8th Annual Bethesda Songwriting Contest


Juliette Lloyd, winner 2022

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District announces the eighth annual Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards, an opportunity for local songwriters and musicians who reside in Maryland, Washington, DC or Virginia.

The deadline for applications is Friday, December 9, 2022.

A grand prize of $10,000 will be awarded to the winning songwriter. The grand prize winner will also be awarded 25 hours of studio recording time with Innovation Station Music. The competition also includes a young songwriter category (under the age of 18) for which an aspiring songwriter will have the chance to win $2,500.

Juliet Lloyd, arts philanthropist Cathy Bernard and Marian Hunter of Alexandria, Va. at the finals of last year’s awards.

“My advice to songwriters is to go for it,” said 2022 Grand Prix winner Juliet Lloyd. way. As a writer and performer, I’ve often wondered where I fit in stylistically, if my music is “cool” enough to be successful on Spotify, etc. I think you should forget all that and write what’s authentic to you, because that’s what’s going to set you apart.

The competition, founded by Bethesda resident and arts philanthropist Cathy Bernard, is named in honor of Fred Ebb, Bernard’s uncle and renowned American songwriter and creator of Broadway hits such as Cabaret and Chicago and songs emblematic such as New York, New York.

“This competition was created to honor regional musicians and reward local artists for their talent as songwriters,” said Cathy Bernard. “I am personally honored to be able to support this important program on behalf of my uncle, as the musical arts were such an integral part of who he was and it is so important to continue to honor creativity and budding songwriters.”

The contest will be a multi-stage juried competition. The first-round judging panel will include professional artists, venue operators, booking agents and music scholars. They will choose the semi-finalists from among all the candidates. A grand prize jury will then select the finalists who will perform their original songs at the Friday, April 21, 2023 concert at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. Each finalist receives $500 to perform at the concert. The winners will be announced at the close of the fair.

All musical genres are accepted. Songs must include lyrics and cannot be longer than four minutes. Musicians can apply online or upload an application by mail at Bethesda.org.

Previous winners have included (grand prize and young winner): Juliet Lloyd of Takoma Park, Md. and Marian Hunter of Alexandria, Va. in 2022; Heather Aubrey Lloyd of Owings Mills, Maryland and Emily Mitchell of Gaithersburg, Maryland in 2019; Rochelle Rice of Washington, DC and Skyler Foley of Burke, Virginia in 2018; Lea Morris of Alexandria, Va. and Calista Garcia of Arlington, Va. in 2017; Justin Jones of Arlington, Va. and Maddy Clark of McLean, Va. in 2016; and Owen Danoff of Washington, DC and Lexi Peto of Warrenton, Virginia in 2015.

Tickets to attend the eighth annual concert will be available in January 2023 at www.bethesda.org.

Visit www.bethesda.org or call 301-215-6660 for more information.


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