Scholarship rolls talented musician one step closer to career success

A multi-talented musician with a passion for guitar has been awarded the 2024 Southern Cross University Rolling Stone Australia Scholarship.

Rolling Stone recipient Lewis Reilly at Lismore campus.

A multi-talented musician with a passion for guitar is the 2024 recipient of the Southern Cross University Rolling Stone Australia Scholarship.

In taking up a place in Southern Cross University’s Bachelor of Contemporary Music in 2024, Grafton-born Lewis Reilly joins a list of outstanding young musicians who have received the $15,000 scholarship offered in partnership with Rolling Stone Australia magazine.

Rolling Stone Scholarship applicants must meet the entry requirements of the degree and provide a written submission answering what music really means to them. Video and audio files of the shortlisted applicants are also assessed by the judges, with previous winners including Kaliya Alldridge and Leon Holstegge.

Lessons learned from musician mentors

The editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone Australia, Poppy Reid, helped judge the scholarship winner from among almost 100 applicants.

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“Lewis Reilly is a rare gem who has discovered his sound at an early age,” she says.

“In my experience, artists who know who they are and what they want to share with the world are the most successful in finding a career in music. Lewis will arrive into national consciousness as a fully formed creative – I have no doubt about it.”

Mr Reilly learned guitar from his late father and spent his youth learning from older musicians. He said his influences range but rely deeply on blues.

“This is unbelievable,” he says. “I just can’t wait (to start my degree).”

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Industry-focused skills are important

Course coordinator Dr Barry Hill says Mr Reilly is a great choice for the scholarship.

“He encapsulates what we’re trying to do in the Contemporary Music Program at Southern Cross; that is to give our students a range of industry-focused skills that are vital to make a career out of music,” Dr Hill says.

“Lewis comes from regional New South Wales and has played music all his life. He has been taught mainly informally by his father and honed his skills playing local gigs and in school bands. His creative voice on his chosen musical instrument is very well developed and he has some great audio technology skills demonstrated in his support material. He is a good example of the type of student that Southern Cross can support and reflects the values of our degree programs and the university as a whole.”

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