Clarington country music star double winner at OMA music gala at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre

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Published September 26, 2023 at 12:11 pm

OMA recipients, nominees and presenters with host Ryan Chung. Photo credit Vicky Ta/The OMAs

A former Teacher of the Year has brought her music lessons to a bigger stage with a double victory at Sunday’s OMAs gala at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa.

Newcastle-based musician and teacher and now Nashville resident Alexa Goldie took home top honours in the annual music awards (formerly known as the Oshawa Music Awards) with wins in the Record of the Year category for ‘Come On Home’– her upbeat love letter to taking the next step in a relationship that is available on streaming platforms across the globe – and for the Artist of the Year, with those votes coming from fans.

Goldie was just 13 when she won the Clarington Mics on Fire competition and was promptly whisked away to Nashville to begin her musical odyssey, which has led to collaborations with such people as Ron Fair, Robyn Ottolini and Danielle Brisebois, to name a few, as well as a career teaching young students piano, guitar, vocals, and ukulele in Clarington since 2016

Alexa Goldie. Photo Occhi Magazine

Goldie has performed everywhere from the Bluebird Café in Nashville to the Toronto International Film Festival and the Beverley Hills Grammys Pre Party.

Goldie’s wins were two of 11 prizes handed out at the star-studded celebration of music that this year capped off Oshawa’s inaugural Convergence Music + Art Festival.

‍Another major honour from Sunday night was David Ritter’s Lifetime Achievement & Hall of Fame 2023 presentation.

Ritter, a founding member of The Strumbellas, was in town on the weekend as his band headlined the Convergence show. Ritter, an Oshawa native, also worked in an appearance on a Sparks Series panel discussion on the state of the music industry the day before the OMAs gala.

Dave Ritter (wearing the hat that says ‘Dave’) and Strumbellas’ front man Simon Ward at Saturday’s Convergence Festival

Ritter joined The Strumbellas after frontman Simon Ward posted an ad looking for musicians on Craigslist in 2008. He plays piano, organ, percussion and vocals for the Juno-winning sextet – who had a smash hit in 2016 with ‘Spirits’ – that play a blend of folk, pop, alt-country, and indie rock they call ’folk pop-grass.’

Now in its sixth year, the OMAs recognizes the influence and achievements of local music creators, businesses, and music supporters that help to grow the music scene within Oshawa and Durham Region and around the world.

Other winners in 2023 include Aaron John for Emerging Artist of the Year‍; teen pop band NERiMA (who performed at Convergence) for Album of the Year for their ‘Have More Fun’ release; and Daniel Richter for Songwriter of the Year.

“Songwriting is one of the most fulfilling things we do as artists. I’m so honoured to have been presented with Songwriter of the Year at the Oshawa Music Awards last night. Thank you to everyone who still believes in me as I walk this road,” said Richter, who fronts the Bowmanville-based band Eleven Past One and also won an OMA award in 2021 for Single of the Year for The Mirror, under his solo stage name Valdii.

The Song of the Year in 2023 went to ‘That Girl’ by Jackson D. Begley, the Music Video of the Year was awarded to RON w/ Jared Rothblott for ‘A Hopeful Lament’ and the Music Producer of the Year went to Lindsay Schoolcraft, who is also a two-time winner for Artist of the Year.

Lindsay Schoolcraft

The Juno Nominated Schoolcraft composes and performs what she calls ‘Ethereal Gothic’ music, which explores orchestral soundscapes and heavy metal. Schoolcraft, who hails from Oshawa, earned Artist of the Year titles in 2021 and 2022 and has been heavily involved in production as well while working with bands like the Cancer Bats, Jen Majura, Fabienne Erni, Rocky Gray, IVEEN and others.

Other winners Sunday included Tony Tosti for Music Teacher of the Year and David Chester of Chalet Studio for Music Industry Leader of the Year.

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