Mission

Annual Song Contest held by the Dallas Songwriters Association to provide a benchmark for popular songwriting competency. Winners in each category, plus grand prize winners.

CATEGORIES AND JUDGES:Finalists in each category will be judged by music industry professionals from record labels and publishing companies; Grand Prize winner will be chosen by A&R and/or industry professionals of Broadjam.com or Sonicbids.com.

DSA is CELEBRATING 30 YEARS IN 2017

MOTIVATING & UPLIFTING SONGWRITERS THROUGH EDUCATION

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2009 Song Contest Winners

Click on the song title to listen.

GRAND PRIZE
1. I Can't Rhyme by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA
2. Delete by Noel Cohen, NY, NY
3. Some Things You Don't Throw Away by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins,Ellen Britton, Nashville, TN

AMERICANA
1. Stonewall by Ward Parker & Robert Dee, Brooklyn, NY
2. The Driver by David Spence, Austin, TX
3. When You Gonna Tell Her by Jaime Leopold, Portland, OR

CHRISTIAN
1. Hard and Unforgiving by Scott Tonkinson & Lance Chandler, Chandler, AZ
2. Stewards by John Watilo, Lewisville, TX
3. Invisible Man by Eric Christensen, Verona, WI
HM May the Road Rise to Meet You by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins, Nashville, TN

COUNTRY
1. Some Things You Don't Throw Away by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins, Ellen Briton, Nashville, TN
2. Thinking About The Wedding Night by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins, Nashville, TN
3. The War of 1812 by Lauren Smith, Livermore, CA
3. Gravity by Roger Kaye, Glens Falls, NY

INSTRUMENTAL
1. Wanderings by John Visconti, Merrick, NY
2. Optimism by Chris Trentham, Kentwood, MI
3. Mixed Emotions by Tedd Turton, Mungar, Australia


LOVE SONGS/EASY LISTENING
1.That Ain't Me by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins, Nashville, TN
2 Joellen by Louie Cate, Alexandria, VA
3. The Driver by David Spence, Austin, TX

NOVELTY / CHILDREN'S
1. I Can't Rhyme by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA
2. Stinky Feet by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA
3. A Cappella by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA

POP/ROCK/ALT/R&B
1. Delete by Noel Cohen, NY, NY
2. Spinning by Matt Dahan, Hinghan, MA
3. Swing Out Wide by David Spence, Austin, TX
HM One Minute To Midnight by Karyna Cruz, Denton, TX

SINGER/SONGWRITER
1. Photographs by Noel Cohen, NY, NY
2. Shine by Lisa Torres & Steffon Hamulak, Castaic, CA
3. Let Me Believe by Bernadette Conant, Seaside, CA

VIDEO
1. Get Your Cloths On by Peter Bacsalmasi, Calgary, Alberta, CAN
2. Are We In Love by Sinem Varoglu, NY, NY
3. Let's Make It Right by Dom Stasi, Willow Springs, IL

DRAWING FOR IPOD
Staring at the Future by Mimi Balkey was the song entry drawn.

Grand Prize Judge, Roy Elkins, Comments

I Can't Rhyme
It's difficult for an instrumental to win a songwriting contest. The only thing more difficult is for a children's song to win. And this year a children's song is the winner. "I Can't Rhyme" is a well crafted song and has a lyric where you can sing along after hearing it the first time. It would never appeal to adults, but one can close their eyes and imagine a room full of kids glued to the singer because of the clever lyric and melodic engagement of this song. This is a polished writer who knows their market well and delivers a perfect song for it. I can't comment on the rhyming schemes because there are none, until the last line. I can comment on the simple, but brilliant sing along melody that you would hum even if the lyrics weren't so sticky. This is not the type of song that just "comes to ya", so I'm sure the writer put a lotta effort into creating this. If it did just "come to him/her", then they truly have a gift and hopefully many kids will be the recipient of it. Great work and I would love to hear more of their stuff.

Delete
Great song and dead center of the current mainstream singer/songwriter pop. This song is current and relevant while using metaphors to describe the singers relationship. 25 years ago this hook wouldn't have worked as "Delete" wasn't used in our language like it is today. It's a clever song about love with modern pop lyrics such as "erase ….memory". Nice engaging acoustic guitar intro, with a good opening vocal line, "We were good, so good". This line sets up the entire song and the listener knows what it's going to be about. I thought the writer could have used more metaphors in the lyric, but I thought the set-up, hook and arrangement were stellar. I scored this hook a 10 and very rarely do that. The hook is a melody you can sing without the lyric and a lyric you can say without the melody. Very well-crafted song with lots of current market potential.

Some Things You Don't Throw Away
If someone would have told me that I would pick a song to win a contest with the theme of "hoarding things", I would have laughed. This is probably the most original lyric in the 2010 DSA contest. It could be the most original lyric ever in this contest, at least since I've been judging. Clearly this song was written from personal experience as I can't imagine this coming any other way to the writer. This writer creates the perfect marriage between the music and the lyric and weaves love in near the end. The line "you're gonna find the things that matter most, ain't easy to replace" is one of the best lines I have heard in song. There is so much truth in every line of this song. The melody doesn't work quite as well in the chorus as it does in the verses, but the lyric is so strong I'm not sure it matters. Great job on this!

When You Gonna Tell Her
A simple song with a good hook and melody. Nice opening line which is the hook, "When You Gonna Tell Her". Like the song "Delete", this line sets up the whole song. With that said, we're not really sure what he is going to tell her, which leaves you wanting more immediately. The concept and melody carry the lyric most of the way, as the lyric is extremely simple throughout the song and that's probably why it works so well. "Walking down the aisle, with all roses and smiles you really thought you pulled it off" is a visual and very thought provoking line. If you just read that one line, it can conger up lots of thoughts. I love this and I bet this writer has some other good ones as well. If James Blunt and Allison Krauss were to write together, this is what it would sound like.

Thinkin' About The Wedding Night
This could easily be on country radio and I could see a Dierks Bentley type of act cutting it. Every line in the song has been worked on and crafted beautifully into a perfect country hit. My only criticism is that I think the chorus is a little too long at about 35 seconds including the set-up. I might change up the lyric in the first half of this each time to make it a little less predictable as the hook is very strong. This is a great song with huge market potential. Well crafted and is clearly written by very experienced writer(s).

A Capella
This is the only song that I rewound and listened to again the first time through the list. Not only is this brilliantly crafted, but brilliantly produced. However, this is a songwriting contest and the production isn't considered or it probably would have won. While it is brilliantly done, the manufactured nature didn't quite hold it's own when compared to the other songs above it on the list. With that said, this could have easily won in a different year. I would love to hear more from this writer.

Swing Out Wide
It took me a couple of times through this one to realize the strength of the hook. The lyric is pretty good and very relevant to both sides of most arguments, without choosing one. And that's what makes it unique. A very engaging and memorable melodic hook with words that work. With a little better marriage between the melody and lyric in the verses, this song is much stronger.

Other songs considered
One Minute to Midnight - Strong arrangement & melody

Shine - Memorable hook and good lyric

That Ain't Me - Strong Lyric

Photographs - Strong melody

See the press release on the song contest winners.


See the press release on the 2009-10 song contest winners:

Get a hard copy of the April issue of Songwriters Notes with a list of winners and read about grand prize winner, Lanny Sherwin.

Semifinalists were posted on the song contest website on March 15th.

Mimi Balkey won the drawing for the ipod.

THANKS TO TRADITION GUITARS FOR GENEROUSLY DONATING THE GUITAR TO OUR GRAND PRIZE WINNER.


Monday, March 15, 2010

DSA Song Contest Semifinalists

Grand Prize winner receives a Tradition Guitar.

Tradition Guitars and DSA at the Guitar Show in Dallas


AMERICANA

After You Go by David Spence, Austin, TX

Cross the River by Russell Southcott, Somerville, MA

Crows On A Line by Lisa Warner, Dallas, TX

Dusty by Rodney King, Nashville, TN

Go Ole Boy by Nancy Line, Clifton, VA

Last Thing On My Mind by James Eaton, Escondido, CA

Stonewall by Ward Parker, Brooklyn, NY

The Ballad of Bernie by Hank Woji, Terlingua, TX

The Driver by David Spense, Austin, TX

The Field by Daniel May, Drexel Hill, PA

The One by Greg Madden, Middletown, OH

When You Gonna Tell Her by Jaime Leopold, Portland, OR

Why do you love me like you do? by Lara Wisdom. Louisburg, KS

Wild Mountain by John McGill, Crestline CA

Worst Kept Secret by Mark Stepakoff, Wellsley, MA


BARE BONES

There were not enough entries to make a category, (guess we should have explained the category better) but our contest rules allowed us to place the few in the appropriate category.


COUNTRY

After You Go by David Spence, Austin, TX

Carolina Rain by Steven Sumners, Gunter, TX

Come What May by John Visconti, Merrick, NY

Every Way You love Me by Michael Baker, S Fremantle, Australia

Fishnet Hose by Mimi Balkey, Dallas, TX

Go Back by Jeff Moxcey, Waterville, ME

Gravity by Roger Kaye, Glens Falls, NY

Heartache by Scott Mallone, N Hollywood, CA

Is That You by Debra Gussin, LA, CA

Not Enough Love by Scott Malone, N Hollywood, CA

Palomino Pony by H Jay Carney, S Dartmouth, MA

So You Think You Can Cry by H Jay Carney, S Dartmouth, MA

Some Things You Don't Throw Away by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins

Swing Out Wide by David Spence, Austin, TX

The War of 1812 by Lauren Smith, Livermore, CA

Thinking About The Wedding Night by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins

Too Many Ways to Say Goodbye by George Strauss, Everett, WA


CHRISTIAN

Begin by Rachael Oludiji, Scottsdale, AZ

Every Day by Peter Farrell, Glasgow, Scotland

Hard and Unforgiving by Scott Tonkinson, Chandler, AF

I’m Believing for a Miracle by Lonnie Battsitini, Brandon, FL

Invisible Man by Eric Christensen, Verona, WS

Love is to Do Something No One Dares to Do by Takhiro, Nakanime, Yokohama, Japan

May the Road Rise to Meet You by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins, Nashville, TN

Peter’s Song by Tom Boehmer, Richardson, TX

Stewards by John Watilo, Lewisville, Tx

Snow Angel by Louie Cate, Alexandria, VA

There are Angels by Cheryl Merrick, Huntington, NY

Unworthy by Ray Rivera, Chandler, Tx

You’re Everything I’ve Got by James Rayburn, Amarillo, TX

INSTRUMENTAL

Ah, Freedom by Michael Bain, Arlington, TX

Chords N' Blues by Andre Kerek, Miami, FL

From Despair to Glory by Eduardo DeLa Iglesia Nieto, Madrid, Spain

Mixed Emotions by Edward Turton, Mungar, Australia

Optimism by Chris Trentham, Kentwood, MI

Wanderings by John Visconti, Merrick, NY


LOVE SONGS/ EASY LISTENING

Ace Boom Boom by Cordan Haveron, Ft Stewart, GA

After You Go by David Spence, Austin, TX

Alone by Tracy Newman, LA, CA

Joellen by Louie Cate, Alexandria, VA

Our Love Will Never End by Debra Gussin, LA, CA

Point of View by Tod Pierce, Bronx, NY

Romeo by Andrea & Juliet Wilhelmi, Tucson, AZ

That Ain't Me by Claire Ulanoff, Will Hopkins, Nashville, TN

The Driver by David Spense, Austin, TX

The Girl with the Fun in Her Eye by Mimi Balkey, Dallas, TX

Touching, Talking, Laughing, Loving by Hillary Chapman, NY, NY


NOVELTY/ CHILDRENS

A Capella by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA

Granny's Got A Guitar by Lanny Sherwinn, Santa Barbara, CA

Harry the Dirty Dog by Frank Migliorell, Croton, NY

I Can't Rhyme by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA

I'm Allergic to My Job by Drew Jacobs, Latham, NV

I Wanna Go Fishing by Randy Heavin, Ok City, OK

Mark The Mighty Magnet by Frank Fulton, Annapolis, MD

Stinky Feet by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA

Tell Me The Time by Frank Fulton, Annapolis, MD

This Is Not A Guitar by Lanny Sherwin, Santa Barbara, CA


Hear these tracks on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/dsasongcontestnovchild


POP/ROCK/ALT/R&B

IBeloved Goodbyes by Eryn Shewell, East Windsor, NJ

Cliff Diving Feet. Bonni by Charles Goldberg, Newark, DL

Come Dance by H Jay Carney, S Dartmouth, MA

Delete by Noel Cohen, NY, NY

Don't Go by Robert Graham, Brockville, ONT, CAN

Emma Saw The Rainbow by Nancy Line, Clifton, VA

Goodnite by Merritt Graves, Pasadena, CA

I'll Do Just Fine Without You by H Jay Carney, S Dartmouth, MA

I've Already Won by Debra Gussin, LA, CA

Now I'm Gone by Rosie Hewat, London, UK

On My Knees by Capers Simmons, Walterboro, SC

One Minute Till Midnight by Karyna Cruz, Denton, TX

Outside (Looking In) by Ward Parker, Brooklyn, NY

Paper Sky by Ezra Vancil, Dallas, TX

Safe In My Dreams by Merritt Graves, Pasadena, CA

Save the World by Merritt Graves, Pasadena, CA

Soapbox of Reason by Sean Hughes, Newhall, CA

Something Warm by Peter Farrell, Glasgow, UK

Spinning by Matt Dahan, Hinghan, MA

Staring At The Future by Mimi Balkey, Dallas, TX

Sticks & Stones by Karyna Cruz, Denton, TX

Swing Out Wide by David Spence, Austin, TX

This Side Of The Gun by Lisa Torres, Castaic, CA

Train Wreck by Jeff Fiorello, NY, NY

SINGER/SONGWRITER

Company Town by Rob McHale, Troutman, NC

Dance the Dance by Hillary Hawn, W Hollywood, CA

Don’t Let Go by Baylee Kuss, McKinney, TX

Dream Serenader by Drew Ashe, Newborn, GA

Guiding Lights by R X Bertoldi, Everett, WA

Goodbye to Goodbyes by Ben Owens, Denton, TX

Let Me Believe by Bernadette Conant, Seaside, CA

Let’s Go by Capers Simmons, Walterboro, SC

Lord I Thank You For Your Love by Curlie Scott, Plano, TX

One of These Days by Ingrid Loli, Grosseto, Italy

Photographs by Noel Cohen, NY, NY

Shine by Lisa Torres, Castaic, CA

So You Know by Rosie Hewat, London, UK

Stop Foolin’ Yourself by Drew Ashe, Newborn, GA

The Feeling’s Mutual by Andy Huey, Toronto, Ont, CAN

Tired of Running On Faith by R X Bertoldi, Everett, WA

To Be Different by Baylee Kuss, McKinney, TX


VIDEO

Are We In Love by Sinem Varoglu, NY, NY

Get Your Cloths On by Peter Bacsalmasi, Calgary, Alberta, CAN

Let's Make It Right by Dom Stasi, Willow Springs, IL

Matter Of Opinion by Joseph Peragine, Brick, NJ

Romeo by Andrea & Juliet Wilhelmi, Tucson, AZ


The songwriters of the above songs will be revealed once the judging process is complete. Sorry about the formatting, just wanted to get this out today as promised. If your song did not make it this far, please don't be alarmed or discouraged. There were lots of great entries this year.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

DSA 2009 SONG CONTEST CLOSED

Now in its 20th year, The DSA 2009 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Offering over $5,000 in cash and prizes this year, the DSA has TEN categories in all. See Contest Rules for eligibility.

Submissions CLOSED.

Thanks to our Online
DSA Song Contest Submission Partners:

To Enter Online, you Must Join Broadjam by
Receiving a Free 90 Day PROMoB Membership.

or
To Enter Songs O n l in e, you Must Join Sonic Bids
Receiving a Free 90 Day Membership with a 1 month Free Trial of Sonic Bid's EPK
Electronic Press Kit)

Each entry was entered into the drawing for an IPOD
Drawing held March 9!

GRAND PRIZE
Guitar
(Make and Model TBA, List Value over $900)


Premier Demo By

A Premier Nashville Recording Service

(List Value $705.00)

They recorded the demo of Lady Antebellum's "I Run to You" which was just voted as the Single of the Year at the CMA Awards.


Grand Prize Winner &
1st & 2nd Runner Up Receive:
($199.95 Value)
Includes Artist Website, 1 Yr. Hosting
1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership
Additional Prizes
1st Runner Up Receives:
1 Day of FREE Recording and a Night in
Merlin's Cabin at
River Sound Recording Studio on the Llano River in the Texas Hill Country

2nd Runner Up Receives:
($800 value)

1st Place in each category Receives:
$100

A 1 year Broadjam MoB Membership ($49.95 value)

A 1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership
2nd Place in each category Receives:
$50
A 1 year Broadjam MoB Membership ($49.95 value)

A 1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership

All Winners Receive a One Year
DSA Membership
($50.00 Value)

Read about this year's
Judges


10 Song Categories
Multiple Winners In Each Category

Entry Fee $20
Get $5 off a new or renewed DSA Membership for each contest entry.

Important Dates
Sunday, November 15th, 2009
Submissions Open
Monday, February 15th, 2010
Submissions Close at Midnight.


All Winners Receive
a One Year
($50.00 Value)


Need More Info?

Winners will be announced on-line
Announcement Date:
Finalists, 4/13/2010


2008 Winner Mark Glasmire in Beaird Studios

http://dsapress.blogspot.com/



Songwriters Notes April 2009
Hard Copy with 2008 winners announced

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/view.php?id=1520070&da=y




TOP TEN REASONS TO ENTER THE DSA SONG CONTEST

10. You can win a casio privia keyboard.

9. You can win cash

8. You can win a one year DSA membership or more.

7. You can get a free trial membership for entering online at Broadjam or Sonic Bids

6. Semifinalists get a chance to perform at the Awards or other DSA Showcases

5. Semifinalists and Winners get their names published in Songwriter Notes and the Press Release

4. Entrants can get peer review on their song

3. Winners get their songs on the awards soundcloud site.

2. Contest recognition looks good on your resume

1. We are a small contest, so you have a better chance to win.

Now in it's 26th year!

The DSA Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Offering over $5,000 in cash and prizes this year, the DSA has EIGHT categories in all. See Contest Rules for eligibility.

MOTIVATING AND UPLIFTING SONGWRITERS THRU EDUCATION

MUSE-Motivating and Uplifting Songwriters thru Education
DSA is a 501 C-3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing to songwriters everywhere opportunities for learning about the craft and business of songwriting. Songwriters Newsletter is published by the Dallas Songwriters Association c/o Sammons Center for the Arts 3630 Harry Hines Blvd Box 20 Dallas, TX 75219.
Barbara McMillen, Editor, Founding President Emeritus http://www.barbaramcmillen.com

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