Inside the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Cafe is a room known as the Buffalo Room where the walls are filled with memorabilia from members of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
While the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame honours notable long time musicians from the area; the Hall of Fame also helps to nurture the next generation of artists in form of a scholarship contest for young songwriters.
On January 5 the BMHOF kicked off the 2017 edition of the Lucille and Jack Yellon Foundation Songwriting Contest. The winner receives studio recording time where the winning song is professionally mastered and recorded on a CD, their song added to the BMHOF Compilation CD, mentoring from BMHOF members during the recording session, and a performance at the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Cafe.
Kicking off the annual contest was former Scholarship winners Eric Sydney Welsh and Jessica Chizuk performing some of their original music.
The inaugural winner in 2013, Welsh’s set included her contest winning song “What the Frack”, “These Little Fires”, “Frostbite”, “You Make it Easy to Fall in Live”, and the first song she ever wrote “Squeaky New Shoes”. Like a modern day female Ed Sheeran, Erin’s performance was reminiscent of old Folkie performers Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins.
Having recently released her CD, Jessica Chizuk performed music from that CD including the album’s title track “Leihigh Valley Line”, “Eyes on the Horizon”, “Guilty Pleasures”, “Somber in the Night”, “Steady is the Rain” and her scholarship winning song “China Plates”.
Buffalo radio personality Chelsea O served as MC for the evening and performed a couple of songs to close out the night.
The contest is open to high school and college students under the age of 23. The contest is open to solo, duo, an group artists. Only original songs are eligible for entry into the contest.
All photos by Sherrill Fulghum
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