Monday, March 4, 2013

Songwriters Notes E-News #140 March 2013

Hello Songwriter,

The first-ever Music Educator Award, to be presented by the Grammy Foundation and The Recording Academy, was announced during the 55th Annual Grammy Awards broadcast live on the CBS Television Network. The award is open to current U.S. music teachers from kindergarten through college, in public and private schools. Anyone can nominate a teacher—students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans and administrators. As founder of the Dallas Songwriters Association I have been educating songwriters since 1986, and have been serving as Associate Professor of Songwritng at Collin College since 2008. I'm asking you to do something very important to me, that will only take you a few minutes. PLEASE nominate me for this award. Here is the direct link to the Grammy nomination website.

The nomination process is open now and the deadline for nominations is April 15th, 2013. Just chose the button that "the nominee will file out the nominee's information form". It's already in the process of being completed. Thanks so much. Barbara McMillen, Associate Professor of Songwriting, Collin College, Plano Tx, 214 691-5318

Read more about the award here:

Find out which song won the Song of the Year Award at our March 2nd Tuesday meeting. Our guest speaker, Steve Weisberg who was the judge of the song critique winners of 2012 will critique the top songs and announce the winner. We'll still be in our a new meeting place at CC Young. See below for directions to The Point at CC Young where the meeting will be held. See # 2 below.

The 2nd weekend in March brings us some exciting events. On March 9, there is a workshop, open mic, and concert in Lewisville at the MCL Grand with award winning songwriters Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips. See # 7 below for details.

Also that same weekend is 35 Denton, a pre-sxsw festival with a local flair. Our good buddy Tamera Bennett informs us of two key opportunities. The Grammy mixer, IN The Mix, on Friday, March 8 and a CLE for attorneys on Saturday, March 9th. See details below in in #8 Events.

Our other regular DSA monthly events remain the same, 1st and 3rd Monday SongSwaps (1st Thurs features guest host Vicky Williams) and 1st and 3rd Thursday Open Mic. For details, see #2 and #4 below.

We've revived our Songwriters Connecting To Seniors program with performances scheduled for April and May. View the new blog here.

SXSW music festival is March 12 - 18th. I'm planning to go down on the 15th. Anyone else going?

I'm teaching songwriting classes at Collin College. We have lots of fun in the class and explore what makes a song popular. Here are the details.
Wanna study along with the class? I also, offer these classes online.


Help DSA today at no cost to you.

DSA has enrolled in a new program at BBVA Compass Bank. You can help DSA earn money by opening a Compass account and give Dallas Songwriters as your reason or if you already have a Compass account, go to your bank and connect to our program and use your check card.

No checks to write. No direct mail. No telemarketing. In other words, no hassles. The Compass For Your Cause Program allows your members to support your organization, by doing something many of them do virtually every day—use their check card for everyday purchases. And it's easy for them to get started. They simply:
  • Open a BBVA Compass Checking Account*
  • Open a Compass Visa® Check Card*
  • Sign for purchases using the Check Card
That's all there is to it. When they open an account, you earn a royalty of $50. Every time they use their Check Card for qualifying purchases††, you earn additional royalties. So start earning money the easy way with the Compass For Your Cause program. Contact us today to get started.

Check out our pictures on the Dallas Songwriters Facebook. Go on Facebook and LIKE us. New, tell your firends about Dallas Songwriters on Meetup.

QUICK LOOK CALENDAR OF DSA MONTHLY EVENTS - put this in your bookmark.

1. ANNUAL SONG CONTEST -   Deadline June 17th

                 2013 Dallas Songwriters Song Contest
Now in its 23rd year, The DSA 2013 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes.

Eight Song Categories
1. Christian/Inspirational
2. Country
3. Americana/Folk/Bluegrass
4. Pop/Rock/RnB/Alternative
5. Love Songs/Easy Listening
6. Children's/Novelty
7. Singer/Songwriter (songwriter is the performer)
8. Instrumental

Multiple Winners In Each Category
Entry Fee $20
Deadline: Monday, June 17th, 2013
Submissions Close at Midnight. 


Interview with 2012 DSA Song Contest Winner Macy Medford by Roger Russell

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Macy Medford and her mother Stacy.  Macy’s song she cowrote with Jonathan George “Just Me and You” was the grand prize winner for the 2012 DSA Song Contest.  Here is the interview.

Roger:  How old are you?
Macy:  I am 15 years old now.
Roger:  Are you attending high school now?
Macy:  I am a sophomore at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas.
Roger:  What instruments do you play?
Macy:  Guitar and Piano.


     You will find Semifinalist  here:

    Just Me and You by Macy Medford, Jonathan George, Houston, TX

    Here the song on ReverbNation

    Check out her website:

    That Old Shirt by Steve Chizmadia, Peekskill, NY

    You'll Be Back by Debra M. Gussin, Jonathan Bluth, LA, CA
    Macy with Grand Prize Taylor Guitar signed by Beth Nielsen Chapman, donated by our Prez, Roger Russell.

    Click here for more info about this contest, and for more information about joining DSA (membership not required to enter contest). Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions. 

    2001 - 2007 Winners Compilation CDs available at the DSA store

    All winning songs are on a CD Compilation that was given out at the Awards Ceremony. To get any 3 double CD's simply make a quarter note donation to DSA through our online store and send us an email to request which 3 years of Cd's you want us to mail you.



    March 12: Guest Speaker, Cary Cooper

     Cary will share her whirl-wind year, which included serious camera time on Troubadour, Tx and a Kickstarter program that has gained almost $30,000.

    After she speaks, about her year, we'll break, then come back for the Song of the Year revealing. Cary is going to give comments on the top 5 songs, which we will also play. Of course, we will recognize the winner with a nice tee shirt and, later, a certificate. 

    NO critiques.
    See meeting page for more details

    NEW shirts: $15 at the meeting (you must ask me for the special) or online by mail $20
    OLD shirts: $10 at the meeting (you must ask me for the special) or online by mail $15
    MONDAY SONG SWAPS for peer critique
    Song Swap Workshops
    Monthly 7:30-10 PM
    Free, Visitors Welcome
    Where songwriters perform their songs for peer review. Bring your guitar and a few lyric sheets. This is like an old fashioned guitar pull with comments between songs.

    FIRST MONDAY in East Dallas
    Half Price Books, 5803 E Northwest Hwy Dallas, TX 75231-6519 (214) 379-8000
    Roger Russell, Jame Pappas coordinating.
    We'll be in the Community Room at the back left in the building.

    Tino's - Steve Sullivan, coordinator. Mall location closed. Tino's Too is remodeled
    Tino's Too Mexican Restaurant 2205 Ave K, Plano, Tx  972 881-9226


    3. BEST SONGS of the 2nd Tuesday Meeting
    Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year is in the process of being judged for 2012 and will probably be announced in March. 

    Something About You by Gigi Costas
    Time To Play by William Brown
    Critique Panel: Dr Terry Fansler and Bobby Montgomery

    Long time DSA member, James Pappas,  is Songwriter of the Year for most wins at the 2nd Tuesday meetings last year. See our Press Room for story.

    Congratulations go to Casey Graham, for the winning song, "Tears for Joanna." It was Casey's first song submitted to the 2nd Tuesday Critics. See our Press Room for story.

    Our judge was Zane Williams, the amazing singer/songwriter who brought a 2nd Tuesday program earlier this year. Zane somehow crammed in judging and commenting on our 2011 Critique Winners between gigging all around North Texas, trips to Nashville, starring spots on Troubadour, TX, and being a daddy and a husband and a human being. He got his comments back to us somewhere between Texas and Utah, where he is today.

    See the website for Zane's comments.

    To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
    To hear the winners go to our myspace page.
    Did you know that A and R reps from labels and music publishers are listening to our Myspace page each month?



    EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

    HALF PRICE BOOKS - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Vicky Williams guest host for Feb.
    EVERY 1ST THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
    Sign up begins at 6:30
    Featured Artist at 8PM


    THE POINT at CC Young, 6PM
    April 27th


    Signature Point, Saturday, June 1st   - 3PM
    Barbe McMillen, Michael Brandenberger

    Silverado Turtle Creek, Sunday, May 26th, 3PM
    Barbe McMillen, Bobby Montgomery, Buck Morgan

    TEXAS SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND at Sandstone Cellars Winery Showcase & Open Mic in Mason Texas.  
    HOURS 6-9PM 211 San Antonio Street, Mason, TX 76856
    Shows will be on the 3rd Thursday of each month starting in March.

    Guidelines for our stars @ Texas Songwriters in the Round shows:
    * All original set of 45 minutes
    * A professional commercially released CD with some airplay and press.

    We allow any songwriter to come be part of the TSR in the Round, with one star per month! If you'd like to come out and join in as a rounder I can make sure you have a place for the night! To Showcase contact: Jeri Alice
    Other area open mics OPEN MICS


    5. DSA  LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked March 30th WINTER CONTEST or enter online. Fall 2012 closed Dec 31st

    2012 FALL SEMIFINALISTS (deadline was Dec. 31)

    ON THE FRONT STEPS OF A CHURCH by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
    A KISS THAT NEVER ENDS by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
    LITTLE PIECES  by John Thomas Lane, Monument, Co
     SAY 'WHEN' by Katherine Knecht, Citrus Heights, CA


    Next Lyric Contest Deadline is June 30th for Spring Lyric Contest
    Entry fee is $10
    Please see lyric contest webpage for details.


    6. MEMBER NEWS -

    Wanna get involved? Become a committee member. It's fun! Be apart of the inner workings or the DSA. We have a board position open. We're looking for a Treasurer.

    To view a list of the 2013 elected Directors go to this link:

    If you are not a DSA Member, you missed these tips sent out through our yahoo group:

    * Publisher looking for Childrens songs
    * Artists/Producers looking for original material for recording artists
    * Major Brand X (To be disclosed at a later time) Seeks Independent artist for music campaign.
    * Where to get your cd reviewed
    * Music related job listing
    * Film Licensing Co. seeking instrumental music
    * Cheap and free tickets - Free tickets to selected Winspear Opera House events.

    Lyricists are invited to co-write with music writers by submitting your lyric through the member yahoo group.


    WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Kelsey Grogan, Kayla Elliott, Kimberly Elliott, Terry Fansler,  Emmitt Fennessey, Carlos Savetman, Mikah Young, Kelly Aldous, Tim MaloolyJoseph Jacobs, Gigi CostasDevin Hill, Michael Brandon, Wendy Tobias, Song Contest Winners new or renewing: Macy Medford,  Steve Chizmadia, Debra M. Gussin , Renee Safier, Chris Alvarado, Eric Colville, Glen Naylor, Lanny Sherwin, Keeton Coffman , Spencer Clark, Kevin Reardon, Daniel Sumber , Andy Taylor , Gavin Potter, Vanessa Padla, Diane Lekven, Belle Schneiderman, Robert Graham, Chris O'Neill, Chase Thompson, Nestor Cora, Philip Creamer, Gordon Lustig, Susie  McLean, Becky Wright

    THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Morri Hartgraves, Grady Yates, Ken Golden, Suzi Morse, Steve Erickson, Mimi Balkey, Jeremy Ellis, Michael Roth, Alex GorodiscasRob McHaleBill HonkerBobby MontgomeryTrevor DahlenCasey Graham

    TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

    EXPIRED IN APRIL: Joanna Endsley, Daniel Anchondo, Loretta Dunnaway, Margaret Cuddihee.
    EXPIRED IN MAY: Richard Ray Hunt, Annie Cornelius
    EXPIRED IN JUNE: Brandon Watson, Paul McNair, Mike Corbin, Keith Thompson, Tom Biles, Kyle Carey, Wyler Delray, Ruben Estevez, John Friday, Ruben Estevez, John Friday, Shane Martin, Christal Prout, Shosshana Sperling, John Visconti, Tara Priya, Janine Wilson, Steven Welp, Stonewall Towery. 
    EXPIRED IN JULY: Brook Malouf, Lu Ann Dunley, Ken Luginbyhl, Ryan Galloway
    EXPIRED IN AUGUST: Joyce Sanders, Dixon Beasley.
    EXPIRED IN SEPT: Jonathan Harrison, Mina Shamsa
    EXPIRED IN OCT: Morri Hartgraves, Charles Risinger, Liz Basse
    EXPIRED IN NOV:  Jose Cantu, Cheryl Anderson, Donna Scoggins, David Byboth, Shelby Cook,
    EXPIRED IN DEC: Ross Smith, Lisa Miller, Julie Jean White, Kathern Hallberg, Randy Brown, Joe Milton, Gregg Watts, Mark Sanders, Steve Ritter, JR Byrd
    Expired in JAN:  Terry Bloss, James Andrew Boyer, Matt Boggs
    EXPIRED IN FEB: Mark Glasmire, Melinda Starnes
    PLEASE RENEW THIS MONTH: Robin Willis,Ryan Eichenwald, Alexandra Brooks, Ken Duren, Corey Anderson, Brian Coker, Tom Biles, Madilne Shaw, Holly Doubet, Jim Baker, George Pucini

    Member News : 
    Read performance reviews here:


    Renew your membership online,
    You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right



    (Each month DSA hosts 3 workshops at our monthly meetings on the 1st Monday, 3rd Monday and 2nd Tuesday these are ongoing. see item 2 above.)

    Saturday, March 9th, Kerrville finalist, Andy Gullahorn @ Lewisville MCL Grand

    Schedule of Events
    9 - 10 am - Registration
    10 - 3 pm - Songwriter Workshop - Black Box Theater (Lunch Included)
    3 - 5 pm - Capo Workshop - Classroom 1
    4 - 5 pm - Copyright Workshop (tentative) - Classroom 2
    5 - 6:30 pm - Open Mic (Available to paid registrants) - Black Box Theater

    7:30 pm - Concert - Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips - MCL Grand Theater 

    Register and purchase tickets at
    More at:

    Want to study songwriting but don't want to get out of your PJ's? Take a class online through a songwriting workshop yahoo group.

    8. EVENTS - Featuring local and worldwide events of the songwriting community including, seminars, conferences, and showcases.

    7-10 35 Denton festival
        8  Grammy In The Mix, Denton, Tx
        9  35 Denton CLE
    9  MLC Lewisville Songwriting Workshop & Performance
    8-18  SXSW, Music, Film, Interactive, Austin, Tx

    5-7 Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Dallas, Tx

    13  Songwriters Connecting to Seniors
    18 - 20 ASCAP EXPO, LA
    20 - 22 Dallas International Guitar Show, Market Hall

    17 - 19 WildFlower Festival, Richardson, Tx

    26  13  Songwriters Connecting to Seniors

    1 Songwriters Connecting To Seniors - Signature Point 3rd floor
    6 - 8 Thunder on the Mountain, Ozark, AR

    9 - 11  New Music Seminar
    17 DSA Song Contest Deadline

    TBD DSA Swim Party and BBQ

    11- 17 REO Songwriters Retreat, British Columbia

    Go to the events page to view links to local and Texas venues. There's a list of holiday music for this month.


    9. Featured Articles:

    PREZ SEZ: Tune in to DSA President, Roger Russell's, musings and DSA goings on.

    Happy 99th Birthday, ASCAP! - a special message from ASCAP President Paul Williams 

    "On this date in 1914 a group of visionary music creators met in New York City and formed ASCAP. This small group of songwriters, composers and music publishers knew that on their own they would have very little bargaining power with the users of music to negotiate fair payment for the use of their works. For 99 years, spanning each technological marvel that has allowed more people in more places to experience music, ASCAP has ensured that the creators of that music have been able to earn a living from their craft. As ASCAP President, I would like to thank the more than 450,000 of my fellow members for standing together, united by our music, as we work towards protecting and fostering the music we all create, that businesses need and the whole world loves." -- Paul Williams 

    Library of Congress to Unveil National Recording Preservation Plan
    By Randy Lewis -- The library is set to release a plan that contains 32 recommendations to enhance preservation and access to millions of recordings in light of deterioration or outright loss. [Thanks to Michelle Kay for the link.]

    BMI honcho Del Bryant has just released an open letter to the music industry to address the issue of digital rights of song catalogs. In particular, Bryant addresses "the withdrawal of catalogs from performing rights organizations by music publishers for certain digital uses." For the complete text, see


    You might find this link on House Parties 101  interesting.

    MUSIC BUSINESS - more articles posted on the new blog DSA Music Biz News


    This is a friendly reminder to all of our Weekly Bulletin readers, that Music Connection is always accepting materials to be reviewed Live or in our New Music Critiques section. The only requirement is to have an AMP Social Space account (a free social media site for musicians and music pros only that takes under 5 minutes to set up). If you do not receive a review within the first 3 months, we encourage you to reapply! Visit for full details.

    Your Network Can't Do It For You
    By Katie Reilly -- What's the single most important piece of advice you will get if you are interested in working in the music industry? until you are so sick of networking, and then network some more...there's one other equally important fact that often gets overlooked...
    How To Get Your Music Video Viewed 1,000 Times In One Day
    By Cheryl B. Engelhardt -- I'm starting to learn that music promotion is not just about amazing content, it's about how you share it.
    Band Interview Tips: How to Make the Most Out of Your Interview
    By Simon Tam -- If you do a scan online, you can find many articles about how to interview a band and what kinds of questions to ask a band, but there aren't many things about what bands can do to prepare for and leverage an interview.
    The Producer's Getting Paid Checklist
    By Bobby Owsinski -- Today getting paid adequately for your services is one of the most difficult tasks facing a producer...To help you make sure that you will get paid, here's an excerpt from The Music Producer's Handbook that outlines a few questions to ask of whomever is funding the project you're about to work on.
    [When you've got the Brabec brothers, Todd and Jeff, on the panel, you've got the truth. They're on this panel.]
    The Insider's Discussion: How to Succeed (And Make Money) as a Professional Artist or Musician
    By Copyright Alliance -- Whether you're a seasoned artist or emerging in your field of choice, the questions remain the same: how do you navigate the ever-changing landscape, get your creative work noticed, build audiences and relationships, and ultimately make money doing what you love?
    Just 5% of Today's Best-Selling Songs Are Written Solely by Their Performer
    By MusicWeek -- Just one in 20 of the UK's best-selling tracks in 2012 were both soley written and performed by the same act, Music Week research shows. In the Official Top 100 Singles of 2012, 90% involved at least some additional songwriting to the recording act, whilst 5% were cover versions.

    When to Release Your Album - Month by Month
    By David Roberts -- When you should release your album depends on A LOT of factors and there's no simple reason why you should pick one month over another. It all has to do with what your plans are AFTER the release. Let's take a look.
    Patty Andrews, Leader Of The Andrews Sisters, Dies
    By Amy Blaszyk -- Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters trio, died of natural causes at her home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to her management. She was 94.

    App Smart Extra: Apps to Improve Your Singing
    By Kit Eaton -- ...singers may enjoy the free Android app Pitch Lab Pro-Chromatic Tuner. In part, this is an app aimed at helping you tune an instrument like a guitar. But its core function of listening to an input sound and reporting what musical note that sound matches may also be good for training your singing.

    In a recent Disc Makers blog post, blogger Michael Gallant discusses tips and tricks to perfect one's live show sound. The article covers preparation, how to minimize feedback, how to be knowledgeable in soundcheck, signal processing tips and more. "There are many different schools of thought when it comes to equalization, says Seddon, but he advises to keep everything..." continue reading

    Glossary of Terms Used in the Music Industry
    Compiled by Mario F. Gonzalez, Esq.


    GarageBand 101: Using Apple Loops to Help Songwriting
    By Mark Crump -- Not ready to shell out for Logic Pro? GarageBand can be a useful and relatively cheaper way to draft and write songs for budding songwriters and musicians.
    Ear Fatigue and Mixing Music - Know the Signs, Avoid Mistakes
    By Andre Calilhanna -- Ear fatigue is one of those ambiguous conditions that can occur while recording - and more likely during mix down - that you may not even recognize is happening until after the fact.
    Songwriting 101: Why Originality Matters
    By Mark Doyon -- Are you an artist or a mimic?
    [Will you be my...well, you get the idea.]
    From the Music Genome Project: The Anatomy of A Love Song
    By Steve Hogan -- For thousands of years, we humans have used music to express our affections to one another...we thought it would be amusing to mine the Music Genome Project to identify what makes a love song tick.

    Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

    Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary


    10. Song and Talent Contests

    DSA ANNUAL SONG CONTEST March 15th - June 17th

    DSA Quarterly Lyric Contest

    Wildflower Festival - deadline March 8  

    Sandra James Songwriting Contest - deadline March 31st

    See contest details at:
    Song, Lyric and Fiddle Contests

    A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of