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2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition

Songwriters worldwide are invited to enter the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition to go into the running for a first place cash prize of $50,000, courtesy of APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG.

The 2018 competition is set to take total funds raised past $1million, with the full $50 entry fee per song going directly towards the work of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA), which uses music therapy to help people cope with the struggles of living with a wide range of needs. These include children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties. Melbourne singer-songwriter, Gretta Ray, earned top honours in last year’s competition for her beguiling song ‘Drive’.

“The Vanda & Young prize made a huge impact on what I have achieved in the last year. It assisted me in being able to travel overseas to America, write and work on new music there with amazing people, and provided me with the time to wholly focus on my music. That in itself is a gift,” said Ray. Two runners-up cash prizes are also on offer with second place receiving $10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association) and third place taking home $5,000 courtesy of media sponsor, Seventh Street Media. An exciting addition to the prize slate this year is $5,000 for the best ‘Unpublished’ work. Since the prestigious competition began, it has not only boosted the careers of winners Megan Washington (2009), Kimbra (2011), The Preatures (2013), Husky Gawenda (2014) and Gretta Ray (2016), but to date has raised over $800,000 for NRMTA. This year’s judging panel features some of the best ears in the business, with over 40 songwriters, producers, media and industry professionals confirmed to take part. They include three-time APRA Songwriter of the Year Daniel Johns, electronic artist and triple j host KLP, ARIA-winner Montaigne, and The Bamboos’ Lance Ferguson, co-writer on the Kungs vs Cookin’ On 3 Burners global smash, ‘This Girl’. “Vanda & Young took Australian songwriting to the world, and blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow. I’m pleased to be involved as a judge for the first time and I am looking forward to hearing some new music,” said Daniel Johns. Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and the late George Young, the competition launch coincides with a month of celebrating one of Australia’s most loved bands with a vinyl reissue, a two part mini-series ‘Friday On My Mind’ on the ABC, and a tribute EP, ‘Rebeat’. “Alberts is thrilled to continue its long-term association with APRA AMCOS, and also partner for the first time with BMG for the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition,” said David Albert, Managing Director of Alberts.

“This competition recognises the significance Harry Vanda and the late George Young have to the music community through their legendary songwriting partnership, and provides a great opportunity to support Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia.” Heath Johns, Managing Director of BMG Australia also stated that they are very proud to partner with Alberts and APRA AMCOS for the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition.

“The competition provides a unique platform for songwriters to have their music heard by some of the country’s finest songwriters, and also contribute to an important cause. The prize money on offer should also make a meaningful difference to the eventual winner’s career and we are very happy to get behind that,” said Mr Johns. Entries close 11.59pm (AEDT) 17 January 2018. Please visit for more information and terms and conditions.


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