GJAC's first singer/songwriter competition attracted entrants from all over the country. Musicians submitted original tracks via Sonic Bid. From the initial talent pool, 12 finalists were selected to perform their songs before a professional panel of judges on performance night.
A dozen finalists (selected from an entry pool of 120) performed original music at SING YOUR SONG, the closing event of the Spring 2013 HIGH NOTE JAM concert series, held in the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden. A professional judging panel selected the first, second, and third place songwriting awards.
“The level of talent was extraordinary,” said Jon Salem, GJAC’s Assistant Director. “The judges really struggled with their choices. It was a difficult process. But the enthusiastic response to the event has guaranteed Sing Your Song will be back soon to spotlight more songwriters.”
The professional judging panel was comprised of musician/producer/video director Daniel Guaquetta, Clear Channel Radio programming director and on-air talent Jan Michaels, and singer/songwriter Tawanna Shaunte’.
“With The Voice, American Idol, and other shows, singing competitions are ubiquitous,” Salem said. “GJAC wanted to put a local spin on that with the added twist of requiring contestants to perform their own material. Who knows? Maybe the next Taylor Swift or Jason Mara emerged from this process.”
Entries came from as far away as California and Utah. Ten of the twelve finalists were Mississippi singer/songwriters.
SING YOUR SONG TOP 3 WINNERS
1st Place – $1,000
Buchanan Westover – “Together” Click Here To Listen
The young Jackson native and St. Andrews graduate (currently working toward an advertising degree as a junior at Pepperdine University in California) wowed the crowd with his melodic, lyrical original pop song.
2nd Place – $500
Jeremiah Webb – “Vacant Plot of Land” Click Here To Listen
Colorodo native and current resident of Chicago.
3rd Place – $250
Abbye West Pates – “Mr. Cooley” Click Here To Listen
Mississippi native and current resident of Memphis.
SING YOUR SONG TOP 12 FINALISTS
Mike Case – “Trailer Hell”
Jeff Estes – “Tell Carolina”
Ron Etheridge – “Love Songs”
Zach Lovett – “Hemingway”
Ceci Redmann Whitehurst – “One Day It’ll Happen”
Anse Rigby – “Just As You Are”
Jonathan Scarborough – “Beauty Queen”
Kerry Thomas – “Say Yea”
Jeremiah Webb – “Vacant Plot Of Land”
Abbye West Pates – “Mr. Cooley”
Buchanan Westover – “Together”
Steve Wilkerson – “Made In Mississippi”