Sunderland Music Hub Competition entrants celebrated at Empire show

The songwriters of the future were celebrated at a talent show at Sunderland Empire.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 4:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 5:20 pm
Young people from music project Right Track who won Best Independent Entry are pictured with judges Barry Hyde, Sue Collier and John Ashton.

Sunderland Music Hub’s Songwriting Competition saw 12 shortlisted entrants compete across three categories for primary, secondary and individual awards.

Original compositions spanned a range of genres and judging was no easy task.

Winners in each category received a £50 music voucher, a studio recording session at Sunderland College, a workshop with a professional musician and bespoke feedback from music industry professionals.

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The winners were: Best School Entry: Secondary – Young Writers’ City at Academy 360 with their song Courage; Best School Entry: Primary – Broadway Juniors with Their Used to be Ships and Best Individual Entry – Right Track Project with Wait a Minute.

Lizzie Nixon, Sunderland Music Hub Manager at Together for Children, said: “It’s such a pleasure to work with Sunderland Empire and to be able to host these events in a venue which has such significance in the city of Sunderland.

“These events showcase the talent in Sunderland and the work of Sunderland Music Hub to unlock musical potential and to ensure every young person has the opportunity to have musical experiences.”

Contest judge Barry Hyde, of The Futureheads, said: "It was an absolute pleasure to be a judge at this fantastic new event organised by Sunderland Music Hub. To have a 'talent show' that showcases songwriting as a central feature is unique.

“I was blown away by the level of skill this is an amazing platform for the next generation of Wearside word and tunesmiths and I can see this event becoming a key fixture in Sunderland’s grassroots music calendar. It is crucial for young local artists to have something to aim for, something tangible, and this is an ideal way of giving them essential inspiration and nurturing those special skills.

“On a personal level, I was given the opportunity to perform a couple of songs, which I was absolutely chuffed about because I've wanted to play on that stage for 20 years."