Thirsty Merc singer turns up at band camp

It's not often a school camp is graced with a pop rock star.

Wollongong High School students learnt tips this week on how to crack into the music industry from Thirsty Merc's lead singer and other industry professionals.

They were taught the value of perseverance and hard work during the three-day music camp at Waterslea, West Cambewarra which finished on Wednesday.

Pop rock star Rai Thistlethwayte said he wanted to inspire students to express their creativity.

"[I tried] to break down the barriers and mental rules people seem to place on themselves as creators," he said.

"It's all about trial and error."

The Los Angeles-based 33-year-old singer was in Australia for the band's five-week Freakin' Autumn Tour, and to celebrate his brother's wedding next week.

Other guests included American music producer, programmer and musician Robert Conley, who has worked on albums for Celine Dion, KISS, Ricky Martin, Brian McFadden and Delta Goodrem.

Sophia Simoes Da Silva, in year 11, was impressed by Thistlethwayte's talents as a vocalist, song writer, pianist and guitarist.

Sophia said the best advice they got was to register original music with the Australasian Performing Right Association.

"You can get royalties if someone uses your music, and for me it's good because I've written quite a lot of songs and done some recordings," she said.

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