Songwriter contest

  • Violettes Youth Composition Competition & Songwriter Contest

    Violettes by Becky Presents

    our 4rth Annual Youth Composition Competition & Songwriter Contest



    Register now HERE. There is a $15 entry fee**.  Send Score and MP-3 or You tube by Feb. 14, 2017 to RMChaffee1@comcast.net.  (Registration after Dec. 31 goes up to $20) Note that you can register by paying early, but submit entry on Feb. deadline.           Thank you.

    There are separate categories for composition and songwriter entries. Each is divided into 2 age levels for judging and prizes. Thanks to sponsors Violettes by Becky for Gig bags and Cash, Board Member Bennye St. Claire for obtaining Songwriter Grand Prize TBA, Performers Music and Sheet Music Plus for Sheet Music Gift Certificates for prize donations. Thanks to all volunteer judges!

    • Bios for Composition and Songwriter Judges can be found HERE.
    • Judging Criteria for both Composition and Songwriter entries posted at bottom of this page.

     

    Composition Theme: Being Me Now!
    A song is sometimes the melody, sometimes the lyrics and sometimes the heart. However your song comes thru, let it fly. Share your reflections and introspection.

    Rules:
    1. Entries must be amateur composers/songwriters who are ages 10 thru 18 on Feb. 14, 2017. For judging, Junior Division will be ages 10 thru 14 and, Senior Division will be ages 15 thru 18. (Students must still be in High School).
    2. Compositions/Songs must be between two and five minutes in length.
    3. Collaborative work accepted (partner must be in same age group). It will be the responsibility of the entry writer to divide the prize. No songs under professional contract may be entered.
    4. Submissions must consist of a score, and an MP-3 (or MP-4 or Memory Stick) or video. For ages 10 thru 14, score is not required, but will be given more weight in judging.
    5. Top 30 entries in each division will be judged by two independent professional musicians. Students of judges may not enter. (In the case of over 30 entries in a division, Violettes will use a committee to choose the top 30). Each student in top 30 will receive at least one feedback critique from judges.
    6. Register to enter by Feb. 14, 2017. Registration after Dec. 31, 2016 goes up to $20. You can register and pay early, then send entry on deadline.
    7. Compositions/Songs are due by February 14, 2017. Submit to Violettes "Contact us" email or RMChaffee1@comcast.net.
    8. Winners will be announced on April 15, 2017.
    9. Registering for the competition means that you agree that your work is original and that you hold all rights to the composition/song.
    10. Entry constitutes permission to use winner's names, likenesses, and voices for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation.
    11. Submission constitutes entrant's agreement to release, indemnify and hold harmless Violettes and judges from and against any claim, including, without limitation, of copyright infringement or other misappropriation, arising from any acts or omissions in connection with the contest or its operation. 

    12. If you are interviewed by the press as a result of this competition, you are required to tell the press, they must mention and thank the company, "ViolettesbyBecky.com, Gifts for Music Lovers" in the press release for the generous competition.

    **If you can not afford the entry fee, we can waive your fee. Also, please note that this competition is a labor of love, and the fee does not begin to cover the labor involved. Support us if you can with purchase from Violettes by Becky. Everyone needs to give gifts. Thanks.

    Please keep informed by signing up for the Violettes Newsletter.

     

    Prizes for Composition & Songwriter Competition 

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    Please try to patronize our wonderful sponsors.

    * We especially thank our new Board Member, Bennye St. Claire who helped obtain songwriting judges and who is securing songwriter grand prize.

    Bennye J. St.Claire - President - Texas Universal Management has been in the country music industry since 1976. He has worked with such artists as The Oak Ridge Boys, Eddie Raven, Gena Roberts-Hamilton (Country Gospel Singer), Gayla Earline (Gospel Singer), and others too many to mention. He has managed several up and coming vocalists. He also acts as a booking agent for South Bound Train, The Jason Helms Band, T.Kaye and Sweetfire and others.


    Violettes by Becky is a creative company hiring visual artists and serving youth music programs. We sell musical-instrument-shaped purses and gig bags. Please support our work. Violin, Guitar and Piano and Ukulele Purses are unique gifts from www.ViolettesbyBecky.com. Fill them with concert tickets...Violin Purse, guitar Purse, Piano purse, ukulele gift, composition competition, writing a songViolin, Piano, Guitar and Ukulele Purses or Gig Bags make Awesome Gifts!


    Judging Criteria

    • Judging Criteria for the Compositions will include up to 5 points assigned to each of the following 3 categories: 1. Originality/Creativity, 2. Technical Proficiency 3. Orchestration and Overall Effectiveness
      (Note that the majority of entries are entered on just one instrument).
    • Judging Criteria for the Songwriter Competition
      will include up to 5 points assigned to each of the following categories:
      1. Emotional Impact, 2. Individuality and Creativity, 3. Meaningful Lyrics, 4. Melody

    Points will be deducted for going over the 5 minute time limit for each entry.

    Gifts for Musicians

     

  • School Enters Several Children in Violettes by Becky Music Competition

    Presenting Our New York Music Competition Students


    Our music competition finds New York. Three students from Veritas Academy High School In Flushing, New York entered the ViolettesbyBecky.com competition. For the second year, outstanding teacher Dr. Michael Eisenberg challenged his students to write a song for the competition. It gives them a goal, and he says entering a competition is an exciting challenge for them.  Often, his class is their first introduction to music instruction.

    This year,  Violettes by Becky presented the 3 students who entered honorable mentions with certificates that were presented in a special ceremony with the school principals and personalized little prizes.  In addition, we were able to collect $200 in donations for the teacher to use on classroom supplies. Dr. Eisenberg will use the funds for "guitar capos, for keyboard headsets and adaptors, for keyboard pedals, and for guitar amps and cables".

    Next we present the students:

    Music competition, Guitar Purse, gifts for music lovers Melany wins honorable mention in Violettes by Becky Songwriter Music Competition

    "I'm Melany and music is my life. It helped me through hard times and now I can't wait to evolve in the music world. My teacher Dr. Eisenberg has been a big help. And now I'm working really hard to improve my voice. My influence has always been Etta James. I'm so thankful for entering this competition. It encouraged me to keep going and keep writing. My dream is to tell my story one day through music."

    Gifts for Music Lovers, Guitar Purse, Music Competition Tiffany also gets Honorable Mention in Music Competition

    "My name is Tiffany. I live in Queens, NY. Music has been a huge part of my life. Everyday I pretend as if I am performing for a sold-out show. One day that will be reality. This competition meant so much to me because it shows I have potential as a songwriter although it's so competitive. My goal is to become a singer-songwriter and philanthropist."

    Music Competition, Gifts for Music Lovers, Guitar Purse Jibril, Honorable Mention

    "My name is Jibril. I love music and it is something that I really enjoy. It is an important part of my life. This is something that I have been involved in since I was very young. In addition, I am an athlete but music is something that is something i would like to accomplish a lot in. However, I would like to become a lawyer. Thank you Violette's by Becky for supporting my exploring music and writing songs!"

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    Thank you students! Hope to see you next year!

    Becky Chaffee

  • Alma Russ, Songwriter Contest Winner

    Contest Winner Bios Continued

    ViolettesbyBecky.com - whimsical music gifts, held our 3rd Annual Youth Composition and Songwriter Competition for ages 10 thru 18, with scores and recordings submitted on-line. Volunteer judges are music professionals, who review the students’ entries not only for prize placement, but with an aim to provide encouraging constructive comments. The competition is divided into 2 categories, Composition and Songwriter, each with a junior and senior division.

    Songwriter contest, violin gifts, American Gifts Alma Russ, very talented 3rd Place Songwriter Contest Winner has Violin Gifts

    The competition is national, so winning is not easy. We would like to announce 17 year old 3rd place winner, Alma Russ from Whittier, North Carolina. Ms. Russ is enrolled at Jackson County Early College and is on track to receive both her high school diploma and associate of arts degree next year.  She loves singing, playing fiddle and writing music.  Fiddle playing is her passion!  She first became interested in fiddle when she discovered Alison Krauss and started taking lessons at age 12.  Originally from Oxford, Florida, she moved to western North Carolina at 13, and has taken lessons from a number of instructors including most recently, Bobby Hicks.  She has two bands, The Colby Deitz Band and Dogwood Winter.  She also sometimes plays in other bands where fiddle is needed such as Ol' Dirty Bathtub, the Breedlove Brothers. She recently recorded fiddle for The Maggie Valley Band's upcoming album.  She also sings and plays claw-hammer banjo.  She loves to read, write stories, draw, paint and spend time with her family and pets (including two pugs, a chinchilla, and a pony).  She hopes to have writing as a career in one form or another in addition to a music career.

    Contest Winner, Alma Russ song, "Next Town"



    Congratulations Alma!!! We will look for your performances when we head toward North Carolina!

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    Coming in the next two weeks - Violettes by Becky Screen Printed Banjo T-Shirts. Woman's styles will be available.

    Made from Becky's own art. T-shirts will say Pick Banjos......Not Fights

    All purchases support our Youth Music Competitions. Our Banjo Greeting Cards have been very popular. Purchase a set of 8 cards Here.

    Violin Gifts, American Gifts, Contest Winner Back of card says, Pick Banjos, Not Fights. The front of our shirts will say this.
    Guitar Purse Enter to Win Guitar Purse - You can be a contest winner too!
    American flag bags or purses; guitar themed gifts American Flag Purses (or Gig Bags) created by Violettesbybecky.com are unique guitar themed gifts
    Violin Player Please support Violettes by Becky work with purchases. Link here to HOMEPAGE.
  • Music Education at Work - Our Songwriting Contests for Kids

    Songwriting Contests for Kids shows Music Education in Action

     More Bios and songs from Impressive Violettes Youth Competition Children from 2015. Violettes by Becky is a Gifts for Musicians company, giving back to youth music education.

    Entering a songwriting contest for kids, gives a child a goal, then an accomplishment to be proud of. The process is so much fun, it is hard to realize that they are getting a music education. Actually, I tried writing several songs myself last year. I have great fun with the words, but turned it over to a professional with the music. I did try first though! So I know how really really hard this is. Just playing with the words in song, I learned a lot about what might and might not fit easily in song form. However, I couldn't produce any version to satisfy myself.

    Note the ages and years quoted are from last year when they entered.


    Songwriter Contest, Music Education Ms. Campbell         Songwriter Contest

    Aelish Rose Campbell, age 10 from Texas with "Happy Me"

    Aelish has been singing and writing her own songs for years. She studies piano and songwriting with Julie Bonk in Dallas, Texas. Her other interests include cello, horses, wild cats, playing with her friends, drawing, and travel. She is homeschooled.

    Happy Me! (This and That)

     I'm alright, I got this and that.
    I'm alright, I got my shoes tied...
    I got my smile ready to go,
    I got this and that,
    in my head for so long.
    Just Let It Glow,
    Let it flow,
    Let it grow.
    I'm alright, I got this and that,
    I'm alright.
    Got my shoes tied,
    got my smile ready to go
    I got..this and that,
    in my head for so long
    just let it Glow!
    just let it flow,
    just let it grow,
    I'm  alright, I got this and that
    I'm alright.
    I watch the sunset
    as I rise up, from the depths
    I got this and that,
    In my head for so long...
  • Music Competition Highlights - More Violettes' Senior Winners

     

    Composition and Songwriter Competition Bios (#2 in Series)

    Songwriter Contest; Guitar Purse, Music Competition The rest of Becky.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX       Dear Readers,

    We have incredible students enter the Violettes by Becky Youth Music Competition.  

    Here are Senior 2nd place winners (only because I can't afford too many ties)!

    Advertisement Note -Though the mission of Violettes by Becky is to support childrens' music education - Becky puts in long hours, obtaining prizes with endless phone calls and emails, looking for (free) places to post announcements with endless calls and emails, organizing entries, conferring with judges, sending out notes for results, making certificates, mailing prizes, mailing thank yous to judges and donors, writing press releases for all winners... The competition is great fun, so please support the fun by buying from Violettes. Everyone needs to give gifts. You can also help by sharing  (and "Liking" ) Violettes posts, or better yet, photos of products, on social media. We are on facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even a little bit on Tumblr. Also, you can have your class pitch in to buy an end of the year thank you gift for your music teacher or conductor. Several students have done this in the past. See www.ViolettesbyBecky.com.

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    For Competition Rules, See this Link.

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    Senior Songwriter Competition, 2nd Place winner: 

    Hanah Breck-Moore, 15 from Winnsboro, Texas

    Songwriter Contest, Music Compeititon Hanah Breck - Contest Winner

    Hanah Breck-Moore attends Winnsboro High School. She with her brother Christopher Hollis and sister Hailee Kristee are members of her 4 piece band, “Scatter Proof Band”. They play country, pop blues, and classic rock. Hannah sings and plays rhythm and lead guitar. She together with her younger sister co-write and compose songs. She also plays clarinet in her school marching band, and is a member of the Drill Dance Team.  “Singing, playing & writing music is my passion. I love the stage, the reaction of audiences, & playing with my band.  I like to cook, ride my horse, swim, skate, & be with my friends.  I want to be a famous singer and musician "tomorrow".   Music is what I plan to do with my life. It makes people Feel.  It brings back memories, & puts smiles on faces, gets many up dancing, & singing along.”

     

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    Senior Composition Competition, 2nd Place Winner:

    David Ghesser , 17 from Tarzana, California 

    David Ghesser was our 1st place winner last year. He studies piano with Larisa Rakhmanova and composition with Liviu Marinescu. He has been playing piano since he was 9 ½, and composing for 4 ½ years. He enjoys writing contemporary classical, Jazz and most recently, pop! David's favorite composers include, Beethoven, Mesiaen, Bartok and Grisey, and his favorite Jazz imropovisers are Early Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Mike Garson. He will major in composition at UCLA next fall.

    We hope you enjoyed some of the fruits of our Music Competition.

    WINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERSWINNERS

  • Highlights of Junior Composition and Songwriter Competition (2015)

    Composition and Songwriter Competition Bios (#1 in Series)

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX  Dear Readers,

    We have some incredible students who entered the Violettes by Becky Youth Music Competition. Since we have presented something special for the 1st place Senior winners, we will highlight the Junior 1st Place winners in this blog. Meet other winners in future blogs.       (We will return for bios and more music of Senior winners in future blog.)

    Advertisement Note -Though the mission of Violettes by Becky is to support childrens' music education - Becky puts in long hours, obtaining prizes with endless phone calls and emails, looking for (free) places to post announcements with endless calls and emails, organizing entries, conferring with judges, sending out notes for results, making certificates, mailing prizes, mailing thank yous to judges and donors, writing press releases for all winners... The competition is great fun, so please support the fun. Everyone needs to give gifts. You can also help by sharing (and "Liking" ) Violettes posts, or better yet, photos of products, on social media. We are on facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even a little bit on Tumblr. Also, you can have your class pitch in to buy an end of the year thank you gift for your music teacher or conductor. Several students have done this in the past. See www.ViolettesbyBecky.com.

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    1st Place Junior Songwriter Competition winner: 

    Ankitha Gopal, Songwriter Contest Anthika Gopal wins Songwriter Contest

     

    Ankitha Gopalakrishnan is 13 years old from Campbell, CA. She studies voice, piano and violin. She started music lessons at 3, and began writing music when she was 11. “It blossomed into an everyday passion,” and plans on making a career out of music. I first started singing Indian Classical Music in Hindu Temples and during festivals. Her favorite school subject is English, and her hobbies include photography, DIY crafts and baking.

     

     

     

    Her entry music is in the video.

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    1st Place Junior Composition Competition Winner:

    Meagan Drinnon, Composition Competition, Wendy Karabensh Meagan Drinnon wins Composition Competition, Junior Division

     

    Meagan Drinnon is 11 years old from Vero Beach, Florida. She is homeschooled and studies violin from Wendy Karabensh. She also studies piano. She performs regularly in church and with her group, “The Barefoot Quartet”. “We have a lot of fun playing our instruments together, joking around, and going out to an ice cream place when we finish a quartet contest. We have actually won a pair of strings from one of those contests." Meagan loves to read, and her favorite school subjects are math and geography. She wants to “be a vet or teach music to kids” when she grows up.

    Her entry music is in the video below.
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    Thanks to the students' wonderful parents and teachers for encouraging the young musicians!
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    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________                         Remember to Go To: www.ViolettesbyBecky.com and Buy Some Violettes!

    Music Gifts, Composition Competition, Songwriter Competition Music Gifts from Violettes by Becky support Composition and Songwriter Competition

    Violin, Piano, Guitar and Ukulele Purses make Awesome Gifts! The purses are also gig bags and man bags. Professional musicians use them to carry spare strings, metronome.. with them on stage. We now have leather violin bags, and much more. "Singer Songwriter Woody Wright exclaimed as he purchased a guitar bag, "Now I will never lose my mic. wire again"! Ruth Brons, owner of Things4Strings says “My beautiful black and blingy Violette was MUCH admired on stage during the holiday concert season, and I look forward to using it as my "gig purse" for many a concert/gig in the future. A true marriage of textile art and function!"

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  • Violettes 2nd Youth Composition and Songwriter Contest Awards

    Violettes by Becky Presents Awards

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Dear Students, Parents and Teachers,

    It was such a pleasure to listen to each of the compositions/songs. Congratulations to all who entered! The level of entries was very high, and the number of entries more than doubled from last year. This contest is meant to encourage you. The judges' feedback is meant to be helpful, so I hope you find it that way. (I don't have all the judges comments yet, so I will be emailing them with your certificates over the next 2 weeks.)

    We all must thank the wonderful volunteer judges : The 2 Songwriter judges, David Lauver and Tammie Dischner are both singer/songwriters who have won both Regional and National Songwriting Competitions. (Blog featuring Ms. Dischner coming soon). Senior composition judges are Esteban Alvarez and Richard Prior. Junior composition judges are Julie Fischer and Paul Brody.

    We also need to thank our generous prize donors: Digitrax Entertainment, SoKnox Studios,     JW Pepper (Sheet Music), Sheet Music Plus, and Performers Music. In addition, we thank our generous anonymous donor for the $1,000 Scholarship.

    Scoring: With the competition growing, we will post an official scoring method for next year. Previously, I left it up to the judges for individual scoring, but we had a rough time choosing winners in several catagories. Deciding whether instrumentation, form, creativity, length ... takes priority was impossible in cases. In one case, we had to resort to age to help break the several way tie!

    Next week, Violettes will post photos, bios and more music of winners.

    Songwriter Contest Awards:

    Senior - 1st Place presented in video by Violettes by Becky ( from Redondo Beach, CA)
    (I hope you don't mind the video announcement).

    -------------2nd Place Hanah Breck-Moore (Winnsboro, Texas)
    -------------3rd Place Hayden Kesterson (Knoxville, TN)

    Junior - 1st Place Ankitha Gopal (Campbell, CA)
    -------------2nd Place Aria Abhyankar (Richardson, Texas)

    Special School Team Award: Dr. Eisenberg and students Carlos Gomez, Anisa Napier,
    Taziyah  Briant-Prieto and Bryce Fraites. (New York)

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    Composition Competition Awards:

    Senior - 1st Place Winner presented in Video by Violettes by Becky (from Oyster Bay, NY)
    (I hope you don't mind the video).

    -------------2nd Place David Ghesser (Tarzana, CA)
    -------------3rd Place Scott Etan Feiner (Roslyn Harbor, NY)
    -------------Honorable Mention Davis Zamboanga (Dublin, CA)

    Junior - 1st Place Meagan Drinnon (Vero Beach, Florida)
    ------------2nd Place Tie Nathanael Fleming (Harrisville, Pennsylvania)
    ------------------------------------and Helena Abney-McPeek (Chicago, Il)
    ------------Honorable Mention: Theo Harsham (Newton Highlands, MA)

    Composition Competition, Songwriter Contest Violettes by Becky thanks judges, presents School Award....with Hand made Quilt Squares.

     

    Please don't forget to support ViolettesbyBecky.com when you need awesome gifts!

    This also supports our Composition Competition and Songwriter Contest

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    For competition Guidelines, See this LINK.

  • Dedicated Music Teacher Dr. Michael Eisenberg Connects with Violettes

    Music Teacher Enters Talented Students in Songwriter Competition

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    Music teacher Dr. Michael Eisenberg is another outstanding teacher whom I am introduced to thru my work with Violettes. Learning of the Violettes Composition and Songwriting Competition for Youth thru Linked-In announcements, he encouraged 4 students enter. The contest was a goal to produce. Dr Eisenberg currently teaches music, music history, chorus, music theater, and French at Veritas Academy in Flushing, New York.

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    1.  Violettes: Teaching is generally a job with long hours. Have you received any awards for your work?

    Dr. Michael Eisenberg: I was named a Montalvo National Teaching Artist Finalist for excellence in arts ed and I was selected for the Carnegie Music Educators Workshop in 2013 to the present. My high school choir was invited to sing at Placido Domingo's retirement gala at the Met as
    well. Thank you for all the amazing help you have given to my students*.

    2. Violettes: All your students entered the Songwriting Division. Is your background in voice? Tell us about your music background or history.

    Dr. Michael Eisenberg: My principal instruments are piano and harpsichord but I have been involved in singing since high school and have studied voice and currently sing with the Brooklyn Tabernacel Choir and the New York Festival Singers. I love singing and believe it is critical to students’ experience with music.

    3. Violettes: What kind of classes do you teach and do you have certain methods that you use to bring out the best in your children?

    Music teacher, Dr. Michael Eisenberg Students of Music Teacher, Dr. Michael Eisenberg: Carlos Gomez, Taziyah Bryant and David Mercado

     

    Dr. Michael Eisenberg: I have taught for 4 years with the NYC dept of Ed and prior to that with the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Lincoln Center Institute as a teaching artist. I have taught many different kinds of courses from voice and chorus, to band and keyboard, to strings and orchestra to general music. It is my experience that the more students take ownership of the content and instruction the more they connect and enjoy it. When they have the chance to create and shape the music they are performing they respond in a much more enthusiastic and organic way.

     

     

     

    4. Violettes: Tell us about the school where you teach? Do you have any fun stories about working with teen age children?

    Dr. Michael Eisenberg: Veritas Academy is an innovative Renzulli-design school where students are encouraged to use their individual strengths and creativity to connect to curriculum. We are located in Queens, NYC which is the most ethnically and linguistically diverse community per capita in the US and the world. Our school is located in the oldest NYC high school campus in a beautiful neo-Gothic building.

     

    5. Violettes: Tell us about any music ventures that you have outside of teaching.

    Dr. Michael Eisenberg: I am currently working to present some concerts with voice and keyboard in Milan and throughout western US focusing on the musical world of Leonardo da Vinci. I recently curated an exhibit there on Leonardo’s designs for musical instruments. Last summer, I participated in an NEH workshop in Germany on teaching Bach to high school students.

    6. Violettes: Do you have any hobbies that you like talking about?

    Dr. Michael Eisenberg: I love to ski and to speak foreign languages and get to know other cultures. I also love to read and of course perform and make music.

    Music Teacher Music Teacher Michael Eisenberg with his students

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    *Violettes by Becky pairs professional volunteer judges with the students to give them encouraging constructive feedback for their music. Junior Composition Judges; Senior Composition Judges; Songwriter Judges are from the Knoxville Songwriters Association.

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                                                          Go to Violettes by Becky Homepage Here.

  • Violettes Meets Song Writer, David Lauver, Part 2

    Song Writer, David Lauver, uses Talent as Volunteer 

    Mr. Lauver is a long time volunteer for youth education causes. Volunteering for Violettes' Youth Songwriters Competition, is just another way that he gives back. This is a continuation of Violettes Meets David Lauver, Part 1. Thank you again from Violettes by Becky.

    Violettes: You work for many months each year planning a fundraiser for scholarships at the University of Tennessee and Pellissippi State Community College. Tell us about this.
    Mr. Lauver: As a member of East Tennessee’s Society of Professional Journalists, I help write and perform in the “Front Page Follies.” This annual scholarship fundraising roast brings together some 250 state and local leaders to laugh at themselves for a good cause. I’ve chaired the script committee for more than 30 years—writing satirical skits, songs, and parodies that poke fun at newsmakers and news events.
    Proceeds from the Follies have funded more than $50,000 in scholarships at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Pellissippi State Community College. Each year’s scholarships are named for an outstanding East Tennessee print or broadcast journalist. Our 2014 scholarships were presented in honor of WBIR-TV anchor Robin Wilhoit. The show’s scripts and videos preserve a unique “pop culture” perspective on the events that have shaped East Tennessee for more than a third of a century.

    Violettes: What is your personal songwriting story? Has anyone in KSA written hits recorded by a star?

    Song Writer Featuring KSA lifetime member Kim Williams induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, pictured with recording artists Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks

    Mr. Lauver: I wrote my first song when I was in high school, but really didn’t know much about the craft of songwriting until I joined KSA, the Nashville Songwriters Association International, and the Songwriters Guild of America. What I’ve learned from those resources has helped me to express myself more effectively and create songs listeners seem to enjoy. I’ve been fortunate to be a five-time finalist/performer in the national songwriting competition at North Carolina’s “Merlefest,” and in 2014 I had the first-place gospel/inspirational song in the Great American Songwriting Contest. I’ve also performed on radio and television broadcasts and at Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, Maryville’s Foothills Fall Festival, and Nashville writers’ nights and showcases.
    Several of my songs celebrate the people, land, and history of this region. I’ve provided original tunes for special events at local landmarks, including Knoxville’s Historic Ramsey House; the “Marble Springs” home of Tennessee Governor John Sevier; and Clinton Highway’s iconic “Airplane Filling Station.” My song “Freedom Rolls,” which pays tribute to the rescue workers of September 11 and East Tennessean’s response to that tragedy, was performed as part of the 2002 community remembrance ceremonies in Downtown Knoxville.
    Our biggest KSA “success story” is Kim Williams, who in 2012 was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Kim, a Rogersville native, is a lifetime member of KSA who gives back to the group by conducting songwriting workshops each month. He has written songs found on CDs, tapes, and videos that have sold more than 154 million copies.
    Kim’s song “Three Wooden Crosses,” recorded by Randy Travis, was named Song of the Year by the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, the Christian Country Music Association, the Gospel Music Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International. With recording artist Garth Brooks, Kim wrote a string of hits that Brooks took to the top of the charts. Those No. 1 songs include “Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up,” “It’s Midnight, Cinderella,” “Papa Loved Mama,” and “She’s Gonna Make It.”

    Thank you Mr. Lauver for all that you do.

    Song Writers KSA photo information board highlighting meeting schedule

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  • Violettes Meets Song Writer, David Lauver, Part 1

    David Lauver Invites You to                    

    the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival

    August 21-24 (Don't have to be a Song Writer to Attend)

    Knoxville Songwriters Association, Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Knoxville Songwriters from KSA perform at 2013 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival

    I met David Lauver at the Grand Opening of Digitrax Entertainment Company in South Knoxville. (Lucky me to run into this Song Writer). As the Education and Public Relations Director of the Knoxville Songwriters Association (KSA), he was generous to offer to be a volunteer judge for the Violettes by Becky Youth Composition & Songwriter Competition. He suggested that I attend a KSA meeting to invite the club to be involved. KSA meets each Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fountain City Library, 5300 Stanton Road. I thoroughly enjoyed these talented folks’ pre-meeting sing-a-long session followed by a group review of songs in progress by attendees. I couldn’t help thinking how night and day the meeting was compared to engineering meetings that I attend!

    1. Violettes - What are your recent projects as education and public relations director of KSA?
    Mr. Lauver - I work with other KSA members to provide developmental and continuing education opportunities for local songwriters. We bring in Nashville professional songwriters, publishers, and studio owners to share their experience and answer questions from local writers. By arranging for KSA participation in community events, we also work to support civic and charitable programs, give our members experience in performing their songs in public, and contribute to East Tennessee’s heritage as a center of musical creativity.

    2. Violettes - The KSA seems like a fun group.  What are your favorite KSA memories or events?

    Mr. Lauver - We’ve made many good memories performing original songs around the region.  Our next scheduled performances are at the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, August 21-24 in Gatlinburg, and September 14 at the Historic Ramsey House’s Country Market.  In addition, we may be among the community performers in September at the Tennessee Valley Fair. (Violettes recommends that you attend performances of our own talented Knoxville Song Writers).

    Also, you never know what memorable events could take place at KSA’s weekly meetings.  Several long-time members recall a night when
    Kim Williams* showed up with a guy who sung demo recordings Kim pitched to publishers and producers.  The young man said he wanted to be a recording artist, but told us he also had aspirations as a writer.  He got out his guitar and asked if we’d like to hear a song he’d co-written.  It was being pitched to Tanya Tucker and he really hoped she’d cut it.  Then he began playing the minor chord intro to “The Thunder Rolls.”  I’m not sure if Tanya ever recorded it, but it became one of his own signature songs in Garth Brooks’ record-setting music career.

    *Kim Williams, who is a lifetime member of KSA, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 and will be at the 2014 Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival.

    David Lauver, Part 2 to be Continued in next blog.

    Song Writer, Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, Knoxville Songwriters Asociation
    David Lauver In-Concert
    Mr. Lauver will be a volunteer judge in Violettes' 2nd Annual Youth Composition & Songwriters Competition.
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