by Sarah Mummert, Student Public Relations Writer
Cedarville University is well connected in the world of contemporary Christian music, and the 12th annual songwriting contest held by the Department of Music and Worship will connect students with award-winning songwriters and producers.
The contest is open to all full-time undergraduate students at Cedarville. Cash prizes will be awarded, with $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third.
In the past, the department has welcomed contemporary Christian musicians Paul Baloche, David Leonard and Bob Kauflin to the panel of judges.
This year, the panel consists of Tony Wood, a songwriter and five-time Dove Award winner; Sam Hart, a songwriter and producer; and Maggie Youngs, a songwriter and administrator for Full Circle Music.
Along with a chance at the cash prizes, finalists in the contest will also receive comments and feedback from the judges about their individual entries — critiques like quality of the melody and strength of the lyrics.
“Not only do you get professional feedback on your songs, but you also get to meet other creatives and hear their art as well,” said Noah Ayers, a senior worship major from Cedarville, Ohio, who co-wrote the winning song, “Behold the King,” with Ryan Lee in the 2022 songwriting contest.
“We don’t write songs just to write, but we write songs to spend time with God,” said Lee, a senior worship major from Novi, Michigan, who also won the songwriting contest in 2021 with his song “Refiner.”
Though Cedarville offers a songwriting minor, there are many songwriters in the student body in other programs, such as nursing, psychology and biblical studies.
Winners of the contest will be announced in early April, and there will be a public performance of the finalists’ songs on campus.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Arts in Worship, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.