A month ago 10 finalists were selected from hundreds of entries received for the 2018 Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest. Saturday, May 19th the finalists competed on the United Healthcare Singer Songwriter Stage inside the Eisemann Center during the 26th Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival in Richardson. The judges awarded Eric Bettencourt (Texas), Kristen Grainger (Oregon), and Brian Pounds (Texas) as the top three finalists and the audience voted that Kyle Donovan (Colorado) should receive the Michael Terry People’s Choice Award. All four musicians received $500 in cash prize and invited to share the stage again in a Songwriting Contest Swap on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
At nineteen years young, Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest finalist Emma Walsh may be only teetering on the precipice of formal adulthood, but her music is rich in maturity and sophistication. Having recently completed her first year at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (Percussion Performance) we caught up with Emma to learn a little more about this blossoming musical ingenue.
Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival: What song inspired you to become a songwriter?
Walsh: In second grade, my parents got me two Norah Jones albums “Feels Like Home” and “Not Too Late” for Christmas. It was while listening to these two albums non-stop that I first realized that writing songs was a thing and that it was what I wanted to do. I’ve always loved creating new things, and through songwriting I can do that. I was always intrigued by how everyone kept coming up with new things to write about and sing about in songs, this fascination then became somewhat of a challenge for myself to write songs and then I ended up falling in love.
The Rich Girls have a simple motto: We will make your dreams come true! Don’t be fooled by the name- this is not your typical Hall & Oats cover band. The Rich Girls have been making the rounds in the metroplex and wowing audiences with their unique renditions of traditional Hall & Oats tunes, as well as, clever interpretations of current pop, rock, and rap. They take the stage on Friday, May 18 at 9:00 pm. Read the recent article featured on our blog: “The Rich Girls Will Make Your Dreams Come True.“
We are excited to announce the finalist results of the 2018 Wildflower! Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest. Hundreds of entries poured in from all over the country and the 10 finalists have been chosen. The selection is a blind screening process by several experienced music promoters, songwriters, and educators familiar with original songwriting and performing techniques.
The finalists will perform on the United Healthcare Singer Songwriter Stage in the Eisemann Center the weekend of the Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival on Saturday, May 19th at 11:30 a.m. Three of these artists will receive a $500 cash award. The Michael Terry People’s Choice Award will also be judged by the audience and presented at the end of the performances. The winners of the final contest are invited to perform on the Courtyard Stage on Sunday, May 20th and sell their music or merchandise to fans. Lodging and access to the Green Room is provided as well as weekend festival passes for the finalist and a guest.