Emily Shackelton, a 21-year-old Berklee College of Music student, has won first place and a $10,000 scholarship for her song, "Goodbye," in the 10th Annual John Lennon Scholarship competition. Recognizing the best and brightest young songwriters between the ages of 15 and 24, the scholarships were announced by Ralph N. Jackson, President of the BMI Foundation, Inc.
Listen to the winning songs:
Goodbye by Emily Shackelton
Don't Forget to Breathe by Kyle Ferguson
Where to Begin by Derek Daisey
Rain Like This by Zach Hillyard
Overrated by David Smits
Shackelton, a Minnesota native, will receive her award onstage in a special presentation during the BMI Pop Awards ceremony, to be held May 15 in Los Angeles at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The black-tie dinner recognizes the writers and publishers of the past year’s 50 most performed pop songs from BMI’s catalog of more than 6.5 million compositions.
- Emily Shackelton
- Kyle Ferguson
- Derek Daisey
Tying for second place and each receiving $5,000 scholarships were Catawba College student Derek Daisey for his song “Where to Begin,” and Augustana College student Kyle Ferguson for his song “Don’t Forget to Breathe.” Honorable Mentions and $1,000 awards went to Berklee College of Music student Zach Hillyard for “Rain Like This,” and to University of Colorado Boulder student David Smits for “Overrated.”
- Zach Hillyard
- David Smits
The 2007 judges included hit songwriter Jeff Cohen, Zomba Songs’ Jennifer Blakeman, Dimensional Music Publishing’s Neil J. Gillis, esteemed jazz specialist Suzan Jenkins, and Spirit Music Group’s Justin Kalifowitz. The preliminary judging panel included Charles Feldman, Samantha Cox, Wardell Malloy, June Neira, and Ben Tischker, all from BMI's New York-based Writer/Publisher Relations team. Thousands of students representing schools from every state participated in the competition.
Established by Yoko Ono in 1997 in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, the John Lennon Scholarships have been made possible through generous donations from Ono with matching funds from Gibson Musical Instruments. Almost $200,000 has been awarded over the last ten years to students from select colleges, universities and music schools, and from national submissions from the National Association of Music Education/MENC chapters.
The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 95% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.