K-12 Songwriting Competition

In our mission to encourage the next generation of songwriters, the K-12 Songwriting Competition offers southern Arizona students in grades K-12 the unique opportunity to write and submit original songs as they compete for a chance to perform their songs during the Tucson Desert Song Festival. To apply, students submit their lyrics and a recording of their piece. After submissions close, a panel of judges selects finalists to perform at the annual “Songwriting Showcase” where they compete for cash prizes and scholarship opportunities.

Information for Applicants: Applications Due November 27, 2017.

Applicants must be students enrolled in grade K-12 at the time of the showcase recital (public school, private school, charter school, home school, etc.). If submitting as part of a group, all members contributing to the song’s creation must also be in grades K-12, however musicians not involved with writing the song can be of any age. The original lyrics and melody must be the result of the student’s own efforts, although the student is allowed to seek an adult’s help with typing the lyrics, recording the audio file, playing accompaniment instruments/vocals on the recording, and submitting the application online. The only requirement for a song submission is that there are original lyrics sung to an original melody, but students may add instruments to the piece (e.g., piano, guitar, etc.). Judges evaluate submissions based on lyrics, musicality, and creativity. All submissions are evaluated anonymously by the judging panel, so students’ names must not be present in the audio file, word doc, or any uploaded file names; everything uploaded should be titled with the song title only. Once a student has a word doc with the lyrics and a recording of the song, the student (or parent/legal guardian) can submit the application here [link to application]. Applications close at the end of the day on November 27, 2017.

Showcase Recital Information: February 3, 2018

Once all applications have been evaluated by the judging panel, student finalists are chosen and notified by late December. Finalists are invited to participate in the K-12 Songwriting Showcase Recital. At this time, we need to know the names of anyone who will be performing your piece at the Showcase. If you need help finding additional musicians for your piece (instrumentalists or singers), we can provide you with a list of musicians available for hire from the UA Fred Fox School of Music. The day of the Showcase, there will be a dress rehearsal in the morning for all participants and the recital in the afternoon. Judges are present during the showcase and after all students have performed, certificates, cash prizes, and/or scholarship opportunities are presented to the students.

The annual Showcase Recital is held during the Tucson Desert Song Festival at the University of Arizona’s Holsclaw Hall, located within the Fred Fox School of Music at 1017 N. Olive Rd, Tucson, AZ 85721. This year’s Showcase will be on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 2:30 PM. Admission is free, and the concert is open to the public. Parking is free on the weekends at the Park Avenue Parking Garage located just northeast of the intersection of Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

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Call 1-888-546-3305 and ask for info on Songwriting Competition or write to tdsfapplications@gmail.com.

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