Stax celebrates Juneteenth with ‘Songwriting Showdown'

Stax celebrates Juneteenth with ‘Songwriting Showdown'
Stax Museum (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Stax Museum Academy plans to celebrate Juneteenth with a ‘Songwriting Showdown.'

It’s a songwriting challenge for Memphis-area teens aged 13 - 18. The challenge allows them to add their voices to the current Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter Movements

Here are the rules:

  • Songs should be themed for the movement for justice and equality
  • Open to all teens who live in the Greater Memphis area (10 miles of Memphis)
  • Tempo should be midrange to fast
  • All songs submitted must be original- beat, music, and lyrics.
  • All material must be submitted by midnight on Sunday, June 26th
  • Submissions can be of any genre.
  • All files submitted must be MP3 or MP4 with an email containing the names of writer(s) and contributor(s)
  • All winners are based purely on the judges’ decisions. Submissions will be judged on lyrics, melody, arrangement, and recognizable hook. All winning submissions will be posted on SMA social media and remain the property of their creators.

All submissions should be sent as an MP3 or MP4 to ryan.peel@staxmusicacademy.org. Every submission will be judged by a panel of judges.

The judges include Kirby, Jozzy Donald, ThankGod4Kody, and CJ Tate.

Prizes for the challenge winners include:

  • 1st Place Prize: $500, Zoom critique from judges, Novation Midi keyboard, studio headphones, Isotope studio Spire
  • 2nd and 3rd Place: Novation Midi keyboard, studio headphones, Isotope studio Spire
Stax Museum reopening June 18 after closing for COVID-19 pandemic

All submissions will get a short one-pager on copyright and link to copyright registration along with a walk-through on the copyright process from the Stax Music Academy. 

The Songwriting Showdown is being sponsored by Stax Records icon Steve Cropper, former guitarist for Booker T. & the MGs and co-writer for “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay” with Otis Redding, “Knock on Wood” with Eddie Floyd, and “In the Midnight Hour” with Wilson Pickett.”

“We are dealing with two life-altering situations right now: being forced to work virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests against racism in the United States in the wake of the horrific killings of black Americans. It’s our responsibility as music educators to do our best to tackle these issues head on, and we think giving a voice to young aspiring musical artists and writers is one way to help empower a new generation to affect change by using music.”
Stax Music Academy Executive Director Pat Mitchell Worley

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