This year’s Youth Quake (YQ) could provide a young songwriter with an important career boost.
The winner of a new song writing competition at this year’s YQ will be able to have a single recorded and produced by Jordan Wiberg, a Calgary music engineer who produced recording artist Jon Bryant’s recent album.
“(The single) would be released through our YQ networks and promoted as our 2013 songwriting single,” YQ director AJ Crocker explained.
The idea for the competition came from Wiberg himself when he visited last year’s YQ with Bryant.
“Why wouldn’t we do a talent search and then the winner could have a free single recorded and produced by me?’” Crocker said recalling Wiberg’s suggestion to him for the songwriting competition. “We could do it here in the studio.”
The new competition replaces the old “YQ’s Got Talent” contest that has happened for several years.
“This falls in line with where our music program is in terms of songwriting and recording,” Crocker said. Most of the elements of this competition are represented in our academic pursuits here and so it does give us an opportunity to have some interested students come and show their stuff off and get to know some of our professors along the way.”
In order to limit the amount of entries, Crocker is only allowing YQ retreaters from Grades 9-12 to participate in this first year of the competition.
“This year it’s just open to Grade 9-12 retreaters with original material,” Crocker said. “We’ve had youth workers ask and we’ve had college students ask. In the future, potentially . . . if it goes smoothly, we may be able to open up more categories.”
The requirements to enter are simple.
“An original composition or song and that’s pretty much the only requirement,” Crocker said. “So if it’s a band it’s okay. If it’s a solo act, then that’s awesome too. Register for YQ and show up with your stuff prepared and sign up for a slot when you get here. No advance registration is needed.”
Entrants will perform their original composition before Wiberg and two other panelists from Briercrest’s worship arts department. The winner will be announced at Youth Quake and will work out a time to come back to Caronport and record the single with Wiberg.
“We are hoping to use what we have here to spark the career of a young musician much like (CHS graduate) Jon Bryant,” Crocker exclaimed. “That’s the success story that we’re hoping to experience at some point. We also have the recording studio here. We’ve got access to it and it seems like it would be a shame for us not to figure out a way to use that.”