One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Kaylee Guetter

Aspiring songwriters had the opportunity to display their talent in the 13th annual Cedarville University songwriting contest. The event, which was sponsored by Cedarville’s Department of Music and Worship, saw senior Ellie Giordano, from Clarkston, Michigan, and junior Emma Haylett of Aurora, Colorado, win for their song, “My Soul Sings.” 

1st place songwritingThere were 26 entries, and each musical selection was required to be suitable for congregational church worship and written individually or with other students. All of the songs were evaluated by singer/songwriter Andrew Osenga, music producer/songwriter Chris Clayton and producer/songwriter Bailey Hager based on creativity, originality, musical details, the singability of the melody and the theology of the lyrics.  

Osenga is the producer and founder of the worship collective “Anchor Hymns," while Clayton is the producer of Keith & Kristin Getty’s 2024 live album “Sing: The Great Commission,” along with other artists like Skye Reedy and Natalie Layne, and Hager produces for Curb/World Music Publishing. 

“I learned that there is something uniquely special about writing songs about what God is doing and the feedback we received was unbelievably valuable. The judges have substantial experience, so we took their insight to heart,” said Giordano. 

2nd place songwritingOther students recognized in the competition were second place winners Lauren Ragan, a junior majoring in worship from Bidwell, Ohio, and Elena Ray, a junior from Markle, Indiana, also majoring in worship, with their song, “Beautiful Savior (The Great Exchange).” Placing third, was Giordano for her song, “Clean.”  

Worship song submissions from previous years, including “Return to the Lord,” by Paige Senseman have been played in Cedarville’s chapel programs and released on Spotify.   

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