Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The organizers of the Wintersong Songwriters Workshop, coming up at the Mountain Arts Community Center Saturday, March 10, are accepting scholarship applications until Thursday, March 1.
The all-day workshop is designed for aspiring songwriters interested in honing their skills. Wintersong will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until 4:30 p.m., followed by a concert performed by workshop leaders and participants at the MACC auditorium at 7 p.m.
“[Participants] can spend a day absorbing ideas and it will help them network with like-minded folks,” said workshop instructor Tom Brown, who met fellow instructors Kathy Reed and Grammy Award-winning songwriter Louisa Branscomb at a songwriters’ concert and recruited them for the workshop. “It will help them to hone their craft; I think it’s helped some people get jump-started who were closet songwriters.”
Full and partial scholarships for the $95 workshop ($85 for Signal Mountain residents) are available for high school juniors and seniors.
“We always try to reach out to pull in high school students to participate,” said Brown. “We want high school students who are serious about their songwriting aspirations.”
MACC Executive Director Barb Storm said she felt a songwriting workshop would be a fitting program for a fine arts center.
“It’s such high quality, and anybody who’s aspiring to be a songwriter should rub elbows with other songwriters to gain from their experience,” she said.
Sessions will cover topics including the art and craft of songwriting, tapping into one’s own life experiences to write songs, creative exercises to beat writer’s block, writing a strong introduction and the business aspects of songwriting, such as how to gain exposure.
Instructors and students will hold a performance that evening open to the public with a $5 admission charge.
“They get a chance to do a whole concert with very favorable conditions and a supportive audience,” said Brown. “For a lot of participants, this is a chance to get on the stage for the first time and get to share their songs.”
Applicants are required to submit the lyrics to an original composition, a release form, a permission form and a completed application form, available for download online at http://wintersongworkshop.com/scholarships.html.
Storm, who previously directed the art department at the Atlanta International School for nearly a decade, said she wants to bring in other experts in their respective crafts to hold workshops on topics such as stage combat or mask making. She said she hopes to make Wintersong an annual event as well.
Now in its fourth year, the workshop began in Dalton and was held for the past two years at Barking Legs Theater. Brown said a previous participant suggested they relocate to the MACC.
“It’s a real nice facility with individual classrooms, and it just seemed like a great place to do it,” he said.