Final judging just wrapped up for the Musician's Friend presents The John Lennon Songwriting Contest Video Challenge. With the hundreds of videos submitted—all packed with incredible talent—we're so glad the voting wasn't left to us.
In the final round, our panel of celebrity judges chose the coveted 3rd, 2nd, and Grand Prize winners based on Presentation, Originality and Creativity, Melody, Vocal Ability and Music, Lyrics and Entertainment.
After 1000s of votes & a grueling review by our judges, we're pleased to announce our WINNERS!
GRAND PRIZE - Third Nature of Saratoga Springs, NY
Lost for Now
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Third Nature is - Tom Best (Drums), Will Dowling (Bass), and Merrick Noyes (Keyboard). Third Nature’s sound depends heavily on the mutual trust of the band mates and their ability to communicate almost telepathically. It is apparent to any audience member at a Third Nature show how close the band mates are musically and personally. Making use of floating synthesized melodies, a thumping bass drum, and euphoric undulating bass lines, Third Nature creates a tangible energy at live shows that keeps crowds sweating and dancing the night away. Third Nature has become the “band to see” for Skidmore college students. Even amongst a student body that has diverse musical tastes, Third Nature has been able to appeal to anyone and everyone who wants to get down. To put it simply, Third Nature knows how to throw the best party in town. Third Nature’s history is rich despite its youth and limited touring experience. Each of the members has known one another, in some way, for their entire lives. Keyboardist Merrick Noyes and drummer Tom Best grew up in the same small town in northwestern Connecticut. As cousins, Noyes and bassist Will Dowling grew up together and fostered each other’s musical development since they first picked up instruments. Dowling met and befriended Best when the trio began to attend the same high school in 2004. They have been playing together ever since. Find them on Facebook or MySpace.
About the Video
Lost for Now was created using a stop-motion compilation of light paintings composed of thousands of photographs with exposures lasting 15 to 30 seconds each. It was produced, filmed, and edited by Calder Wilson, with dedicated contributions from Tom Best and Will Dowling. Thank you also to Ripley Sager, Alex Darell, and Will Sargent for their help. The video was shot in and around the Skidmore College campus in Saratoga Springs, New York and was made possible in part by the Skidmore Student Opportunity Fund. For more information on the video, including screen shots in full resolution, visit @ http://calderwilson.com/
Third Nature's Grand prize includes a one-day video and audio recording session on the Lennon Bus, their music on over 17,000 movie screens around the US, courtesy of Sonicbids and over $7,500 in music gear from Gibson, Epiphone, Audio-Technica, Mackie & Avid!
2ND PLACE - Colin Hatch of Provo, UT
Answer the Phone
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"I’ve always had a passion for songwriting and great hooks. I grew up playing the piano and guitar and listening to The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Beck, and Radiohead. Right now, I’m a Media Music Major at Brigham Young University and I’m the lead singer/multi-instrumentalist for the band Tighty Willis. I’m always writing songs and looking to improve the ones I’ve already written. I was so floored when I found out I placed second in the contest. Thanks to all of you who voted and thanks to Musician’s Friend! Look up Tighty Willis on Facebook and iTunes". Colin's 2nd place prize includes an Epiphone Inspired By Lennon Casino guitar and a $1,000 Musician’s Friend Gift Certificate!
3RD PLACE - Michael Swenson of Largo, FL
Dark Visions & Ghostly Dreams
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Michael Swenson was born in Clearwater, FL. He comes from a very musical family. His mother is a pianist and opera vocalist and his father is a vocalist and plays guitar. Growing up, Michael was exposed to many different kinds of music... classical, jazz, rock, musicals... you name it. He studied french horn and concert percussion and began to play the drums in a band with his brother Steven during his high school years. He has played in jazz combos, orchestra pits, and many different bands and commercial projects since then.
Michael has been mostly a studio musician over the last 8 years and is now moving into his own untitled personal project... of which the song "Dark Visions & Ghostly Dreams" is a part. More announcements regarding an EP will be made in the coming months.
Michael still resides in the Tampa Bay area with his wife Melissa, his son Miles.... and their Catahoula Leopard Dog named "Chupacabra".
"I am absolutely humbled to have gotten third place in this contest. There were many talented people that entered and I am so grateful! Thank you Musician's Friend and the amazing judges at the JLSWC! Also thank you to everyone who voted for me, my good friend Tommy Platt for producing this track with me, and my beautiful and talented wife Melissa Kolmar (who encourages me daily and made me promise to enter this contest!). This is so encouraging as I embark on making my first EP before this summer. Thanks again!!"
Michael's 3rd place prize includes an Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE guitar and a $500 Musician’s Friend Gift Certificate!