BIG STONE GAP, Va. — The “Gathering in the Gap” Songwriting Contest finalists have been announced.
The annual music festival will take place on the grounds of the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park on May 17.
Songwriting Contest entries were judged by music industry professionals, and finalists were chosen to compete on the main stage at the “Gathering in the Gap.” Those finalists and their songs are:
* John Wesley Carpenter – “Many A Heart”
* Kay Elliott – “Coal Dust on the Tombstones” and “When the Cold Wind Blows”
* Patrick McCauley – “Heaven’s Gates”
* Beth Miller – “She’s Trouble”
* Keylas Quesenberry Jr. – “Might As Well Be Me”
* Walter Shell & Michael Huff – “Country Music Highway” and “You Don’t Leave the Lights On”
* Glen Simpson – “Avon Bottles” and “Powhatan Arrow”
The finalists in the songwriting contest will perform their song live on the festival main stage, beginning at 2 p.m. A new panel of judges, also comprised of music professionals, will make the final determination of first-, second-, and third-place winners. The songs will be judged on originality, lyrics, melody and relevance to the contest theme and musical criteria.
Each finalist will be given a free-access ticket to the festival, along with a festival T-shirt. The top three winners will also receive cash prizes and plaques.
The contest represents the spirit and traditions of Appalachian culture, showcasing outstanding, but under-recognized, performing songwriters. Songs submitted for the contest included genres that have roots in Appalachian culture: Old-time, folk, bluegrass, country, gospel, blues or rockabilly.
In addition to the annual songwriting contest, the festival will include an excellent lineup of musicians, including Grammy Award winner Rodney Crowell, The Black Lillies, and Dave Eggar & Deoro, workshops, crafters, instrument/band competitions, a children’s inflatables area, the “Stitch in Time” Quilt Show and more.
Tickets for the music festival and its workshops are available through the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park. Festival admission for adults ages 13 and over is $15 in advance or $20 if purchased the day of the event. Children 12 and under are free with paid adult admission.
To purchase tickets, contact the park at 276-523-1322. You may also purchase tickets in person at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park during regular operating hours or online at www.gatheringinthegapmusicfestival.com.