Monday, January 9, 2017

SONGWRITERS NOTES DSA E-News #183 January 2017

Happy New Year,
  On December 13th, DSA presented it's Song Contest Awards at the Christmas Dinner at Son's of Hermann Hall. A celebration of the year's most talented songwriters the evening featured performances by some the semifinalists, including Hayley McDaniel, John Mason, Rick Babb , Rio King, Ireland Casteel, Richie Smith, Shawn Layer, DeDe Wedekind, and Chris Michael Siostrom. The event is streamed on facebook and you can find the program with photos on our website at
Our grand prize winner is  Read Grand Prize Judge Roy Elkins comments. See the complete list
Next Deadline for the Winter Lyric Contest is March 31st See #5 below.

DSA now has 7 regular monthly events. Our regular DSA monthly events are 1st and 3rd Monday SongSwaps and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Thursdays, (NO OPEN MIC ON THE LAST MONDAY) and our 2nd Tuesday Workshop and Critiques. The 4th Saturday Showcase at Angela's IS THE 3RD SATURDAY THIS MONTH. NO HALF PRICE OPEN MIC IN MARCH.
The Second Tuesday Meeting is at the old location, the Meadows Center this month of January, but WILL MOVE TO to the 1st Thursday in February, changing the location to Half Price Books on NW Highway. Tell us what you think or if you have an idea of a great meeting place.
Did you know we are live streaming on Facebook? Thanks to Harry Hewlett you can view some of our open mics and guest speakers in a live stream on Facebook? See guest our guest speakers, and latest Angela's showcase. Can't make it? Then tune into Facebook/dallassongwriters. Want to be on our facebook streams? Show up and perform.

For those of you that didn't know... Al Johnson, former Parks Director for the City of Richardson and founder of the Wildflower Festival passed away on Monday, December 26. His is a huge loss to the singer-songwriter world. His memorial celebration was held at the Eisemann Center in Richardson last Friday and Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, Will and Crystal Yates, Bill Ward and Michael Hatley, and Tim Phillips all performed various songs that Al liked and requested. Al was the key to DSA's involvement at the Wildflower Festival. He contacted me and asked for our help in getting out the word about the festival many years ago and asked me to judge the entries. I've had the good fortune to do so a number of times over the years. One thing led to another and DSA found themselves managing a stage and our involvement has evolved to running the Courtyard Stage. Al has been a big influence on DSA through the years. He will be greatly missed by the songwriting community way beyond the DFW area. Listen to Al's favorite song by Guy Clark, The Cape.

Thanks to Paul Zander, Michael Brandenberger, Bobby Montgomery, Jon Jaggers, Mimi Balkey, Suzi Morse, Rio King, Jared LoStratto and Bill Kapac for their contributions to DSA. Just a reminder that we are a non-profit and your tax deductible donations are always welcome. Follow this link to our donation spot on the website.


Spring 2016 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Fall 2016 Songwriters Notes Hardcopy pdf version




GRAND PRIZE WINNERS  Read Grand Prize Judge Roy Elkins comments
Grand Prize Winner Bill Wren

1. Enchanted Kingdom by Bill Wren and Frank Ralls, Port Aransas, TX 

Known as the Songbird of Texas, Bill Wren is an award winning songwriter who says, about his undying love for songwriting,"Music is the way I express what's in my heart without words. I strive for beauty and peace in the songs that I compose and hope that they bring the same peace and enjoyment in others." Bill was born in Corpus Christi, and is now settled on the water in Fulton, TX .
2. Just Can’t Drown a Broken Heart by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX
3. CLEANSING RAIN by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX

Runner Up Jared LoStracco

Growing up in East Texas, Jared LoStracco picked up is love for music listening to his father`s country records. In high school, LoStracco learned to play the guitar from his older brother and quickly started playing his favorites songs from artists such as Willie Nelson, Waylong Jennings, Robert Earl Keen, and Pat Green.

Bobby Montgomery awards Chris Michael 3rd place Country for Wanted Man
Barbe awards Rick Babb 3rd place Novelty/Childrens for Roly Poly. Rick also won 3rd place Chrisian for Praise You

Harry Hewlett awards Richie Smith Honorable Mention in Pop for For A Reason

Harry Hewlett Awards Haley McDaniel 1st Place Singer Songwriter for Small Town Masquerade

2016 Winners
2016 Semifinalist
Winner of the Drawing for the IPod -  Jeffery Moore, Baton Rouge, LA  His entry, This Love, #102 was drawn.
Awards Dinner Streamed on Facebook
Photos of the Awards Dinner
Now in its 26th year, The DSA 2016 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes.

GRAND PRIZE  -   A Casio Privia Piano
and a Nashville recording session at Beaird Music Group. 
Beaird Music Group

1st Runner Up
 wins studio time at
River Sounds Recording Resort

2nd Runner up
wins recording time at 

Grand Prize winners receive:
($199.95 Value) 
Includes Artist Website, 1 Yr. Hosting
1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership

Category winners get cash prizes


Read interview with 2015 winner T Edwin Doss and learn about out other Grand Prize Winners❤ 
Did you miss the Awards Dinner? Here's a blow by blow courtesy of Dan Roark

1. Jessie Brown by T. Edwin Doss, Silver Spring, MD
2. Real Love Next Time by Bonnie Warren, Philadelphia, PA
3. Aina Hanu by John Keawe, Kapaau, Hawaii


MC and GRAND PRIZE JUDGE,  ROY ELKINS, left us with extensive comments on the grand prize winners and more.

Hard Copy of Songwriters Notes Spring 2016 issue with 2015 winners 


 WINNER OF THE IPOD – Samuel Miller, Chico, CA


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.



An old fashion guitar pull where songwriters can come and perform their works in front of a small group of fellow artists for feedback and positive critique. You songs can be a work in progress or a completed song. Bring lyrics for people to write down their comments. Also, this is a chance for us to hear performers who have been wanting a slot at the Wildflower Festival. 
We will have a CD player and a bluetooth speaker, so if you do not perform, bring your recorded material in any form. This is free to members and visitors alike, So bring a friend. Let's get to know the talent in DSA and help each other grow our songwriting talent.
Our Prez will also present the new plans we have for DSA in the coming year of 2017.
Meadows Conference Center
2900 Live Oak
Free to ALL. 

Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30

We will still be doing monthly song critiques for free at each meeting after the guest speaker presentation, The feedback will be free. The competition has moved online and is still $10 for MEMBERS ONLY to compete for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. You can enter online or  email an Mp3 to Harry, or give him a CD at the meetings.

Future Meetings
Feb 2: MOVES TO 1ST THURSDAY at Half Price Books - Rod Phelps from the American Music Channel
March 20th: MOVES TO 3RD MONDAY at TINO'S TOO in Plano


Recordings of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

Oct 2016 Barbara McMillen - Polishing Your Final Draft by Applying the Secrets of the Popular Song.

Sept 2016 Joe Milton on Preparing for a Recording Session

1 of 2
2 of 2

Reviews of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

Oct 2015  Tirk Wilder
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
 Jame Pappas, Gigi Gostas coordinating.
We'll be in the Community Room at the back left in the building.

Tino's - Steve Sullivan, Gigi Gostas coordinating.
Tino's Too Mexican Restaurant 2205 Ave K, Plano, Tx  972 881-9226

3. BEST SONGS of the 2nd Tuesday Meeting - this program is changing this year and is moving online. It will be called the Best Songs of the Month.

2016 Winners - That Window Closes Fast by Rio King
2. Play Me Sump'm Like Dat by Rio King
3. I'm Singing My Heart Out In Dallas Tonight by Charles Carter
2016  - Finalists
January - Time to Leave by Beth Murphy
February - My Pickup Truck by Charles Carter

March - Last Chance to Dance in Texas by Rio King
April - I'm Singing My Heart Out In Dallas Tonight by Charles Carter 
May - Dallas by Charles Carter
June - none
July - none
Aug - no meeting
Sept - Play Me Sump'm Like Dat - Rio King
Oct - no critiques 
 Nov - That Window Closes Fast by Rio King

Here is the list of winners of the meeting critiques from which the top three were chosen thanks to Judge, Mr. Troll, Poor Davids Pub.

Q&A With Winner, Dori Weaver 

Songwriter of the Year 2015 - 2016
is Rio King with the most wins at the meeting critiques
To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
To hear the winners go to our Soundcloud page




HALF PRICE BOOKS OPEN MIC - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist
EVERY 1ST THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
I wanted to let you know that Half Price Books is hosting an author event on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m. NO OPEN MIC IN MARCH.

EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Hosted by  Craig St.Clair 
In November 2015, DSA celebrated 11 years at Dunn Brothers
see review of

BURGER EDGE - North Dallas
EVERY 2ND THURSDAY - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger and rotating guest host.
BURGER"S EDGE inRichardson
3rd Saturday 6:30 -8:30
7529 Campbell Rd. at Coit
This a perfect venue for an open mic because it has a nice stage with a complete sound system. It also has a great food menu if you want to come early to eat or invite friends who can enjoy a very tasty burger or chicken sandwich while they listen to you perform.  
Rotating host. Interested in hosting an open mic? email Michael.

3rd Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 Check out our facebook page where Harry is posting live streaming.
Hosted by Dan Roark
Other area open mics OPEN MICS

5. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked MARCH 31

or by mail

 Addiction by Ireland Casteel, Grapevine, TX

Barbe presenting to Ireland
Ireland is a local singer songwriter who, even at the young age of 15, is a storyteller at heart that effortlessly captivates listeners with lyrics that speak directly to the audience.  She started writing songs and playing guitar and ukulele at age 12 and has over 20 originals already under her belt! Ireland is also a winner in the Song Contest with her song Eenie Meenie.
Addiction by Ireland Casteel, Grapevine, TX
Blue Collar Man by Charles Carter, Dallas, Tx
River of Memories by Charles Carter, Dallas, TX
The Whole Nine Yards by John Coughlin, Eureka, MO
Angels and Strangers by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Friday Night by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Open Blinds by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ

See Summer winners on the website:

2016 Spring Winners on the website: :

See winners from 2016 and 2015 listed in the DSA 2016 Fall Hardcopy of Songwriters Notes featuring winner, Bill Kapac on front page. This issue was handed out at the Arlington Guitar Show in October.

See Winter 2016 on website:


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



Wanna get involved? Become a committee member. It's fun! Be apart of the inner workings of the DSA. We have committee positions open. Let us know if you'd like to be on the board. Just show up a our membership meeting.

Directors elected at our Nov 8th Annual Membership Meeting were:
Michael BrandenbergerBobby MontgomeryDicky JohnsonRachel WilhelmDan RoarkBarbe McMillenJoe Milton, Marcus Belmore, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren, James Pappas, Ginger Stanoiu, Malini Shaw and Harry Hewlett. New officers to be elected at the planning meeting on Jan 7th. 

Current Officers
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - Executive VP, VP Programs
Dicky Johnson - Treasurer
Secretary - Ginger Stanoiu
Dan Roark - Lyric Contest Director, showcases, workshops
Barbe McMillen - Communications, Administration, Newsletter
Harry Hewlett - A/R
VACANCY - VP of Membership 
Steve Sullivan and James Pappas - SongSwap Coordinators
Joe Milton, Ken Duren - At Large
Rachel Wilheim - Technology
Marcus Belmore - Webmaster

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Have you joined our member only yahoo group where you can talk with the group and get special offers and last minute updates on events? subscribe:

                   PATRON SAINTS: PAUL ZANDER
Patron Sponsor L3: Bobby Montgomery, Michael Brandenberger, Bill Honker
Patron Sponsor L1: Cliff MonroeSuzi MorseJon JaggersRio King
Patron Sponsor: Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBER and RENEWED MEMBER SONG CONTEST WINNERS: Hayley McDaniel, Debra M Gussin, Denise Rosier, Deborah "DeDe" Wedekind, Al Marcy, Don Coyne, Robert Graham, Richie Smith, Renee Safier, Charles Carter, Pamela Olivia, Jared LoStracco, Tim Sharp, Bill Wren , Rick Babb, Michael Roth, Randy Sauer, Ireland Casteel, Christopher Siostrom, Nitanee Paris Lawson, Conrad Swartz, Randy Overton
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Brandon Elliot, Michael Yuhas
THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Joe Milton, Harry Hewlett, Rio King, Morri Hartgraves, Barbara McMillen, Bobby Montgomery, Randy Wallace, Ken Golden, Bill Honker

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN FEBAnthony Castillo, Mark Pierce, Katrina Pitts
EXPIRED IN MARCHPete Miller, Tippy Balady, Phoenix Rose, Tim York
EXPIRED IN APRIL: Phillip Wildman, Shane Andrews
EXPIRED IN MAY: Ted Pearce, Mark Evans, Tamara Stamps, Ray Baker, Timothy McGarity 
EXPIRED IN JUNE: John Thomas Lane
EXPIRED IN JULYMichael Franceus, Tom Prasado Rao, Crystal Taylor, Bill Sibley
EXPIRED IN AUGYanna Zovich, Minnie Murray, Warren Hanson

EXPIRED IN OCTDenise Rosier, Katie Hardyman, Charlie Hill, Raquel Nguyen, Darren Rozell, M'Lynn Musgrove, Stephen McKinnell, Jenni Peal, Jay Gallagher, Rick Webster
EXPIRED IN DEC: Michael Brandenberger, Buck Morgan, Ross Vick, Anthony Groom, Kathryn Taylor, David Morales, Ashley Sichler, Brad Davis, Scott White
TIME TO RENEW: Jeff Moxcey, Robin Carr, Gene Schillaci, Troll Mallow, Andrew Plan, Terry Bloss, Cousin Don Brown, Erin ( Cat)    McGee, Tony Ramey, Lucia Comnes, Gracie Lott, James  Bennett, Rob Cariddi, Tyler Hook, Sarah Ashley, Christopher Hart, John Keawe, Katie Riley, Marc Tilson, Mathew Stemme, Patrice Luce Chapman, John Jaggers, Clark McAlister, Ginger Stanoiu
  Renew your membership online.
You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right
Or paste this link in your browser:



(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.)

NEW SONGWRITING CAMP  in Tucson, Arizona
February 9-12, 2017
The camp is limited to 30 participants to ensure that each participant has time to interact with each of the three instructors - Sally Barris, Cliff Eberhardt, and Cosy Sheridan – WHO all nationally known touring singer/songwriters, and each is also in demand as a teacher, for both beginning and experienced songwriters. The camp will be held at the Biosphere 2 conference center, and will include workshops, song circles, and one-on-one critiques. For more information, see or contact Melissa Tatum at or 520-375-3811

Songwriter Symposium 2017: JAN 11 - 15. Your chance to pre-register for ASG's Songwriter Symposium 2017 at the discount price of $225 expires at midnight on Wednesday, the 30th of November. On Thursday, the 1st of December the price to register will increase to $375.00. For details and to register, visit the Symposium 2017 page at the ASG website.

Steve Seskin's 13th Annual Songcrafting Seminar at the Bluebird Cafe. JAN 27 - 29 . This year is going to be better than ever with new workshops and our very special guests including hit songwriters JT Harding (Kenny Chesney “Somewhere With You"), Heather Morgan, (Brett Eldredge “Lose My Mind”), and publisher Dan Hodges. The details about the event are below.  For more information please email Phil Goldberg at  Or you can jump right in and REGISTER HERE!
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.


2 DSA Song Swap at Half Price Books
5 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
10 DSA Second Tuesday Meeting
11 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge
11 - 15 ASG Songwriters Seminar - Austin, Tx
14 - 8pm - Radney Foster - Texas Tunes Concert Series MCL Grand Lewisville
16 Song Swap at Tinos
18 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
21 DSA Showcase at Angelas
27 - 29 Steve Seskin's Songcrafting Workshop at Bluebird, Nashville, TN

1-3 ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop
2 DSA Monthly Meeting at Half Price Books
6 DSA Song Swap at Half Price Books
8 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge
12 Grammy Awards
1 DSA Second Tuesday Meeting
14- 19 Folk Alliance Conference, Kansas City
16 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
20  DSA Song Swap at Tinos
25 DSA Showcase at Angelas 
27 - 29 Steve Seskin's Songcrafting Workshop at Bluebird, Nashville, TN

8 DSA Song Swap at Half Price Books
9 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge
20 DSA Monthly Meeting at Tinos Too
16 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
25 DSA Showcase at Angelas 
Down the line in Lewisville
Saturday April 8, 2017 - Terri Hendrix/Lloyd Maines Songwriting Workshop 
Sunday, April 9, 2017 - 6:30pm - Terri and Lloyd - Black Box Songwriter Concert Series 
May 17 - Joe Ely - Black Box Songwriter Concert Series 

Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.

Go to the events page to view links to local and Texas venues.


9. Featured Articles:

Bas Grasmayer takes a look at the changing role of the consumer, the ways in which music is evolving, and some of the business models attached to it
By Daniel Adrian Sanchez
Warner/Chappell (WCM) together with Girl Scouts of the USA announced the launch of the youth organization's first-ever original song with the help of WCM songwriters.
By Cari Romm

Posted by Bruce Houghton

American songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and a cappella singer, arranger, and digital music powerhouse Peter Hollens has 1.5M followers on YouTube and another 500K on Facebook. His videos regularly get millions of views and have won support from thousands of fans on Patreon...and he says he's on track to gross over seven-figures this year. And here’s what Hollens wants the world to know: You can build a substantial career, with substantial income, by throwing some of the old industry rules and structures out the window. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Janelle Rogers
A goal without a plan is just a wish.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Paul Corsi
How do you know if you're doing everything right? Here are a few ways to know if you're actually sabotaging your PR success.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

With CD Baby's cover song licensing, you can license and distribute your cover song (to platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc.), manage it all from one account, and CD Baby will handle all of your accounting and mechanical royalty payments FOREVER.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Angela Mastrogiacomo

Bob Baker discusses how many beginning musicians often go astray when pitching their music to tastemakers, and how setting and working towards clear goals is important to achieving success as an artist.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Rachel Bresnahan

You are probably too young to remember, but there was a time when great music and great sound intersected and the experience was oh, so sublime.
PC World
Setting up an awesome sound system from your PC can be daunting, with various file formats, storage options, and external equipment to consider. This primer will get you rocking.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Liam Duncan
Let's face it, it happens. At some point in your career as an artist, you will be offered the "opportunity" to pay to play a show. These offers come in all shapes and sizes.  From sneaky promoters looking to take advantage of naive bands to legitimate opportunities. ... Should band pay to play ... in short ... maybe.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Ari Herstand
Remember, nothing in the music industry is black and white. Not streaming. Not pirating music. Not playing gigs for free. Is playing for free ever okay? Short answer is yes. Should bands take free gigs? Short answer is maybe. But nothing in the music industry can accurately be answered with a short answer. Use this guide to help you decide if the gig is right for you.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif


By Colin Fleming
"Strawberry Fields Forever" represents one of the most daunting achievements of the Beatles' career, and a landmark in 20th-century music as a whole, but what if someone was to say there exists a "Strawberry Fields" recording that surpasses the single released in February 1967? A fatuous claim? Or a gateway to the most revealing of all Beatles recordings? Read how song evolved from intimate John Lennon demo into sublime studio attempt and immortal finished version  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif



Al Johnson at Wildflower with Mains and Hendricks

Al's favorite song by Guy Clark

By Seymour Stein
The Sire Records chairman recalls Reynolds' 1957 hit "Tammy" and the music revolution underfoot. ... "Tammy" which in 1957 topped the Billboard charts and became the year's highest ranked song by a female artist. "It was a MOST important year for music and Debbie Reynolds was a big part of it," Stein says. 'Tammy' had to be unique to fare so well in the face of such dramatic changes."  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Tony Fletcher
I interviewed George Michael in 1983, soon after he became a teen idol. But before that, he was our new music hero.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Train passengers enjoy a Magical Piano in Chicago Union Station that responds in real time to its environment. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Musician Keith Medley makes beautiful music on his one-of-a-kind 27-string guitar that he created.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Helen Brown
Buddy Holly's 1958 performance inspired the young Mick Jagger to form his own band. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Jeff Bond
How intimidating is it to be the first person other than John Williams to score a Star Wars film? “… We were at Fox, and we used the Star Wars main title as a warm-up, to have some fun and test our mics. And when that started playing, I just thought, ‘Oh my God, this is insane that I get to be doing this.’ It wasn't until that moment that I really got scared.” -Michael GiacchinoContinue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Ryan Delarosa

Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary

Great web tool for lyric writing
10. Song and Talent Contests

 DSA Quarterly Lyric Contest
Next deadline - Dec 31

DSA Song Contest Closed - Winners Announced Dec 13 

Composers: Score for Film Festival
Now in its fourth year, the Los Angeles Live Score Film Festival’s goal is to highlight the role of collaboration between composers and filmmakers. Featuring short films with original scores performed live-to-picture, selected film composers will be paired with a winning filmmaker to create an original score for the festival. Awards for Best Picture and Best Musical Score will be presented at the close of the festival, and awardees will be given free studio time to have the music recorded, edited and set to picture for release. The submission deadline is Feb. 1, 2017.

Jon B. Lovelace Fellowship Accepting Applications
The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites scholars to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship for advanced research based on the Alan Lomax Collection, a collection of ethnographic field audio recordings, motion pictures, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and other materials. The fellowship provides an opportunity, for up to eight months with a stipend of $4,200 per month, for concentrated use of materials from the Alan Lomax Collection, Lomax Family Collections and other collections of the Library of Congress. Apply by: Feb. 1, 2017.
Click To Apply

US State Dept Seeks Artists for International Touring
Application Deadline is 11:59pm PST on January 27, 2017

Texas music bands and ensembles of 3-5 members are encouraged to apply for the 2017-2018 American Music Abroad (AMA) Tour Season, a program funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Association of American Voices."

"The AMA program is designed to foster communication and people-to-people connection around the world through month-long tours by American bands in countries with little or no access to live American musical performances and expertise," writes Executive Director of American Voices, John Ferguson.

AMA is seeking ensembles that demonstrate outstanding musical talent, in addition to strong community outreach, educational programming and cultural diplomacy skills that can be scaled and tailored to fit any type of international audience. "We welcome any traditionally American musical genre; hip hop, rock & roll, indie, Latin, R&B, jazz, blues, country, Broadway, gospel, Native American, soul and more," Ferguson continued.

The FREE online application -

Criteria -

A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of

11. Songwriting Resources -  Now accepting book reviews

Links to websites about songwriting, performance, music industry.

DSA Book Store - reviews, links, lists of recommended reading, and what's in the DSA Library.

12. Archives of Past Programs and Activities


Did you know???  DSA held two song contests for active military and the CDs of the winning songs, Songs From the Soul of Service Vols. 1 and 2 are available.
Tribute to our fallen soldiers from DFW at our Podomatic site:
You Know Me Tribute to Fallen
Read the latest story about this years winners

View past showcase performances and workshops on Crossroads Youtube.

DSA depends on your support.

Giving Rocks! While it never hurts to remind you that DSA is a non-profit organization (and so your contributions are tax-deductible) -  this year it means so much more. We're proud to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a non-profit. DSA has been an organized songwriter group since 1985 and became a non-profit in 1990.

Your gift
 enables us to meet our mission.

Our programs created to meet our mission goals are: a monthly newsletter, workshops, critique sessions, showcases, contests, networking opportunities and community service.
If you like what we do, and want to help us keep doing it, please make a contribution today. Gifts of all sizes are meaningful and appreciated.
Donations are welcome year round. 
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions for the newsletter, please let me know. Follow me on Twitter @barbemcmillen. Give me a tweet.

  Barbara McMillen, Editor
  Songwriter Notes
  Founding President Emeritus,
  Online Songwriting Workshops and Classes