USA Songwriter Competition 1999

Honorable Mention Prize



In December 1999 Silje recieved the Honorable Mention Prize for composing the song
I Don't Want To See You Cry in the USA Songwriter Competition. See below for all winners in 1999.
The song came on her album Nightwatch in 2003.



[source: www.songwriting.net]


CONGRATULATIONS! Here are the writers of the winning songs from the 1999 event. Many thanks to our sponsors for providing the prize packages that truly assist these talented songwriters and artists. Judges include Warner/Reprise Records, Walt Disney Music Publishing, SONY Music, Peer Music and Tommy Boy Records.

First for Women and First for Asia

The top 3 prizes went to women: Adrianne Gonzalez (Overall Grand Prize), Trina Belamide (Overall Second), Mary Coppin (Overall Third). This also marks the first time ever in our event that two winners came from Asia; Trina Belamide and Vehnee Saturno from the Philipines won the Overall Second Prize and the First Prize of the Instrumental Category respectively. Meanwhile, here are the winners:

1999 Overall Grand Prize Winner - Adrianne Gonzalez


Adrianne Gonzalez, MA, USA - "Say Em' Strong"

A Berklee College of Music graduate, Adrianne began her career over three years ago playing in little coffeehouses around Miami and Boston. She has come a long way in a very short time, having won the SESAC Songwriting Award and recently headlined in larger venues such as the nationally known Paradise Rock Club, Club Passim, Lizard Lounge and the Newport Folk Festival.

She was also a finalist for the 1999 Lilith Fair Competition. She has split bills with nationally known artists such as Jeff Buckley, Melissa Ferrick, Lori McKenna, Laurie Geltman and Pamela Means. Her independently released CDs have been given rave reviews in Performing Songwriter magazine and Northeast Performer. Her CD was also named top 12 DIY CD's by Performing Songwriter. This twenty one year old has also produced or co-produced all of her songs including her winning song.

Overall 2nd Prize:

Trina Belamide, Pasig City, PHILIPPINES - "Happy Valentine's Day"

A prolific and songwriter and producer, she has several songs released internationally by Philippine singer Regine Velasquez and Gary Valenciano. Trina has also garnered several songwriting awards: she won the Grand Prize at the Philippine National Red Cross Songwriting Competition, won second prize in the Asia Song Festival held in Malaysia, won second prize again at the Metropop Song Festival, had her song 'Tell The World of His Love" chosen as the official theme song of the World Youth Day '95. She is well-known in the music industry in Philippines as a consistent songwriter.

"Happy Valentine's Day" is my only song so far to be entered in a competition which I sang and used piano as my only accompaniment. In all other demos I've submitted to other contests, I have used other vocalists and have my songs fully produced with a combination of instruments. This makes USA Songwriting Competition even more special and memorable to me because it feels good to know that the judges liked the song even in its purest, no-frills form and I consider it such a great honor to win the Overall 2nd Prize at such a prestigious competition".... Trina Belamide.

Overall 3rd Prize:

Mary Coppin, Riverside, CA, USA "A Room Up for Rent"

An accomplished songwriter, her songs has been signed with publishers in Los Angles and Nashville. Mary has three songs released on Australian artists, Max Merritt's upcoming CD. Her song "A Room Up For Rent" has also been selected for the Los Angeles Women In Music's compilation CD.

A performing songwriter, she was a finalist at the 1998 Kerrville Folk Festival and performed at the main stage of the Kerrville Folk Festival. Both her songwriting and her voice have been praised by other great talents including hit songwriters Hugh Prestwood, Angela Kaset and Rod Kennedy. She also won the Grand Prize at the Sierra Songwriters Festival Showcase, won second place in the New Folks Showcase at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. She is a busy performing artist which includes mini tours in Texas, Washington, the East Coast US and various shows in the growing Lilith Fair like Indie Grrl Tour.


1st Prize Latin:

Luis A. Gonzalez & Angie Castaņo, Miami, FL, USA " Como No Pensar En Ti "

Luis has written songs for Cindy Lara (released on Sonolux Records). Co-founder of one of the first rock and roll groups in Puerto Rico "The Stokes". His musical influences include Armano Manzanero, Manuel Alejandro, Jose Antonio Mendez and Roberto Cantoral.

1st Prize Pop:

Darryl Zero, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, "1 Heart 2 Love U"

Darryl began his professional music path studying ar Berklee College of Music, where he excelled as a dual major in songwriting and performance studies. Since then, he has been honing his songwriting and production skills which has resulted with his first cover on platinum artist, LFO, "Don't Wanna Kiss You Tonight" on Arista Records. Writing both lyrics and melody, Darryl focuses on Pop/R&B/Dance songs with unique lyrical twists and melodical statements. His musical influences include Billy Joel, Barry Gibb, Jimmy Webb and Charles Bukowski.

1st Prize Rock/Alternative:

Brian Fellows, Greenfield, MA, USA "Wanna Be Somebody"

Brian is the songwriter of the rock group "Settie".

Since their formation in 1993, Settie have been steadily building a reputation as a dynamic music presence. The root of their evolution is earthed in the uniquely powerful kinship vocalist Settie and songwriter/musician/producer Brian Fellows .

Originally hailing from Longmeadow, Settie and Fellows grew up listening to completely different music. Both fans of 60's and 70's rock, Settie's musical tastes leaned toward the more emotive and psychedelic side while Fellows had a penchant for heavier riff rock sounds. Rather than creating a rift, the two discovered that their different musical perspectives fed off of one another. Settie previous self-releasing albums "Bob Bit The Fisherman" and "Blackberry" sold 10,000 copies off stage with no distribution. Their latest album "I Think Too Much" is the first nationally distributed album following Settie's signing with Iguana Records. Brian won the first prize of the Rock/Alternative category with his song "Wanna Be Somebody", a track from their latest album.

Listen to his winning song: Wanna Be Somebody - Audio File

1st Prize World:

Saimone Vuatalevu , Suva, FIJI ISLANDS, "Me Da Sua Ai Voce Kina Yabaki 2000"

See his profile at Spotlight

1st Prize Dance:

Darryl Zero, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, "Let The Joy Rise"

(See profile in "1st Prize Pop")

1st Prize R&B:

Michael Sahagian, Gilda Betancourt & Dan Rosario, Cumberland, RI, USA, "Reality Check"

This is the second year that Michael and Gilda has won. Michael Sahagian is a prolific songwriter/producer. He is a keyboardist for multi-platinum artist Britney Spears. Gilda Betancourt is an emerging artist in the Pop/Latin genre.

1st Prize Hip-Hip/Rap:

Adeniyi Adelekan, New York, NY, USA, "In Between Times"

Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Adeniyi studied music at Berklee College of Music where he hone his skills as a well rounded producer with studies in music production, music synthesis, arranging and songwriting. He has produced 3 nationally released albums in Nigeria.

1st Prize Lyrics Only:

Adrianne Gonzalez, MA, USA, "Say Em' Strong"

(See profile in "Overall Grand Prize")

1st Prize Country:

Bobby Pounds, Austin, TX, USA, "I Get The Picture"

On winning this competition in the Country Category, Bobby has been offered an exclusive songwriting agreement with a publisher in Nashville whose cuts include Ty Herndon's "Hands of a workin' Man" and Clay Walker's "Chain of Love". He serves on the Board of Directors of the Austin Songwriters Group.

1st Prize Gospel:

Julienne Johnson, Los Angeles, CA, USA, "EverMore"

Julienne has had the same song recorded by nine time Grammy Award winning group Take 6. Ms. Johnson's music and lyrics has been recorded and translated into several languages along with being published as sheet music and included in various song books distributed internationally. In May 1999, her song "Beautiful Day" was selected to launch Revlon's "Run/Walk Benefit for Breast Cancer".by Revlon and the city of Los Angeles. The up-tempo inspirational kicker was performed by the Los Angeles Gospel Choir for an audience of over 50,000 people at the LA Coliseum.

An acclaimed Gospel Songwriter with two Gospel Music Association awards, winning the First Prize National winner with her song "Perfect Master Plan" and First Prize Regional Winner with "Whispers". She is also a poet, which her songwriting extends from, has been recorded on 10 albums. Other works has been published in over sixteen anthologies and numerous small press publications. As the 1999 Poet of the Year runner-up for Cader Publishing, Ms. Johnson also won their Chapbook competition with her collected poems titled "Private family Business".

1st Prize Folk:

Joel Cage, Meredith, NH, USA., "Rose"

Joel became the first songwriter to win the first prize of the USA Songwriting Competition three consecutive years in a row. He won in 1997 with "The Farthest Reaches" winning first prize in the Pop category, 1998 with "Elevator" winning first prize in the folk category and 1999 winning the first prize in the folk category again, this time it was his song "Rose".

A guitar-playing prodigy, he has also performed with internationally acclaimed artists such as Ben E. King, The Drifters, The Coasters, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. He has also performed with singer/songwriter Ellis Paul, Robin Lane and Laurie Sargent. He joined Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at a tender age of just 17 years old. Since striking out on his own he has been a Grammy Award preliminary nominee for his self released albums "Nobody" and "Last Hard Road". He was featured in Performing Songwriter's(May '99 issue) Top 12 DIY of the month along with 1998 USA Songwriting Competition Grand Prize winner, Steffani Bennett. He has been a regular performer at national music festivals such as the Kerrville New Folk Festival, Napa Valley Folk Music Festival and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Joel's CD releases "Last Hard Road and the more recent "Nobody"(1998) have been added to playlists at radio stations throughout the USA and overseas, including Germany, France, England, Israel, Slovenia, and Australia. Joel's version of U2's "Where The Streets Have No Name" (Nobody) was aired on the internationally syndicated "Acoustic Cafe"radio program as part of their "Best Unsigned Artists in the Country" series.

1st Prize Instrumental :

Vehnee A. Saturno, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES, "Sana Kahit Minsan"

Vehnee is an accomplished composer, songwriter and record producer with more than 300 songs released in Philippines that garnered Platinum awards in his country. His winning song was also recorded by Ariel Rivera in Philippines (on BMG Pilipinas) and Jacky Cheung (Polygram Hong Kong). He has won several international songwriting awards including the top prizes at the First Asia Song Festival in Indonesia, Midnight Sun Song Festival in Finland, ASEAN Song Festival.

This film composer has won many awards for his film scoring work, including the FAMAS award and Star Awards for Best Musical Scoring for "The Flor Contemplacion Story" and Movie Theme Song of the Year for "Kahit Konting Awa". Other awards include the Metro Manila Film Festival and the prestigous Best Movie Theme Song and Best Musical Score at the Film Academy of Philippines Awards.

1st Prize Children:

Ed Uvacek, Cypress, TX, USA, "Willoughby Wallaby"

Ed has been writing songs since 8 years old and playing keyboards for over 20 years. He started writing Children's songs by accident. Focusing on Rock and Pop Ballads until 1991, he was given the opportunity through his work to put some children's lyrics to music. Over a weekend, he found that Children's music came more naturally and easily than any style he had worked on before. He attribute his talents to his father Ed, senior who is a child prodigy who played violin in Carnegie Hall at a tender age of 12.

1st Prize Comedy:

Dennis Pournelle, OR, USA, "The White House Tour"

A prolific songwriter with thousands of songs to his credit, he has his songs "Take Me Down The Road" and "'Til Eternity", nationally published and released.

1st Prize Jazz"

Drew Sparks, Houston, TX, USA, "Somewhere"

Drew has had five songs recorded by Dana Rogers (solo vocalist for the US Army Jazz Ambassadors), arranged and produced by Bill Roger (nationally acclaimed producer who has worked with Frank Sinatra).

20 Honorable Mention Awards (in no particular order):

1. Dan Yessian, Farmington Hills, MI, USA "I Knew"
2. James Day, Boston, MA, USA, "Any Kind of Love"
3. Lindy Robbins, Valley Village, CA, USA "The Recipe"
4. Manny Rivero, Montreux, SWITZERLAND, "Jalousie"
5. Don Clark, Westville, SOUTH AFRICA, "Sanbonani"
6. Tom Horner, Ringgold, GA, USA, "4 letter Word"
7. Gloria Nissenson, Gary Portnoy & Chris Wallin, New York, NY, USA "Well Built Bridges"
8. Kim Grant, Los Angeles, CA, USA "When No Means Yes"
9. Andrew Sarnoff , New York, NY, USA "Book of Dreams"
10. Michele Vice, Santa Monica, CA, USA "About Love"
11. Jose Madrigal, Chattanooga, TN, USA, "You Might Think"
12. JAX, c/oWayne Sauder, Toronto, CANADA "Turn You Out"
13. Mark Weigle, Vallejo, CA, USA "I Confess"
14. Sergio Rosolino, Rome, ITALY "Little Fame"
15. Silje Nergaard, NORWAY "I Don't Want To See You Cry"
16. Kathy Phippard, St. John's, CANADA "Miss Duality"
17. Phil Dubnick, Beverly, MA, USA, "Worn Out"
18. Tim Matthews & Josh Bernard, Nashville, TN, USA "Can't Help Calling Your Name"
19. Barry D., L.I.C., NY, USA, "Keep Holding On"
20. Patrick Mattingly, New York, NY, USA "Antidote"