First students awarded Six60 scholarships

Four University of Otago students have hit the right note in their quest for a music scholarship sponsored by Dunedin band Six60.

TJ Zimba, Samuel Leaper, Teone Hotu and Emily Kerr-Bell have been selected as the first recipients of the Six60 Scholarships, which were launched after the band purchased their famous Castle St property earlier this year.

The scholarships include a $10,000 rent rebate, as well as mentoring from the band and access to the university’s new recording studios.

While all of the recipients have a passion for music, only two are studying towards a music-related degree, with the other two undertaking a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

Six60 guitarist Ji Fraser, who along with bass guitarist Chris Mac was on the scholarship interview panel, said the band was impressed by what the candidates produced throughout the process.

‘‘They were all really technically gifted musicians, and we are stoked that we will be able to support them over the next 12 months,’’ Mr Fraser said.

‘‘To know that our flat will have a new creative energy running through it is something were pretty excited about and we cant wait to see how each of the students progress next year.’’

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Professor Tony Ballantyne said the intake were part of an exceptionally talented group of candidates.

‘‘We were very impressed with how they conducted themselves throughout the process, and we are looking forward to doing what we can to ensure they succeed in the classroom and in their flat,’’ he said.

‘‘We believe the outstanding four chosen will represent both the university and Six60 with pride, and we look forward to following their journey.’’

Prof Ballantyne also paid tribute to the band, both for the generosity of their support and for their deep engagement with the selection process.

‘‘We have been delighted to work alongside Six60, and we see this as a fantastic beginning to what has already been a great partnership.’’ 



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