The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theater Wing are pleased to announce the premiere of the final songs for the 2021 winners of the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. On Saturday, April 23, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. ET, iHeartRadio Broadway will share these songs in a special. They will also be available as part of the #IWriteMusicals Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge 2021 Edition album on the iHeartRadio app and anywhere music can be streamed. The 12 winning songs will also be available April 25, 2022 at arts.gov/songwriting.
The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Theater Wing which seeks to cultivate the next generation of musical theater songwriters among high school students nationwide.
Since the winners were announced last fall, student songwriters have worked virtually with a team of coaches – a mentor and a musical director – to hone their original songs into Broadway-ready compositions. Each song was recorded by musicians and singers from Broadway in New York. In addition to recordings, the songs will be compiled into a songbook by Concord Theatricals and released at a later date. For more details on winners and songs, including student biographies; song summaries; mentor, musical director and musician credits; and photos of the recordings-visit arts.gov/song writing.
“The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is an example of the powerful results that come from mentoring in the arts and encouraging all Americans to live an artistic life. I hope this experience will be one these students will cherish and will draw upon throughout their lives. Please join in applauding them for their creativity and hard work,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, President of the National Endowment for the Arts. “I also want to thank the American Theater Wing for partnering in building this program to provide our youth with an impactful and empowering experience and to support the next generation of musical theater talent.”
To hear the premiere of iHeartRadio Broadway Songs on April 23, visit iHeartRadioBroadway.com or download the free iHeart app and search for “Broadway.”
“The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge 2021 album debut and iHeartRadio morning special is the culmination of months of hard work and collaboration by more than 100 theater artists, including the 13 winners of the Songwriting Challenge. which we couldn’t be prouder,” said Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theater Wing. “The diversity of songs featured speaks to the diversity of stories to be celebrated in musical theatre. We look forward to following the journeys of these students and what the future holds for them.”
Other NEA and American Theater Wing contributors on the 2021 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge include Concord Theatricals, Disney Theatrical Productions, iHeartRadio Broadway and the NMPA SONGS (Supporting Our Next Generation of Songwriters) Foundation.
About the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge
This national competition is for high school students who are passionate about writing songs that can be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musicals. The goal of the program is to engage the field of musical theater in training the next generation of songwriters. Information about previous winners and their final songs is available at arts.gov. The Songwriting Challenge will return in 2023; follow the NEA on social media for more information.
About the National Foundation for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst for public and private support for the arts. By promoting equitable opportunities for the participation and practice of the arts, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. To learn more, visit arts.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and YouTube.
About the American Theater Wing
The American Theater Wing is a nonprofit organization, founded on the eve of America’s entry into World War I by seven suffragists and theater makers who came together to sustain the nation by harnessing the power of theater. Through a powerful suite of programs that address all aspects of the national theater ecology, ATW encourages the discovery of theater by people of all ages, nurtures talent on and off stage, creates pathways to success for students and young professionals and encourages the development of the art form itself by recognizing and supporting innovative and excellent work with awards and grants. Building a fair, equitable, and inclusive American theater is a guiding principle of all of ATW’s work and programs.
Visit AmericanTheatreWing.org to learn about extensive programming and grant opportunities for students, theater professionals, and audiences. For the latest updates and news, follow the wing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitterand YouTube.