Wednesday, July 6 2022 - 7:26 PM

Sharing Christ Through the Arts

Denielle Jameson

inSpire 2021 Songwriting Awards

inSpire has sponsored songwriting contests for a number of years, with each one being uniquely different. Some years have resulted in 20 or so songs being submitted, while others have netted 50, 75, and even 100. Over time, the submission requirements have changed. Originally, writers were asked to submit an mp3 of their best material which resulted in a wide range of production quality. Songs were recorded with handheld recorders, computers, smartphone apps, or in professional recording studios. In the past, it was felt that allowing professionally recorded songs to be submitted took away from the purpose of the contest.

The original intent of the contest was to encourage songwriters within the Adventist community throughout the Pacific Union Conference and the North American Division. The contest has never evaluated the product quality of the recordings, although it makes it harder for the judges to stay focused on the integrity and construction of the song when it is produced very well. Sometimes the production quality gets in the way (both good and bad quality). Each year, the judges are reminded to focus on the integrity of the song itself—the music and the lyrics, and not the production.

Eventually, we leveled the playing field by asking all submissions to be recorded on smartphones and submitted as raw video songs. This has put the focus back on the song itself.

In 2021, we had 21 submissions that featured Adventist songwriters from around the division. Those who were awarded are listed below, along with a link to our Vimeo Showcase where all the submissions can be viewed and heard.

First Place AwardVessel, by Denielle Jameson, Thompsonville, IL

Second Place AwardLord, You Are My God, by Debbie Miranda, Windsor, CO

Third Place AwardIt’s About You, by Jessica Kisunzu, Colorado Springs, CO

We are grateful to each one who submitted to this year’s contest. Keep writing songs that bring good to life!

inSpire 2021 Judges

Greg Evans – Palmdale, California (Jury Foreman)John Millea – Bristow, Oklahoma
Steve Moor – Days Creek, Oregon
James Ponder – Loma Linda, CaliforniaKathy Rollins – Auburn, California

If you enjoyed this, you might like Songs Remembered.

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