BEING named as a finalist in Queensland's major songwriting prize, the $25,000 Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship, was a dream come true for Toowoomba songstress Sue Ray.
"It's really very exciting," said the 33-year-old.
"With so many talented people who apply (for the grant) it's really nice to be recognised."
Ms Ray grew up in a musical family (her father is well-known Toowoomba musician Owen Ray) and spent her weekends growing up going to gigs and music festivals with her parents.
Ms Ray said she had applied for the grant before which gives the winner the chance to immerse themselves in the music culture of New York, London or Berlin.
Grant McLennan frequented those cities and was inspired there, but was unsuccessful. However she decided to travel to London and spend some time in Berlin regardless.
"If I win, I'll go to New York," she said.
Ms Ray said the grant was not just about giving musicians money and making music, it was a dedication to Grant McLennan.
"He travelled a lot and those cities were very special to him. It's all about going and immersing yourself in the culture and being inspired."
The finalists for 2012 are Sue Ray, Brisbane-based Kellie Lloyd, Edward Guglielmino and Laneway (Louise O'Reilly and Paul Hannan) from the Gold Coast.
The winner of the competition will be named at the special Bands of Your Town concert on August 3 at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.
The fellowship is an annual Arts Queensland award, first established in 2007 in honour of the late Queensland singer-songwriter Grant McLennan, considered one of Australia's greatest and most influential songwriters and founding member of internationally successful 1970s Brisbane band The Go-Betweens.
For further information or to book tickets visit http://www.judithwrightcentre.com.
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