Lucille & Jack Yellen Foundation Songwriter's Scholarship

Program Overview

Yellen Scholarship Logo
The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, in collaboration with the Lucille and Jack Yellen Foundation, have been awarding young songwriters up to the age of 23 the chance to professionally record an original song since 2013. The lucky recipient receives a scholarship that includes a full day of recording at Robby Takac's (Goo Goo Dolls) GCR Recording Studio. Hall of Fame inductees are on hand as session musicians and mentors. The winning song is mastered and placed on a CD and presented to the songwriter. Recipients have also received a performance at the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls USA as well as getting their song published on a Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Compilation CD.

​The 2017 Scholarship got underway with a kick-off event that was held at the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls USA on January 5, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Past recipients Erin Sydney Welsh and Jessica Chizuk performed.Alternative Buffalo's Chelsea O MCd the event and performed for all. Chelsea will be highlighting our past recipients on her local show on ​107.7/104.7 on Sunday nights at 8:00 pm.

Our recipients have worked with some top-knotch musicians including: 

2013 - Erin Sydney Welsh (guitar and vocals): Joe Rozler (piano), Howard ”Fleetwood” Wilson II (drums), Frank Grizanti (guitar), Steve Sadoff (bass guitar) Justin Rose (mixing/engineering), Anthony Casuccio (mastering), Tom Lorentz (producer)
"It was invaluable to spend time with such skilled musicians and have the experience of working in the studio. The actual song turned out really great, but I think my greatest gain came from what I learned while making it; as someone who has always been interested in but also intimidated by the production side of the music industry, it was beneficial to see what goes into a song and how musicians with much more experience than myself are able to tailor a sound to a certain piece to get the most without overpowering the song."
 
2014 - Jessica Chizuk (guitar and vocals): Howard ”Fleetwood” Wilson II (drums), Frank Grizanti (guitar), Richie English (synthesized strings), Jerry Livingston (bass guitar) Justin Rose (mixing/engineering), Anthony Casuccio (mastering), Tom Lorentz (producer)
"Working with those involved with the BMHOF songwriting competition were some of the best experiences in my music career thus far. Collaborating with amazing, top notch musicians on my own song is something I'll never forget" 
 
2016 - Lyndsay Munich (guitar and vocals): Chris Panfil (banjo), Mark Panfil (mandolin) , Jim Whitford (bass & pedal steel guitar), Mike Stamp (cajon & percussion) Justin Rose (mixing/engineering), Anthony Casuccio (mastering), Tom Lorentz (producer)
"It was amazing to win the competition. I've been writing songs and doing home recordings for 5 years now and so winning this meant I got to record in a real studio for the first time. All the musicians really added a lot to the song and it was great to have Tom (Lorentz) as a producer. I really learned a lot since I'm used to doing everything myself. I would encourage any songwriter to submit their work for this competition. I would also say don't give up if you don't make it on your first try  – this was my second time submitting!"



Rules

The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, in collaboration with the Lucille and Jack Yellen Foundation, are announcing their fourth songwriter scholarship that is open to high school and college aged students. One lucky recipient will receive a scholarship that entails a full day of recording at Robby Takac's (Goo Goo Dolls) GCR Recording Studio. Hall of Fame inductees will be on hand as session musicians and mentors. The winning song will be mastered and placed on a CD and presented to the songwriter. The recipient will also win a performance at the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls USA and a spot on the upcoming Buffalo Music Hall of Fame compilation CD. The second place recipient will receive a performance at the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls USA.

1. You can enter only one song submitting an MP3, or a link to stream the song or video. We are interested in the song, not the video quality or performance.

2. Lyrics must be included in email to songwriter@bmhof.org 

3. Song must be totally original.

4. Entrants can be solo artists, duos or groups with all contact information along with age:
  • Full Name(s) (list all names and contact information for duos or groups)
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • School (if applicable)
  • Music Teacher (if applicable)
  • Age (as of May 17, 2017)
  • Email address
  • Song title 
  • MP3 or song title link (MP3 files only - If MP3 is larger than 8 MB, please send a link to the song)
5. Deadlines all entries (official form along with MP3 and lyrics) must be received by Midnight, February 28, 2017 at songwriter@bmhof.org

6. This scholarship competition is open to all amateur songwriters up to, and including, the age of 23. (Collaboration with people older than 23 will not qualify)

7. Four finalists will be chosen by a committee comprised of Buffalo Music Hall of Fame board members and inductees. Songs are judged equally on originality, lyrics, melody and composition. Quality of performance and production of entry will not be considered. The four finalists will be selected and their songs will be performed at a showcase to be held at the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls USA on Wednesday May 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm. One single recipient will be selected at this showcase and will receive the the first listed below (9). One second place winner will receive the prize listed below (10) Prizes will be awarded jointly to all authors of any song. Entrants and their collaborators will retain full rights to all work submitted for the competition.

8. Finalists will be notified by mail/email or phone call on or before April 7, 2017 and must sign and return an affidavit confirming that finalist's song is original and he/she holds rights to the song. Failure to sign and return the form within 7 days will result in immediate disqualification and an alternative finalist will be selected. Entry constitutes permission to use finalists’/recipient’s names, likeness and voices for future publicity and advertising purposes without additional compensation. Parental consent will be needed if winner is under 18 years of age. 

9. First Prize*: Winner will receive: 
  • A full day recording session at GRC-Audio. 
  • The opportunity to work with Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductees and board members to arrange and record the winning song. 
  • The winning song will be mastered and placed on a CD and final master will be delivered to the songwriting winner
  • A spot on the upcoming Buffalo Music Hall of Fame compilation CD
  • A performance at the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls USA at a future date TBD
10. Second Prize: Winner will receive: 
  • A performance at the Hard Rock Café, Niagara Falls USA at a future date TBD 
*If the first place winner is unable to meet their proposed recording / performance agendas the second place winner will be invited to receive those incentives.

Erin Sydney Welsh
2013 Scholarship Recipient
Erin Sydney Welsh
Jessica Chizuk
2014 Scholarship Recipient
Jessica Chizuk
Lynz
2016 Scholarship Recipient
Lynz Munich

​Click below to hear Erin's Scholarship Winning Song "What the Frack"

​Click below to hear Jessica's Scholarship winning song "China Plates"

Click below to hear Lynz's scholarship winning song "Enough"