Festival Miami Brings Songwriter’s Showcase

On October 21, Festival Miami and student-run company Cat 5 Music Publishing present the Songwriter’s Showcase, a competition judged by Grammy award-winning artists Bruce Hornsby and Shawn Colvin. The showcase will feature 14 students from the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program competing for the opportunity to open for Bruce Hornsby and Shawn Colvin in concert the following night. The performers will sing and play original works, in the spirit of the new program.

The Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program is a new program that was founded by Hornsby in 2008. In this program, University of Miami music students learn the craft of songwriting. Hornsby has offered a generous donation to the school, as well as his own expertise in lyric writing, melody writing, and making song arrangements, in order for the program to be a success. Although other schools offer songwriting as a major/minor, this program is set aside because the performers not only learn how to write the material, but they also learn how to perform it. The Songwriter Showcase is now an annual event, with this year marking the second year.

Among the students performing this year are Elaine Maltezos and Bridget Davis, last year’s winner and third runner-up respectively. Maltezos says that last year, “I was overwhelmingly appreciative of the opportunity to play my music in front of a big audience. That’s my dream.”

Davis had a similar experience, and said, “being recognized for songwriting is one of the best feelings! Recognition is reinforcement that I’m doing something well. It was a cool feeling to know that someone whose music I listen to was listening to my music.”

Maltezos also said, “My advice to the ‘competitors’ would be to forget competition. Just have fun doing your thing ‘cause that’s what it’s all about.”

Festival Miami is proud to feature this event this year. The annual music festival provides a four-week period of 20 concerts with a wide array of styles, from classical to hip-hop. Among the artists performing are three-time Grammy award winner Shawn Colvin and University of Miami alumnus Bruce Hornsby. The joint concert is on October 22 at 8 p.m. in Gusman Hall, with the winner of the Songwriter’s Showcase as the opening act.

If you go:

WHAT: Songwriter’s Showcase

WHO: UM Songwriters, Bruce Hornsby, Shawn Colvin

WHEN: Wednesday at 8 p.m.

COST: Free admission