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NZ Teen Wins International Songwriter' Award

New Zealand Teen Wins International Songwriting Award

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its winners for its 2004 annual competition. Called "the songwriting competition to take note of" by the New York Times, ISC received over 11,000 entries in its third year.

Gin Wigmore (18) from Auckland won the overall Grand Prize for her song "Hallelujah," which was entered into the Teen category. Her prizes include $10,000 US cash and over $30,000 US in merchandises and services.

This is the second year in a row that a New Zealander has won the overall Grand Prize. Maori artist Moana Maniapoto won the 2003 competition with her song "Moko". Songwriters from 77 countries participated in the 2004 competition, and remarkably, New Zealand (with its population of only four million) had winners in four out of 16 categories. Along with rugby and the America's Cup, New Zealand can now add songwriting to its list of international accomplishments.

"We're amazed at the consistently high level of songwriting coming out of New Zealand in the last few years," states ISC founder and director Candace Avery, "The winning song 'Hallelujah' is an example of songwriting at its best, and the fact that the songwriter, Gin Wigmore, is only 18 yrs. old makes it even more impressive. Not only is she a wonderful songwriter, but she also has the most unique voice. She has an amazing future as an artist."

Sharon Lingham of Crown Limousines, New Zealand, who acts as an ambassador for international and national entertainers said that New Zealand had so much to offer- the most beautiful place on planet, a country full of talent of all ages, leading the world in so many things.

"Look at New Zealand's history-from scientists, heart surgeons, movie makers, mountain climbers like Sir Edmund Hillary- I'm so proud of everyone of them", said Sharon.

Sharon is no exception as she has No.1 position for 'celebrity update' site on internet- Sharon's Global Celebrity Update. www.sharonlingham.com

Grand Prize winner Gin Wigmore wrote "Hallelujah" when she was 17 yrs. old. This intensely personal song (it was written for her father who died of cancer) reflects a vulnerability and honesty that is stunning. Her lyrics, coupled with her unique voice and the song's haunting melody, belie her age and display a maturity of "an old soul." The song, which resonated overwhelmingly with the judges, is memorable for its simplicity and beauty.

Virtually unknown as a songwriter and relatively new at her craft, Gin is at the very beginning of her career as a songwriter and singer. A gifted artist with a wonderfully bright future, Gin exemplifies the mission of ISC - to discover new talent and to provide the opportunity for international recognition and exposure for an artist whose songwriting achievements stand out amongst all others.

Gin is also the First Place winner in the Teen category with her song "Angelfire." As the First Place winner of the Teen category, Gin receives an additional $1,000 US cash and other prizes, including a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music's Summer Performance Program.

New Zealand winners include:

"Hallelujah" Overall Grand Prize winner - Gin Wigmore "Angelfire" First Place winner, Teen category - Gin Wigmore "Samulai" Second Place winner, World Music category - Opetaia Foai "Not Many (The Remix)" Third Place winner, R&B/Hip-Hop category ­ Scribe/Peter Wadams/David Dallas/Demetrius Savelio "Let Me Be Your Lover" Honorable Mention, AAA/Roots/Americana category - Derek Solomon "Ko Te Tohu" Honorable Mention,World Music category - Ruia Aperahama "Pate Pate Radio Remix" Honorable Mention,World Music category - Opetaia Foai/Malcolm Smith

For a complete list of winners, please go to http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.htm

Judges for the 2004 competition included many of the music industry's top executives and recording artists:

Monte Lipman (President, Universal Records); Sean "P. Diddy" Combs; Aaron Lewis (Staind); John Ondrasik (Five For Fighting); Bo Diddley; Clint Black; David Hidalgo (Los Lobos); Branford Marsalis; Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Peter Furler (Newsboys); Taj Mahal; Sully Erna (Godsmack); Macy Gray; Stacey Earle; Scott Kirkland (The Crystal Method); Michael Gudinski (Chairman, Mushroom Group of Companies); Alan Meltzer (CEO, Wind-Up Records); Tara Griggs-Magee (Executive VP Gospel/Urban Music, Sony Records); Michael McDonald (President, ATO Records); Tracy Gershon (Sr. Dir A&R/Artist Dev, Sony Records Nashville); Chris Parr (VP of Music Programming & Talent Relations, CMT); Peter Asher (Co-President, Sanctuary Artist Management); Kim Stephens (VP A&R, Lava Records); Barbara Sedun (VP Creative, EMI Music Publishing Canada) and Leib Ostrow (CEO, Music For Little People).

ISC is now accepting entries for 2005. Entry forms are available at http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.htm


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