19 December 2023

Grandchildren steal show as Peter Cox Wagga tribute concert raises thousands for emerging artists

| Oliver Jacques
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Dad and daughter singing on stage at concert

Father and daughter Anthony and Delilah Dellamarta (Peter Cox’s granddaughter) impressed with their rendition of a Rod Stewart classic. Photo: Supplied.

The grandchildren of a Wagga theatre legend played starring roles in a tribute concert for him that raised several thousand dollars for emerging artists on Saturday (16 December).

Peter Cox, best known for co-writing Wagga’s first feature film, Backyard Ashes, died in September 2023.

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His protege, director Mark Grentell, brought together a host of other performers and musicians influenced by Mr Cox for the three-hour-plus extravaganza fundraiser Encore 4 Coxy at the Range Function Centre.

“I’d like to thank Daryl’s p**** for the venue,” Mr Grentell said to kick off the night, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the controversy over how the centre was funded, via a grant secured by former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire while he was in a relationship with then-premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“Coxy would have had a chuckle at that line,” the director said, as he described the night as an incredible success.

“All those people who loved Coxy got the chance to express their appreciation for a great man.

“When I was speaking to the family beforehand, they said it would be great to get to have his kids and grandchildren involved, as they were the greatest love of his life.

“We started with his youngest granddaughter, Sadie Dellamarta, who did Hopelessly Devoted to You. His other granddaughter, Delilah, sang Rod Stewart’s Sailing with her father Anthony Dellamarta. His grandson Elvis introduced performer Jamie Way and another granddaughter, Gloria, sang part of the Glory to South Sydney song, as Coxy was a big Rabbitohs [rugby league team] fan.”

woman singing to crowd

Peter Cox’s granddaughter Sadie Dellamarta also wowed the crowd with her singing. Photo: Supplied.

Adam Drummond, who acted in Backyard Ashes, said the family did ”Coxy” proud.

“His daughter Sam did a really nice speech in his honour; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when she spoke,” Mr Drummond said.

“Coxy’s son-in-law Anthony, who auditioned for The Voice, is an incredible singer. When he performed, everyone was like, ‘Wow, this guy should be a celebrity’.

“Overall, it was absolute perfection of a performance.

“A lot of accolades need to go to Mark Grentell, who pulled it all off in just two weeks. There were something like 50 microphone channels for all the performers and a large band.”

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A crowd of 730 attended the concert, while more than 1000 people viewed the live stream online via a website that can still be accessed to see a full replay.

The event was also held to raise funds for emerging artists through Mr Grentell’s newly formed fundraising program, The Ministry of Silly Grants, which was named in reference to a famous skit by British comedy troupe Monty Python.

“So far, we have raised around $6500 in donations,” Mr Drummond said.

Mr Grentell said several thousands more would be raised from profits from the show and through the sale of T-shirts, with the final figure to be made public within days.

The tribute concert can be viewed in full on a dedicated website, where you can also donate.

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