NewSong Music performance and songwriting contest moves to Asheville


The NewSong Music Performance and Songwriting Competition has moved from its longstanding host venue, New York City’s venerable Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, to the Isis Music Hall in West Asheville.

Eight finalists selected from advance online submissions from across North America and beyond are in West Asheville to perform tonight (Saturday, Dec. 15). Go here for tickets.

A panel of national music industry judges will select the overall winner of the competition, which focuses on emerging talent. Those competitors are: Asheville singer-songwriter Carly Taich, who won the LEAF Festival Singer-Songwriter Competition, which is a partnership with NewSong, earlier this year; Alice Howe; Kaiti Jones; Tobias the Owl; Liz Frame & The Kickers; Suzie Brown; Alex Wong; and Mel Bryant & the Mercy Makers.

The grand prize winner will receive a fully funded six-song EP, recorded and mixed at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville and released on the NewSong Recordings label. The grand prize winner will also receive a performance showcase at the esteemed 2019 ASCAP Music Café at the Sundance Film Festival  in Park City, Utah, early next year, as well as a featured performance in the 2019 Arts Brookfield “Summer Plaza” series in New York City.

Gar Ragland is NewSong co-founder and director. He relocated his organization to Asheville from New York City just over six years ago. The NewSong competition has been running for 17 years.

“We’re delighted to bring the competition finals to Asheville for the first time this year,” Ragland says in a written press release.

“The NewSong Competition attracts and features exceptionally talented emerging artists from across the continent, and bringing the program here to Asheville where we’re based is long overdue,” Ragland says in the release.


Harris December 14, 2018 - 6:07 pm

Hey, this isn’t tonight, but tomorrow night…Saturday 12/15

Jason Sandford December 15, 2018 - 9:34 am

Thank you! Corrected.

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