• Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    Carnegie Hall Partners With The Rock School Scholarship Fund & Casterbridge Music Development Academy to Launch Nationwide Search For Talented Young Songwriters, Ages 13-17

    Acclaimed Recording Artist Dave Matthews Serves as Guest Judge Alongside South African Singer/Songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, Songwriter Holly Knight, Wayne Kramer (MC5), Vicki Peterson (The Bangles), Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo), and More 
    Six Finalists Will Travel to South Africa to Perform at the CDMA Route 40 Music Festival This December 
    Accepting Applications Now Through July 1: Musical Exchange 

    (New York, NY)—Carnegie Hall today announced details of a partnership with the California-based Rock School Scholarship Fund and the Casterbridge Music Development Academy in White River, South Africa, to launch a nationwide search across the United States for talented young songwriters, ages 13-17. Applicants are invited to submit their original songs through Carnegie Hall’s online community, Musical Exchange (musicalexchange.carnegiehall.org), for a chance to be one of six young songwriters from the US to travel to South Africa and perform at the CDMA Route 40 Music Festival this December, opening for some of the South Africa’s biggest acts. Applications will be screened by a listening committee made up of music professionals who will advance a group of finalists. The finalists will then be reviewed by a panel of world renowned artists including multi-platinum selling musician Dave Matthews, acclaimed South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, Wayne Kramer (MC5), Vicki Peterson (The Bangles), Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo), and Songwriter Hall of Fame 2013 inductee Holly Knight (Tina Turner’s “The Best”, Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield”), plus a variety of South African musicians. See below for the full list of judges.

    Musical Exchange is Carnegie Hall’s free, online community for music students, created to connect them with other young musicians from around the world. Throughout the fall, applicants to the songwriting project can use Musical Exchange to engage with their peers from South Africa through a series of online collaborative projects, including video chats, songwriting challenges, and other activities. Curated by music professionals, these projects will be designed to spark students’ creativity and collaboration, while giving them specific skills that will help them develop as songwriters. Applications are being accepted now through July 1. To be considered, applicants must do the following:

    1. Join Carnegie Hall's Musical Exchange

    2. Access the members-only application page and fill out online application

        In the online application, Carnegie Hall will ask applicants to:

        •  Upload a video performing an original song, alone or with a band, along with a copy of the
           song’s lyrics.

        •  Submit a video personal statement about the most memorable musical experience or
           greatest musical inspiration of the applicant’s life.

        •  Tell Carnegie Hall about themselves. (How many songs have you written? What instruments
           do you play? How long have you been writing songs?)

        •  Provide contact information for a parent or guardian, plus current school, principal, and
           music teacher.

        •  Pay a one-time application fee of $12.

    VIP judges from the US include:

        •  Dave Matthews
        •  Holly Knight (Songwriters Hall of Fame 2013)
        •  Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo)
        •  Vicki Peterson (The Bangles)
        •  Wayne Kramer (MC5)

    VIP judges from South Africa:

        •  Vusi Mahlasela
        •  Craig Hinds (Watershed)
        •  Elvis Blue (Platinum selling South African singer/songwriter)
        •  Jason Hartman (Winner of Idols in South Africa)
        •  Kabelo Mabalane (TKZee)
        •  Kahn Morbee (The Parlotones)
        •  Ross Learmonth (Prime Circle)
        •  Zolani Mahola (Freshly Ground)

    About the Partners
    Founded in 1891, New York City’s Carnegie Hall presents exceptional performances by the world’s finest artists on its three stages—the renowned Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, the intimate Weill Recital Hall, and the innovative Zankel Hall—ranging from orchestral concerts, chamber music, and solo recitals to jazz, world, and popular music. Extensive music education and community programs developed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute support Carnegie Hall’s commitment to fostering the future of music. More than 400,000 people will engage in the Weill Music Institute’s programs over the next year through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall. For more information on Carnegie Hall and other Weill Music Institute programs supporting the ongoing development of young musicians, please visit carnegiehall.org.

    The Rock School Scholarship Fund (RSSF) is a 501c3 public charity that provides tuition assistance to underserved kids ages 7 to 17 who want to attend any rock music school in the US. With music programs being cut back in public schools, private after-school programs have taken their place, but many families cannot afford the $150 to $350 per month for their child to attend. Co-founders Wendy Winks and Carl Restivo started the Rock School Scholarship Fund in 2010, while running the School of Rock in Hollywood. The pair left the School of Rock that year and have focused their passion for music education on building the RSSF into a national program. The RSSF currently works with over 50 rock schools in twenty states. http://www.rockschoolfund.org

    Casterbridge Music Development Academy (CMDA) is a registered Non-Profit Organization and Public Benefit Organization (PBO). The CMDA currently manages a music program in South Africa’s rural Mpumalanga province out of three hubs within walking distance of their beneficiaries and out of a performing arts center in White River. Their vision is to lead in the development of an inspired and socially responsible youth, through exposure, education, and participation in music. Their focus is to locate teenagers with a passion for music and the performing arts and to actively develop their talent. The goal is to create functional groups and bands that are able to entertain and inspire their communities and to confidently perform in public. http://www.mpuma-music.org.za/

    Sony Corporation of America is the proud lead sponsor of Carnegie Hall's Musical Exchange.

    With additional funding from Bank of America.

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