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Area songwriters invited to enter bicentennial contest

Dispatch Staff Report

July 22, 2017


In celebration of Mississippi's bicentennial, Main Street Columbus and the Columbus Arts Council present the Mississippi Bicentennial Songwriting Contest. Golden Triangle songwriters in Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Clay Counties are invited to enter by an Aug. 31 deadline to vie for cash prizes. There is no cost to enter. 


Amateur and professional contestants at least 16 years of age are encouraged to submit original songs celebrating the Magnolia State. No recordings are necessary to enter; all judging will be of live performance. Songs should be no longer than five minutes and may have multiple cowriters, but only one name should be designated on the entry. One entry per songwriter or songwriting team is allowed.  


The first round of live performance judging will be for a panel of five judges only (no audience) on Friday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rosenzweig Arts Center. Eight finalists will be invited to perform in a second round free public concert Tuesday, Oct. 10 in the Trotter Convention Center Courtyard beginning at 5:30 p.m. No more than two people can be on stage during a performance. Songs will be judged on melody, composition, originality and lyrics. Winners will be announced Oct. 10. Prizes are $300 first place, $200 second place and $100 for third place. 


This event, an official bicentennial project, is made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the Mississippi Development Authority. Bicentennial project sponsors also include Visit Columbus, Mississippi Arts Commission, The Dispatch, Mississippi University for Women Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy and an anonymous donor's gift in memory of Lilla Pratt Rosamond and John Brown. 


For more information and contest rules, contact Main Street Columbus, 662-328-6305 or visit

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