Third-Annual Songwriting Contest at Cedarville

by Mark Weinstein, Executive Director Public Relations

Cedarville University Music and Worship Department announces its 3rd annual Songwriting Competition.  The competition is open to all current Cedarville University students and its goal is to develop musical resources for congregational singing.  Dr. Roger O’Neel, Director of the Worship Program at Cedarville, says, “The heart of the Worship degree is to prepare students to serve the Body of Christ and this competition challenges our students to write theologically sound, musically compelling songs for congregations.”
The Worship Department sought out an internationally renowned, award winning panel of judges for the 2014 competition.  The songs will be judged by Paul Baloche, Mia Fieldes, and Mark Harland, all three of whom have been to the CU campus and know the quality education the students receive.
Paul Baloche is a songwriter, mentor and teacher who has been leading worship at Community Christian Fellowship in Lindale, Texas for 23 years.  He is best known for writing such modern classics as “Above All,” “Open the Eyes of my Heart” and “Your Name.” 
Mia Fieldes works at Hillsong Music, studied at Hillsong International Leadership College and now lives in Franklin, Tennessee where she is continuing to write and to travel as a worship leader.  Her songs include “Christ is Risen,” “More than Amazing,” and “Beautiful.” 
Mike Harland, Director of LifeWay Worship,  is an accomplished writer who has published more than 150 songs and produced numerous choral music projects.  His best known songs include “Bow the Knee,” “The Glory of God,” and “Run to the Cross.”  He has produced several musicals for Lifeway including a tribute to the 9/11 tragedy.
The deadline to enter is Wednesday, February 19, 2014.  Students must submit original songs for the competition and include an audio demo as well as a chord chart or lead sheet.  Submissions should be sent either by campus mail or electronically to Susan Plemons, Assistant Professor of Worship.  The winners will be announced in March and will receive $300 for 1st Place, $200 for 2nd Place and $100 for 3rd Place.
“Soli Deo Gloria” is the motto of the Music and Worship Department,” says Prof. Plemons, “and it is our goal to give God alone the glory for the talents that he has entrusted to us as well as be good stewards and use these talents to serve the Body of Christ.”