The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is a national competition open to high school students who have a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production. The winners worked one-on-one with New York City theater artists who traveled to their hometowns for an intensive two-day workshop produced by the American Theatre Wing. Their final song is then produced with professional Broadway artists in NYC.
Sky’s song, I Don’t Know What Happened, is sung by a multiracial girl named River who finds herself transported from the rare record room of a thrift store back 50 years to 1969 New York. River meets her grandmother as a younger woman and fears that their conversations may have set events in motion that would permanently alter her life and others.
Applications for 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge are open!
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Music and Lyrics: Akira Sky
Music Director: Anna Ebbesen
Mentor: J. Oconer Navarro
Performers: Gizel Jiménez (vocals), Lynn Craig (vocals), Alexia Sielo (vocals), Makayla Benedict (vocals), Margo Seibert (vocals), Jacob Roberts-Miller (vocals), Jake Goldbas (drums), Justin Goldner (bass), Dillon Kondor (guitar), Kiku Enomoto (violin), Anna Ebbesen (piano)
Producer: American Theatre Wing
Director: Ian Weiss
Editors: Ian Weiss, Kayla Williamson
DP: Matthew Cady, Hayden5
Camera: Jeff Springer, Hayden5
The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is hosted by the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with the American Theatre Wing. It also features collaborations with Disney Theatrical Productions, Concord Theatricals, and the National Music Publishers’ Association.