Contest seeks Toledo tunesWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Free Press and FOX Toledo are sponsoring a song writing contest to put a positive spin on Toledo.
The contest is free and open to amateur and professional songwriters interested in promoting Toledo as a great place to live.
The winner will receive several prizes, including the song being submitted to be named the official song for the city of Toledo and Lucas County for one year. The winner will also receive free studio recording time from Strawberry Fields Recording Studio in Swanton and will receive stage time at Columbia Gas Smoke on the Water — Ribs for the Red Cross, July 31 through Aug. 2.
The winner will receive an opening slot for a national act at Michigan International Speedway.
The top five finalists will appear on FOX Toledo’s “Toledo Idol,” which features a local band or musician each week during the “American Idol” season. The song writing contest winner will be revealed on the same night that the winner of “American Idol” is announced in May.
All those who enter will receive a prize package.
“I am really excited to see the crop of talent that comes out of this contest,” said Allison Brown, FOX, Toledo news reporter. “Since I have worked with plenty of Toledo musicians during our ‘Toledo Idol’ segment, I know that there are some exceptional artists out there.”
The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges: Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop; Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski; Columbia Gas community relations manager Chris Kozak;
Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller, Face of FOX Toledo Julia Johnston; and Bob Grebe, a musician and national account manager for Job1USA in Toledo.
The judges will whittle entries to a top five before selecting one winner.
Grebe suggested the contest to Toledo Free Press after reading about the newspaper’s music project, “Legacy: Songs in the Key of Toledo.” The two-CD collection contains historical recordings from or about Toledo. The CD was inspired in part by musical downers like the Randy Sparks’ song “Saturday Night In Toledo Ohio.”
“I know that this town is loaded with extremely talented musicians,” Grebe said. He said a winning song will include great lyrics, a catchy melody and a good hook.
All genres are welcome, including pop, country, rock, rap, jazz and blues, Grebe said.
Entry forms for the contest can be accessed here or picked up at the Toledo Free Press office at 605 Monroe St.
Submissions will be accepted through April 3.