Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger

The 2018 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge Finalists competed on Monday, April 23rd cheered on by family and friends from across the country.

The National Endowment for the Arts and American Theatre Wing welcomed seven finalists—one duo and five individuals–to put their music and lyrics to the test and vie for the title of national songwriting champion.

The national title came with a $25,000 school scholarship courtesy of the National Music Publishers Association and their S.O.N.G.S. Foundation. The second place winner received a $10,000 contribution by BMI and the third place winner got $5,000 courtesy of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. All finalists will have their song published by Samuel French, the world’s leading licensor and publisher of plays and musicals, at a later date. Partnering with the NEA in the Songwriting Challenge was the American Theatre Wing along with collaborators Playbill, Inc. and Disney Theatrical Productions as well as the above-mentioned contributors.

The 2018 finalists performances:

Eliza Corrington from Syracuse, Utah and Braxton Carr from Harrisville, Utah (National Second Place)

Tucker Donelan from New York, New York (National Third Place)

Jillian Guetersloh from Bedford, Massachusetts (Region VI winner)

Fritz Hager from Flint, Texas (Region III winner)

Aaron Richert from New Orleans, Louisiana (Region IV winner)

David Volpini from Macomb, Michigan (National First Place)

The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is a national competition for high school students who have a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production. The finalists were chosen by review panels of professional theater artists in a blind competition from almost 200 applications submitted by students in 36 states. #iwritemusicals