Sometimes, aspiring songwriters just need a voice.
UNL music professors Dale Bazan and Damon Lee just knew there were some great young songwriters in and around Nebraska just waiting to be heard. As it turns out, he was right.
Shannon Kelly is a Lincoln Pius senior that won the top prize in the 14 to 18 year old division, "I consider myself a poet first, I've always written stories and poetry and all sorts of writing since I was very young and then I started taking piano at age 6 and eventually it kind of fell together."
Jack Rodenburg is a Lincoln Southeast senior that got second place in the junior division, "I love being able to get things off my mind, express them in a way that I can't tell a friend or I can't tell anyone."
Dr. Dale Bazan is one of the contest organizers, "I hope this is the start of an annual thing that the Lied Center will support and hopefully we get more people coming out of the woodwork."
Rachel Whelan is a UNL music student that wowed the judges and ended up number one in the 19 years and up division, "I think it's important to tell a story.
UNL junior Brittany Bydalek says receiving the runner-up award in the senior division gives her confidence to keep on writing, "It's really nice. Sometimes you get kind of discouraged you work a lot of times and you don't get much out of it right away so it's nice to be affirmed
The two division winners were honored with the opportunity to open for acclaimed artist Susan Werner before her recent concert at the Lied Center.
If all goes as planned, there will be another songwriting competition next spring.
So young writers get to work and maybe you'll be performing your original song on the Lied Center stage in 2013.