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Dan Curry wins songwriting contest

Curry took home $400 cash prize and opportunity to record at The Earnest Tube, Bristol

Post Date:05/29/2019 4:00 PM

Dan Curry winner of the 2019 VHCC Richard Leigh Songwriters FestivalDan Curry, a singer/songwriter from Lebanon, Va., has been named the overall winner in the 2019 Richard Leigh Songwriters Contest at Virginia Highlands Community College, Abingdon. Curry’s winning song, “Love,” also took first place in the gospel category.

Curry received $400 in prize money ($100 as a category winner and $300 as the overall winner) and has been invited to record his winning song at The Earnest Tube, Bristol, Va. Additionally, Curry received membership/benefits in the Nashville Songwriters Association International ($225 value), the Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association and the Virginia Highlands Songwriters Association.

The annual contest drew 108 song entries. Curry’s song was awarded top honors by a team of judges that included recording artists, radio station managers, studio owners, musicians, songwriters and music educators – as well as members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. 
The songwriters festival is named for Richard Leigh, a Grammy award-winning songwriter who is a 1973 graduate of VHCC. Leigh returns to campus each year with fellow members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame to raise money for the Great Expectations Program for foster youth enrolled at VHCC.
Winners were also announced in seven individual music categories. The winning songwriters are:

  • Country: 1st – Bella Raye, “Old Me;” 2nd – Scott Miller, “She Shouldn’t Have To;” and 3rd – Reed Fields, “I Don’t Lie to You.”
  • Folk: 1st – Adam Bolt, “Animals in the News;” 2nd – Greg Trafidlo, “For Just Two  Dollars (You Can Cuss Me Out);” and 3rd – Celie Holmes, “Sorry Now.”
  • Gospel/Inspirational: 1st – Dan Curry, “Love;” 2nd – Shannan Miller, “My Banner and Peace;” and 3rd – Kevin Hale, “We All Die to Live Again.”
  • Youth: 1st- Sydney Rose Wray, “Broken Wing.” 
  • Rock/Pop: 1st- Mike DeGiorgi, “I’d Love to Have Dinner with You;” 2nd – Bent-Lee Carr, “Outta Style;” and 3rd – Ashley Lucas, “Say It.”
  • Bluegrass: 1st- Adam Bolt, “Mouth of Wilson;” 2nd- Kevin Hale, “I’m in Lonesome Valley;” and 3rd – Barnette Carr, “The Story of Me and You.
  • Lyrics Only: 1st – George T. Kiser, Jr., “Train 52;” 2nd – Aaron McGlothlin, “Country Divas a-Gittin’ Down;” and 3rd – Victoria Barber, “Kentucky Whiskey.”

The songwriting contest is part of the two-day celebration of song held Memorial Day weekend and highlighted by a Saturday evening performance by visiting members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This year’s performers were Leigh, Tony Arata, Even Stevens and Jim McBride. Collectively, they have enjoyed more than 50 chart-topping number one hits.
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