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Handpicked to audition

By Jamie Lowe

Cooper Wall has showcased his musical talents and stamped himself a place as one of the state’s best up and coming artists.

The 15 year-old was one of 80 students selected to audition for the prestigious Talent Development Project last week.

While the Year 10 student was not selected for the program, Cooper was selected as one of the top 66 students in the state.

TDP is a youth training and development program for the music and entertainment industry, and is aimed at students in Years 10 to 12.

This program has helped the likes of Deniliquin musician Shane McGrath, as well as Australian performers Human Nature, John Foreman OAM, Felicity Urquhart, Gang of Youths frontman David Le’aupepe and Angus and Julia Stone.

To be invited to Waterloo Studios in Sydney to audition, Cooper had to first submit a video.

He showcased his vocal abilities in the video, as well as his guitar skills in a performance of James TW’s When You Love Someone and piano techniques in performing You Were Good To Me by Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler.

‘‘I submitted my audition not expecting to be selected,’’ he said.

‘‘I was nervous to be invited to Sydney to perform in front of industry professionals such as Peter Cousens.

‘‘I have no desire to be the next Shawn Mendes, I was just excited to be chosen to attend the master class and live performances. 

‘‘I love playing guitar and singing, so to be selected in the top 66 students is an honor. 

‘‘There were so many talented students (at the audition).

‘‘It was a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and get invaluable feedback doing something that I enjoy.’’

Cooper has been performing for the past four years, after starting to learn guitar.

He said he was inspired to start playing by his cousin Felicity Jefferies.

‘‘I’ve always loved to sing, but didn’t pick up the guitar until four years ago,’’ Cooper said.

‘‘I also self taught myself to play piano. I mainly play indie/pop music.

‘‘Before COVID I had played a few local pub gigs with Shane and Ellie McGrath, but before that I played recitals, fetes, the Deni Show, Muso Nights and also at the Ute Muster in 2017.

‘‘I don’t necessarily want to be a career musician but when I leave school I want to study to be a creative and performing arts teacher.

‘‘I would like to thank Deniliquin High School for supporting my application (for the TDP) and especially Shane McGrath for mentoring me through the process.’’