Country singer singer breaks second-place spell

Winning way . . . Musician Casey Dixon, of Kenmure, at home on Tuesday with her trophy for winning the supreme senior overall prize at the Southern Alps Country Music Awards. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

The tide has finally turned for a Dunedin country music singer.

Musician Casey Dixon (nee Clydesdale) was named the supreme senior overall prize at the Southern Alps Country Music Awards in Timaru at Easter.

“I was in disbelief – it took a long time to set in. It’s a standing joke that Clydesdales always get second place. The celebrations went through to the next morning.”

She had entered the awards three times and last year, she made the finals for every song she performed and placed runner-up in each section.

This year, in Timaru, she had a string of wins. She won four solo categories – senior female vocal, senior gospel vocal, senior traditional vocal and senior country rock vocal. She also won the senior traditional guitar player award.

The 24-year-old also won the open variety section and best group award for performing in the group Vino with younger sister Gemma Clydesdale (20) and her pupil, Nikita Gibson.

She started the The Casey Dixon Performance School nearly 10 years ago and nowteaches singing to 50 pupils.

“The school gets bigger and bigger every year which is awesome.”

She employed Dunedin musician Kylie Price to teach pupils how to play the guitar.

Performing at awards could often feel like an individual pursuit but she was part of a team in Timaru including 16 of her pupils, who performed about 60 songs.

“It’s a great wee thing we’ve got going.”

The Timaru event had a similar format to the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards, in Gore, which is “less than 30 sleeps away”.

“It’s my favourite weekend of the year.”

She was targeting taking out the overall title in Gore.

But first she would compete for the first time in the Best of the West Country Music Awards in Westport this weekend.

She started classical singing lessons at the age of 3 and competed in competitions for more than 10 years.

As a teenager, she decided to give the Gold Guitar Awards a go.

“I found out about country music and have never looked back.”