Finalists Announced for NEA’s Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge


The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the six finalists for the 2018 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. The competition received over 200 applications from high school composers in 36 states, according to Playbill.com.

The finalists (five individual composers and one pair) will each have their songs published by Samuel French, and the national champion will receive a $25,000 scholarship courtesy of the National Music Publishers Association’s S.O.N.G.S. (Supporting Our Next Generation of Songwriters) Foundation.

The finalists are Eliza Corrington (class of 2018) and Braxton Gerald Carr (2019) of DaVinci Academy in Ogden, Utah; Tucker Donelan (2018) of Berkshire School in New York City; Jillian Guetersloh (2021) of Bedford High School in Bedford, Massachusetts; Frederick Hager (2018) of Robert E. Lee High School in Flint, Texas; Aaron Richert (2018) of New Orleans Center for Creative Arts in New Orleans, Louisiana; and David Volpini (2019) of Chippew Valley High School in Macomb, Michigan.

The seven will convene in New York next month to participate in a weekend of workshops with musicians, singers, songwriters, and producers. This will culminate in an April 23 live-streamed performance of the six songs, judged by a panel of musical theatre professionals.

Partnering with the NEA on the second annual competition are the American Theatre Wing, Disney Theatrical Productions, and Playbill.

For information on Playbill’s education platforms, visit PLAYBILLder.com.

http://www.playbill.com/article/finalists-announced-for-neas-musical-theater-songwriting-challenge