Katie Hamblin and Derek Thompson wow the crowds

Two Nyngan singers cleaned up at the Parkes Country Music Festival over the October long weekend.

Derek Thompson and Katie Hamblin came home with nine awards between them including the best Senior Duo/Group award which they won together. 

The pair were two of 220 competitors across 25 award categories in its talent quest. 

Of his seven events, Derek placed in six of them including the duo performance with Katie. He won senior male vocalist, open instrumental, second in senior open, second in senior country rock and third in senior gospel.

Derek told Fairfax Media he wasn’t expecting to go as well as he did at the awards.

His parents, Ray and Julie Thompson, encouraged him to enter the talent quest.

“I’ve been performing since the age of nine, singing and playing guitar,” he said.

“I was walking around the house singing as a kid and my mum got me lessons and we just sort of took it from there.

“My teacher played guitar so she got me into that as well.”

He said he loves the “adrenaline rush” of performing.

“Once you get up there, you’re relaxed, the audience gets into it and they enjoy themselves too,” he said. 

Former Nyngan Showgirl, Katie Hamblin won the senior country rock and placed third in both senior female vocal and senior open sections.

Katie was delighted by her own wins and very excited for her mate Derek who “cleaned up.”

Along with her singing, Miss Hamblin has been very busy lately. 

Once you get up there, you’re relaxed, the audience gets into it and they enjoy themselves too.

Derek Thompson.

“I have moved back to Dubbo recently and I’m working at Boyce. We bought a small farm so hopefully when we’re settled in we can pick up a few gigs,” she said. 

Katie said there are no real plans, but her and Derek spoke about performing together in the future.

The talent quest attracted the best crowds they’ve had “in years”, according to Parkes and District Country Music Association vice president Lindy Charlton.