BMI Foundation President Ralph N. Jackson has announced the winners of the 9th Annual John Lennon Scholarships, a program that recognizes the best and brightest young songwriters between the ages of 15 and 24. This year's winners include 21-year-old Catawba College student Dennis E. Reed, Jr., who received first place honors and a $10,000 scholarship for his song, "Out of Control." The Charlotte, North Carolina native was awarded the top prize at a special presentation during the BMI Pop Awards ceremony held May 16 in Los Angeles, sharing the stage with rock band Maroon 5 and BMI Icons Crosby, Stills & Nash.
|Listen to the winning songs:|
|1st Place: "Out of Control" by Dennis E. Reed, Jr | bio|
|2nd Place: "Second in Line" by Daniel R. Mitchell | bio|
|3rd Place: "Boats and Birds" by Meredith Godreau | bio|
|3rd Place: "Night Club" by Calvin Pia | bio|
|Honorable Mention: "Heart Music" by Nathan Zoob | bio|
Second place went to University of Wisconsin student Daniel R. Mitchell, who received $5,000 for his song "Second in Line." Tying for third place and receiving $5,000 scholarships each were SUNY Purchase graduating senior Meredith Godreau for "Boats and Birds" and NYU student Calvin Pia for "Night Club." Seventeen-year-old Stuyvesant High School student Nathan Zoob, who earned an Honorable Mention for his song, "Heart Music," won a $1,000 scholarship.
|Dennis E. Reed, Jr||Daniel R. Mitchell||Meredith Godreau|
The 2006 judges included current hit songwriter Teron Beal, legendary songwriter/composer Charles Fox, esteemed jazz specialist Suzan Jenkins, Tony Award winner Maury Yeston, Columbia Records' Beka Callaway, Concord Music Group's Neil Gillis, EMI Music Publishing's Evan Lamberg and Zomba Music Publishing's Tanya Brown. The preliminary judging panel, chaired by BMI VP Charlie Feldman, included Samantha Cox, Wardell Malloy, June Neira, Ben Tischker and Erica Tompkins, all from BMI's New York-based Writer/Publisher Relations team. Thousands of students representing schools from every state participated in the competition this year. Many of them, including this year's first place winner, came through state and regional competitions administered by MENC, the National Association for Music Education.
|Calvin Pia||Nathan Zoob|
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, awarding over $175,000 to students from select colleges, universities and music schools throughout the U.S.
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.