist of the Year’ at the 2012 Country Music Awards of Australia in Tamworth.
She co-wrote the song Bondwood Boat with Graeme Connors which was a finalist for ‘Toyota Heritage Song of the Year’ at the same awards.
“I’m so thankful for the grounding that Calrossy gave to me and also to my parents for giving my sisters and I the opportunity to learn and grow in such a wonderful environment,” Aleyce said.
For more information on Aleyce’s upcoming shows visit her website, www.aleyce.com.
Her one and only show during the 2013 Tamworth for the Country Music Festival will be at The Capitol Theatre on January 25.
* Rebecca Honeyfield is a Tamworth women raising her two young children and is a qualified Podiatrist. She completed her schooling at Calrossy and is the current president of the Calrossy Old Girls union.