photo of Guitarist musician writing a song on his guitar

Songwriting Contest in Bethesda Could Net Winner $10,000

photo of Guitarist musician writing a song on his guitarIf you’ve got a song in your heart…write it down. A songwriting contest in Bethesda could win you $10,000.

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District announces the inaugural Bethesda Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards.

This new and exciting competition is seeking the best, up-and-coming, local songwriters. The adjudicated contest will award a talented songwriter a grand prize of $10,000. The award also includes a young songwriter category for which an aspiring songwriter who is younger than 18 will have the chance to win $2,500.

The contest, founded by Bethesda resident and President of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District Cathy Bernard, is named in honor of Fred Ebb, Bernard’s uncle and renowned American songwriter and creator of Broadway hits such as Cabaret and Chicago and iconic songs including New York, New York.

“This competition was created to honor regional musicians and award local artists for their songwriting talent,” said Cathy Bernard. “I am personally honored to be able to support this important program in my uncle’s name because the musical arts were such an integral part of who he was and it’s of great importance to continue honoring creativity and aspiring songwriters.”

The contest will be a multi-staged, juried competition. The first round judging panel will include professional artists, venue operators, booking agents, and music academia. They will choose the semifinalists from the total pool of applicants. A grand prize jury will then select the finalists who will perform two of their original songs for a live audience on March 6, at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club. The award winners will be announced at the close of the performance. Tickets to attend the live performance are $10 and will be available Jan. 1 at

The grand prize jurors are Eric Schaeffer, the co-founder and artistic director at Signature Theatre; Chuck Mead, Nashville recording artist and Broadway music director; and Nova Payton, award-winning singer and actress.

Songwriters who are permanent residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. are eligible to submit three original songs. All musical genres are accepted. Songs must include lyrics and cannot be more than four minutes long.

Musicians can apply online or download a mail-in application at Entries must be received by Dec. 5.

Visit or call 301.215.6660 for more information.

Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


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