2021 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge Winners
We are proud to present the 2021 class of Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge winners. As in 2020, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing are able to offer this opportunity to 13 students: 12 individual songwriters and one, two-person songwriting team. Winners’ hometowns range from Maple Valley, Washington to Bethel, Connecticut and from Lincoln, Nebraska to Jackson, Mississippi. Their songs are also very different; engaging mythic themes, contemporary issues, and stories from their experiences and perspectives. Read more in our announcement press release.
The Songwriting Challenge provided winners with a coaching team consisting of a mentor and music director (both musical theater professionals) to hone the students’ original songs into a Broadway-ready compositions. These songs were recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in New York City. Final songs will premiere on iHeartRadio Broadway on April 23, and will then be distributed on streaming music platforms and compiled into a songbook created by Concord Theatricals. Read more in our press release.
Click on each winner’s name below for more information, including bios, photos, song summaries, and final recordings (posted April 25).
Please note: The school grade and school name are taken from their applications submitted in spring 2021.
- Nicole Acosta—Miami, FL—Miami Arts Studio (Junior)
- Lily Cline—San Rafael, CA—San Domenico School (Junior)
- Howard Godfrey—Gurnee, IL—Evanston Township High School (Senior)
- Kyler Huyse—Katy, TX—Seven Lakes High School (Junior)
- Tyler Kinnaman—Snoqualmie, WA—Mount Si High School (Senior)
- Owen Knight—Sykesville, MD—Century High School (Sophomore)
- Elsa Miller—Maple Valley, WA—Tahoma High School (Senior)
- Oluchi Nwaokorie—Jackson, MS—Murrah High School (Senior)
- Zeph Siebler—Lincoln, NE—Lincoln High School (Junior)
- Ethan Smith—Bethel, CT—Bethel High School (Junior)
- Ayana Williams—Brooklyn, NY–Brooklyn High School Of The Arts (Junior)
- Team: Ashley Dilorenzo & Mateo Lizcano—Maspeth, NY/Flushing, NY—Frank Sinatra School Of The Arts High School (Senior/Junior)