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New group of scholars set to take over 660 Castle Street

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University of Otago Six60 Scholarship winners for 2023 (from left) Tomuri Spicer, 19, Gabi Summerfield, 18, Hamish Waddell, 20, and Sam Meikle, 19. Photo / ODT

Playing loud music can be a source of outright conflict among flatmates.

But for soon-to-be flatmates Hamish Waddell, Tomuri Spicer, Gabi Summerfield and Sam Meikle, loud music will be a given in their flat next year.

The quartet of musicians have been awarded the University of Otago’s Six60 Scholarships for 2023, and will flat together in the prominent New Zealand band’s old student flat at 660 Castle St.

The scholarships include a $10,000 rent rebate, as well as mentoring from the band and access to the university’s recording studios.

Waddell, a guitarist and singer, is studying towards a bachelor of music (music production) and said he was still in shock after hearing the news.

“I don’t think I’ve processed it yet. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to go all out with my music.”

Spicer, a multi-instrumentalist and singer, is working towards his bachelor of arts (archaeology, Māori studies and ethnomusicology) and said he was also ecstatic to have been selected.

“It means I have an opportunity to grow in performance and music.

“It’s something that I can reflect on positively — I got this scholarship which means I was a good enough songwriter and performer to be recognised by the university and Six60, which is amazing.”

Summerfield, a bachelor of arts (music) student, guitarist and singer, said she was looking forward to being mentored by the Six60 band members.

“They’re like icons, so getting to work with them will be really cool.”

Like her fellow flatmates, she hoped the experience would launch her into a career in the music industry.

Meikle, a pianist and guitarist, is the only one not studying music at the university.

Instead, he is studying for a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery, and said having the “dream opportunity” to live in the flat would give him space to delve back into music.

“It’s ridiculous — insane. It’s not something you’d ever expect to happen to you.

“I have been so busy with my studies that I haven’t had time to let my music flourish. This is an incredible opportunity to do that.

“I’m grateful to the band — they didn’t need to do this — but this is how they give back to the community and it’s amazing.”

Six60 band member Marlon Gerbes said this year’s applicants had plenty of talent.

“It was tough to pick the final four, but we got there and we can’t wait for the next evolution of the scholarship.”

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