Sounds of guitar cords, skilled vocalists showcasing their talent on stage and cheers from the crowd filled the London Bridge Resort Convention Center Friday, as talented musicians and songwriters gathered to take part in the 3rd Annual Songwriters Festival in Lake Havasu City.
“I love this event,” said Tammy Lunsford, who was among the crowd supporting the musicians. “It’s great entertainment and at the same time, it supports our schools.”
“This is my first time here, said Courtney Grinn who came to support a friend. “It is for a good cause and you also can’t beat the cool cocktail drinks at the same time.”
Twelve songwriters, four duet groups and art auctions were part of the evening’s line up, along with special performances from previous year Songwriter Festival Competition winners Melanie Venditto and Ricardo Chamber. And at the end of the night, Billy Latta, of Lake Havasu City, took the title of the 2015 Songwriter of The Year award.
The Songwriters Festival Competition began July 15, when artists took to Facebook and uploaded a video of their talent so others could view it and vote for their favorite songwriter.
Contestants later battled for votes at the Annual Songwriters Festival Competition and each entry ticket allowed attendees to circle their favorite songwriter’s name and deliver it to the accounting booth the night of the event.
The songwriter with the highest number of votes received the People Choice award which is another one-third of their overall vote. Lastly, contestants on the day of the festival competition had to prove to a panel of judges that they could write a great song, which accounted for the last one-third of their overall vote
Songwriter Ricardo Duarte has been participating in the event every year and says he enjoys the experience of taking part in the competition.
“I love preforming, especially when it’s for a good cause.”
The festival, organized by Nancy Campbell with the Arts Lake Havasu organization, works to feature local talent and create awareness of music and arts in the community. The proceeds from ticket sales benefit schools K-12 and are donated to the K-12 Foundation which provides funds to schools that are at risk for losing music and art programs
“When I heard about the schools taking out curricular programs like art and music, I knew I had to do something to raise funds,” said Nancy Campbell, Organizer of the Songwriter Festival and competition.
“So I thought Lake Havasu City can be a great area to start something like this. It started as social media project and has gotten bigger since then.”
More Than 36 local businesses and organizations in Lake Havasu City sponsored the event.
At the end of the night, a total of $65,000 was raised for the K-12 Foundation.
For more information on how to get involved with the K-12 Save the Music and Arts program or to donate, visit www.artslakehavasu.com. Or contact Nancy Campbell at 928-486-5727.