Music graduate wins contest

THE long years of study have finally paid off for classically trained singer Melody Beck.

The University of New South Wales music graduate was announced the winner of the 2014 Your Theatrics International Cabaret Contest held in January.

"I couldn't believe that I won," Beck, of West Pennant Hills, said.

"There was just so many talented people out there."

The 23-year-old was up against nine other finalists from across Australia and New Zealand who were vying for top spot.

But her eight-minute show, which paid homage to American classical singer Marni Nixon — who is famous for voicing some of the world's most iconic musical songs in movies including My Fair Lady and The King and I — won over judges.

Beck said the idea to develop the Nixon cabaret show developed while she talking with her mother.

"I grew up listening to her," Beck said of Nixon.

"I have always admired her work and I love performing this tribute to her and the golden age of Hollywood and Broadway."

As part of her prize Beck will tour major cabaret festivals around Australia with her self-devised cabaret show.

She will also present her show at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Beck said she hopes to learn more about the entertainment industry while on tour.

"I think it will set up the path to do more professional shows," she said. "I think it's a great chance to meet all these lovely people and get to learn all about the field."

Beck is also in Packemin Productions' show Annie at Riverside Theatres until February 22.

Tickets from $35.

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