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Students urged to enter competition

By submitted, 09/15/17 2:05 PM

GEORGE SMITH

 

 

HOPE – The Southwest Arkansas Arts Council (SWAAC) is encouraging high school students in the region – Hempstead, Nevada, Lafayette, Miller, Sevier, Pike and Howard counties, to participate in the national Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge.

John Hollis, SWAAC president, said, the program began as a three-city pilot program last year but was “so, it was so successful it is going national in 2017. Regional students should take this opportunity to test their talent against the best of the best.”

Working in any genre of music, songwriters in the 9th through 12th grades can enter the contest by recording an original song and submitting it. Selected songs could appear in a musical theater show. Partnering with the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) is the American Theater Wing, Playbill, Inc. and Disney Theatrical Productions.

Entries can be made through the Songwriting Challenge section of the NEA website between Oct. 7 and January 5, 2018. Six regional winners will be selected in February for a trip to New York City to work with professional musicians, singers, songwriters and producers during a week of workshops. Performances of those songs will be judged by a panel of theater artists. One of those six will be declared the national champion.

George S. Smith, SWAAC executive director, said, “The creativity of American youth should never be underestimated. In our region of Arkansas, there are some talented musicians and writers in high that should take the opportunity to send in their best material. What can it hurt? And the rewards could change their life.”

The SWAAC’s goal is to “not only showcase art in its various forms but to nurture and encourage young artists to do whatever they can to showcase their talent,” Smith said. He asked that any area high school student who enters the contest to “please contact the arts council (870-777-4200 or email swaac13@gmail.com) so we can follow your progress.”

 

 

 

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