Strumming on new Fender

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Molly Harrison, front, with her new acoustic/electric Fender guitar, and Farming Families representatives, from left, Frances Beeston, Rebecca Miller and Jane Hansen.

Molly Harrison’s passion for music has opened new opportunities this year.

The 12-year-old won the junior country rock title at the 2021 Gold Guitars in Gore, and the junior overall runner-up title, and recently opened on stage for her own country music idol, Jody Direen.

And through that encounter, with prize money from the Gold Guitars and a bit of savings, was able to buy the guitar of her dreams, a full-sized acoustic/electric Fender, in dark brown.

Molly could not be happier.

She was invited to be the opening act for Jody Direen at the recent Farming Families organised, Mid Canterbury Rural Community Ball at the Hotel Ashburton.

The evening included the entertainment of the country singer and a silent charity auction with some donations from sponsors of the event, including Farm Source, Quigley Contracting and Ravensdown.

Molly jumped at the chance to be involved.

She got to meet her musical idol, and also some invaluable stage-time playing to the 100-plus strong crowd for around an hour ahead of the country singer.

“It was a great opportunity and I’m most grateful for (it) and to meet Jody – she’s a great singer, so cool,” Molly said.

Farming Families members, aware of her savings goal, surprised Molly by matching her savings to buy the Fender.

“It’s a great sound,” she said, of the new guitar.

Molly has been learning guitar for the past three years, studying under Starbound Studios music teacher Sheryl Bradley, of Timaru.

She plans to return the the Gold Guitars next year where she will compete in the intermediate age group.

Farming Families group is made up of farmers and rural professionals who are keen to see the rural community get together for some fun, family friendly events.

They want to unite and support people in their rural community with events that will uplift and create stronger relationships.

They have a social media following with a Farming Families Facebook page to keep people up to date with their events.