Finalists selected for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2019-08-24

These are the seven Finalists who will play live at the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, 1-5 PM, Saturday, August 24, 2019, for you and the Judges to hear, so the Judges can select the winners, at The Salty Snapper in Valdosta, GA.

“We got another awesome line up. Glad I’m not a judge,” said Sara Squires Jones, one of the Committee that selected the Finalists.

You’ll have to wait until the Contest to see the finalists, so here’s a picture of the Committee that picked the Finalists: l-r, Tom H. Johnson Jr., Laura D’Alisera, Scotti Jay (Chair), Sara Squires Jay, Mary Carolyn Pindar, Eileen Box, John S. Quarterman

In the order we received their songs, with what they wrote about themselves:

  • Scott Perkins of Smyrna, GA, with Country/Folk song, “‘Till the Waters of the Suwannee Bring You Home,”

    Atlanta Native Scott Perkins has been writing songs since 1974, and performing (Silver Lining Band; The Donuts, Little Perks in Paradise) all along, mostly incognito—maintaining his secret identity as a mild-mannered Pension Consultant.

  • Dick Grillo of Live Oak, FL, with a Folk/Country song, “Dear ‘Ol Suwannee,”

    Dick Grillo has served at Advent Christian Village in various capacities since 1982, currently as Senior Director of Community and Church Outreach. His degree in music and years of experience have allowed him the opportunity to uniquely blend career skills in service to those in and around Dowling Park. This project is truly a labor of love for the community.

  • Jadean Jourden of Ponte Vedra, FL, with a Newgrass Bluegrass song, “Save our Suwannee,”

    It is with the greatest honor and humility that I share with my Global Music Family that I have been nominated in this year’s Josie Music Awards as Vocalist of the Year in Jazz/Blues & Rising Star of the Year!

  • Kyle Chamberlain and David Rodock of Adel, GA, with a funk song, “Alapaha Laphogs,”

    Dirty Bird Chamberlain—valdosta-based singer songwriter and lead vocalist for the band Dirty Bird and the Flu

  • Norene Olsen of Hahira, GA, with a folk song, “Driftin Down the Suwannee,”

    An Air Force retiree, I also was an English and science teacher at the high school and college levels. I published my first poem at 10, and subsequently published several in high school and college in local publications. Although I sing in the church choir, I have no formal music education beyond grade school and a college music appreciation class.

  • Sabrina Deets of Sparks, GA, with a Roots Rock sign, “Take Me To Suwannee,”

    I’m a one-woman-band, been traveling all thru the midwest and southern US, and found home in the beautiful south Georgia area. Music is the air I breathe. I love all types of genres, but 60s and 70s classic rock is definitely where my heart beats. I love life and aspire to learn and create as much as possible in the short time I have on this planet.

  • Tom Hochschild, of Valdosta, GA, with a folk song, “Withlacoochee Watershed,”

    Tom Hochschild is a singer, guitarist, and harmonica player who has entertained people throughout the eastern United States at weddings, restaurants, and festivals. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Tom grew up singing and playing guitar with his grandfather and uncles around the dinner table. He has been in numerous cover bands, and even received some interest in his original music from Universal Records. These days, Tom gives back to the community by playing music at festivals and fundraisers for social causes, such as homelessness and after school programs.

Finalists: don’t forget to show up for sound check at 11AM.

[1-5PM, Saturday, August 24, 2019]
1-5PM, Saturday, August 24, 2019

About the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest:

Tickets are $10 online or $12 at the door. Or $150 per eight-seat VIP table right in front of the stage. Everything about the contest is online here:–suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest/

Sponsoring the contest is a great opportunity for businesses and individuals to get their name in publicity about the Contest, from radio and TV and newspaper interviews and public interest spots, to a banner to hang at your place of business, to a banner at the event and a mention in the program. Help support clean water advocacy and get more people to see your business. Georgia Beer Company is the top-level sponsor, and The Battery Source is a sponsor.

The contest is from 1 to 5 PM, Saturday, August 24, 2019, at The Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd,. Valdosta, Georgia. You must be present to win. You do not have to sing, but you do have to be onstage with your song’s performance, rattling a tambourine or whatever. All finalists must arrive by 11 AM for sound check.

Radio personality Chris Beckham will be the Master of Ceremonies as headliners Joe Smothers and 2018 Winner Laura D’Alisera play. The finalists will perform, and the three judges Tony Buzella, J.J. Rolle, and Tim Teasley will mark finalists on originality of lyrics and music, waters, history, performance, clarity of message, and more. Extra credit for naming the most rivers. While the judges deliberate, we will all talk about outings and advocacy. The winners will be announced. Then the winners will play some more.

New this year: there will be one or more youth winners under 18 years old.

The first prize is $300. Prizes of $50 each will go to one winner from within the Suwannee River Basin, and one from without. Plus one winner per musical genre.

There will be a silent auction, a kayak raffle, and a cash bar, and the snacks are included. At 4 PM you can order from the Salty Snapper menu as well, if you like.

WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. Founded in June 2012, WWALS has board members from multiple counties in south Georgia and north Florida, and members from all over the Suwannee River Basin and from farther away. Since December 2016, John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the member of Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin.

Contact: John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper
WWALS Watershed Coalition
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632


 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!