GOLD Rewards Local Songwriters in Songwriters Week Qualifying Round

Locals, visitors and music industry leaders gathered for a celebration and songwriting contest for the people of East Tennessee during the qualifying round of Tennessee Songwriters Week in Oak Ridge.

“A multitude of songwriters have put on one of the most engaging and exciting songwriting contests to date,” organizers said in a press release. Each contestant was judged on their overall performance, originality, and connection to the audience. Of the 20 contestants, only four were among the winners of the Oak Ridge qualifying round to advance to the next round at the Bijou Theater in Knoxville.

The Oak Ridge qualifying round winners were Koda’s Hazi Thomas; Corey Clifton of Maynardville; Travis Tench of Knoxville; and Shandy Glover of Knoxville.

“Oak Ridge is thrilled to support and celebrate local songwriters and the music community around them with the opportunity to showcase their talent,” Katy Watt, president of Explore Oak Ridge, said in the statement.

The songwriters performed their original tracks live in front of a panel of expert judges and an audience of local spectators, fans and supporters. The jury included six local musicians and songwriters representing a diverse genre of musical expertise.

The Oak Ridge successors will move forward as four of 80 songwriters who will compete in demo events held in Franklin, Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Gatlinburg and Johnson City. Next-tier finalists will earn prizes including a performance of an original piece at the historic Bluebird Cafe, a one-year membership in the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), and a trademark commemorative guitar.

Tennessee Songwriters Week continued with showcase events taking place in that state. For a complete schedule of other events taking place in Oak Ridge, visit the Explore Oak Ridge website at https://exploreoakridge.com/.

“Tennessee is home to seven genres of music. It’s where legendary songwriters and future greats share the same stage. Tennessee Songwriters Week supports live music venues, raises awareness of songwriters’ contributions to the Tennessee, paves the way for future artists and inspires travelers to discover the state’s musical stories, history, attractions and places,” the press release reads.

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