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Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Launch First-Ever City Sponsored Songwriting Contest for Teens, 'My NYC Song'

Teen musicians are invited to submit their original songs about New York City

Winning songwriter will receive a free professional recording session and live performance opportunity at 'Guitar Mash at City Winery'

NEW YORK – The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and Guitar Mash today announced the launch of the #MyNYCSong contest, giving young New York musicians a chance to show off their creativity, talent, and love for their hometown. Teen songwriters are invited to submit an original song about or inspired by any aspect of New York City that influences them, accompanied by a guitar or ukulele.

Beginning today, August 9th, applicants aged 13 through 19 that reside in the five boroughs are invited to submit their original song on the contest website, The grand prize winner will receive a professional recording session to memorialize their song, and the opportunity to perform live on November 19th as part of Guitar Mash at City Winery – an annual play-along, sing-along event featuring renowned guitarists and singer-songwriters – and will receive two VIP tickets for guests. Two runners-up will also receive recording sessions and VIP tickets to attend Guitar Mash at City Winery. Both the grand prize winner and the runners-up will receive a one-on-one mentoring session with Ben Lovett, co-founder and musician of Grammy award-winning band Mumford & Sons, and co-founder of Communion Music.

Guitar Mash Artist Co-Chair and renowned chef Tom Colicchio, award-winning recording artist Valerie June, Guitar Mash Artistic Director Mark Stewart, and MOME Commissioner Julie Menin will judge the song submissions. The contest deadline is October 5th.

"We're delighted to launch the #MyNYCSong contest today, providing an opportunity for teenage musicians from across our city to share their musical creations with the world," said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. "New York City has always been a breeding ground of musical talent, and I have no doubt that we will discover some truly talented future music superstars."

"New York has inspired me to create in the kitchen, and to create with my guitar," said Top Chef head judge, chef and owner of Craft restaurants, and guitar aficionado Tom Colicchio. "I look forward to hearing what in this great city fuels other people to make things."

"Music Plays a pivotal role in the life of teenagers," said Rebecca Weller, founder and producer of Guitar Mash. "We are excited to partner with the City of New York to inspire teens to go beyond connecting with other people's music, and create songs of their own."

"New York as an assignment – as a topic, as a setting, as a launching pad – is so huge that there can be an infinite number of ways for teens to respond," said Guitar Mash Artistic Director Mark Stewart. "Because it is their town the assignment will generate real stories and real reflections that are honest things. All good ingredients for a good song."

Teen songwriters from all backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to submit their original song to the My NYC Song contest. All entries must include voice plus a guitar or ukulele, and can feature up to two people. Entries should be original compositions about or inspired by New York City, and should be no longer than five minutes in length. Entrants will need to submit an mp3 file of the song, along with a PDF file of the song lyrics.