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Mornings In The Arena new host announced –
Far North Queensland singer songwriter Rhys Tolhurst takes over the reins

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Mornings In The ArenaFirst event kicks off at the end of June with special guest Victoria Boxall
Friday 26 June 2015 | 11am

The new face of The Reef Hotel Casino’s Mornings in the Arena has been announced as Far North Queensland singer songwriter Rhys Tolhurst. Rhys is no stranger to local audiences, the Cairns’ musician took the spotlight in 2012 as a finalist on Australia’s Got Talent. His appearance received rave reviews from the judges, who were all impressed with his warm honey vocals and ability to recreate popular jazz standards. Since then, he has expanded his repertoire, effortlessly travelling between genres as well as penning his own original material.

A regular face at a variety of live shows in The Reef Hotel Casino, Rhys musicality and stage presence made him an obvious choice to take over Mornings after the departure of long-time host Chris Lloyds. Rhys was the special guest at Chris’ final show and has already won audiences over. He is looking forward to taking the helm of the monthly event, kicking off from Friday 26 June 2015.

“Audiences can expect the usual comical banter between myself, guest acts and of course, well-known funny man Bruce himself,” says Rhys. “It’s going to be a show of great quality acts, performing excellent quality music. I’m really looking forward to bring a new array of tunes, styles and themes, but of course, still performing the classics that everybody is familiar with and loves. I strongly believe that our Casino in Cairns is the most superior spot to perform. Not only is it sleek, modern, central and high capacity, but it is colourful and you never know who is going to stop and listen to your show.”

Mornings in the Arena traverses the best songs in history, from jazz standards right up to a great selection of adult contemporary tunes, and even works through some of the best pop songs. There are few traditions that Rhys embraces from the previous Mornings that he wants to ensure carry over now that he is hosting the event.

“Throughout the years I’ve been asked to perform as a guest on Chris’ show,” he says. “There was always one constant and that was the feel good vibe that the audience provided. I think the biggest tradition of Mornings in the Arena is that it has never been taken too seriously, I don’t wish for any guest acts to get too nervous before they perform, or for the audience to be judging too hard. It’s always been like a huge family gathering and we just have a laugh at ourselves for an hour!”

Performing alongside departing host Chris Lloyds at his last show was a special experience for Rhys. He says everyone had a blast. “I could tell the audience is going to miss him dearly,” he says. “If there’s anything that this show has taught me it’s the power of music. Singing and sharing a passion for music with the audience is something that is undeniable. These guys really treasure good music, whether it be a modern tune or a classic – great music is great music and that’s how we all bond.”

Mornings in the Arena returns on Friday 26 June 2015 at 11am with new host Rhys Tolhurst. Rhys will be joined by special guest Victoria Boxall for the first event.

*** This is a free show at The Reef Hotel Casino.



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