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Philadelphia Songwriters Project

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Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Philadelphia Songwriters Project has been a dynamic and impactful force on the landscape of the Philadelphia area music community for many years. They have hosted educational events, networking events, instructional events, performance events, showcase events, charity events...... So many people have benefited from their work.

They have welcomed individuals with varying levels of musical intelligence and experience, of varying ages, from all musical genres. They have provided a forum for members of these communities to share their knowledge and create stronger communities.

The arts have suffered terribly in recent years, and this organization has been no exception. They do good work, with great integrity and respect for the art and the artists.

Review from Guidestar

Lila C.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a volunteer of PSP since its inception. It has been an under-rated organization that has helped hundereds of local as well as National singer-songwriters become better at what they do. It has been there to support them, to offer educational opportunities, as well as give them a platform to raise their voices and perform in many different settings that they may not have had the chance to perform in, if it had not been for PSP.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The PSP has meant so much to my songwriting career. It was the 1st organization that got me connected with the Philly music scene which eventually led to my involvement with the Recording Academy (Grammys).
My 1st CD had great success in Europe as a result of a conversation I had at the PSP Christmas party a few years ago. This then led to a European radio tour and a #1 song in The Netherlands.
Dena's tireless efforts have provided area singer/songwriters with educational workshops, performance opportunities, and networking.
All Good Stuff!!
Thank you Dena and the PSP, Lee Whitaker

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As an artist, I found Philadelphia Songwriter's Project to be extremely valuable. PSP has provided opportunities for me to perform, to attend relevant professional development seminars, and participate in artistic growth activities. It provides opportunities to network with other artists and music people. Being a member of PSP gives me a sense of comraderie and connection with other area artists as well.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteered at various musical fundraisers, showcases and a vote festival. The support PSP gives for local musicians and artists is overhwelming. They continually help local artists get recognized and give them a platform to perform as well as entering songwriting contests.

Review from Guidestar

Jay L.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first exposure to PSP was when my former business partner forwarded me a voicemail message from founder Dena Marchiony. I returned the inquiry, and we ended up partnering on dozens of events. I served three years on the PSP Board Of Directors, and my recording studio business has sponsored many PSP programs and provided professional services to the group.

In the arts, many people have the influence to "put on a show," and indeed, much of PSP's core programming has been about putting together showcase events. Two main elements distinguish PSP, in my view. One, a relentless focus on helping emerging artists to develop their professional careers, evolve in their craft, and come together as a community. Two, major successes at promotion and unearthing corporate support for its programming. Thus, a group that once looked like "the little arts group that could" has put together a track record of producing programs that delight and sometimes shock with their scale and quality of execution.

The Beyond Measure program was a prime example — an exceptionally ambitious program on an artistic and logistical level. The program faced tremendous challenges in raising the necessary cash, but PSP leadership never stopped moving, adapting, and willing the event not only into feasibility — which was hard enough — but to a high level of excellence. The result was an event in which hundreds of artists, ranging from high school students to senior citizens and longtime music pros, collaborated in a one-of-a-kind performance. The artistry came together in an impressive fashion, and huge number of participants and concertgoers came away with a transcendent experience of artistic possibility and community. We're proud to have played a small role in this event, donating services in kind.

PSP most recently is becoming well known for its songwriting contests, which are highly competitive affairs that make a significant impact on the careers of both finalists and the eventual winners. Like many other PSP events, the contest exemplifies the group's facility with provoking a response from a large number of artists within the community. It also exemplifies the group's ability to develop partnerships with major corporate entities, including several regional music festivals and major concert promoters. Finally, the artistic excellence of the end result is clear.

My experience with PSP extends to a many other programs, and I expect to be involved with more in the future, but I chose these two as examples of what makes PSP a standout arts non-profit.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

PSP has served songwriters in our area with outstanding performance, networking, and educational opportunities. In my experience as a singer-songwriter, PSP has provided performance opportunities leading to further bookings, and networking opportunities where I've met another songwriters leading to successful long-standing friendship and collaboration.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an intern for the Songwriters Project during the summer of 2010. I gained experience in the music industry, as well as event preparation and some market research. It was a fun and interesting internship with a flexible schedule that I would recommend to any college student.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Andrea Carlson and I am a singer/songwriter in the Philadelphia area. I was very fortunate to come across the information to the Philadelphia Songwriters Project song writing contest in early 2009. I felt comfortable to enter by their encouraging profile that everyone would be considered equally. I sent in my CD, but with hopes, but no idea what it would lead to. Well, first I found out I was a finalist and then later in an live competition I was one of the winners that year! It was quite a boost to my moral, but even more it offered a high level of exposure! I was able to perform in some of the top venues and festivals that summer. It was a fabulous experience and I am still reaping the benefits from it all. I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Philadelphia Songwriters Project has engaged in some of the most innovative creative programs in the area. The VOTE! music festival ran simultaneous performances in dozens of locations to encourage voter registration. Beyond Measure brought local songwriters together with choirs and choruses to create a completely original presentation.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have accompanied different PSW finalists two years in a row now. From one year to the next PSW's professionalism (which was notable to begin with) grew leaps and bounds. In terms of outreach and promotion, venue and audience exposure, stage management and merchandise sales they have exceeded artists' expectations. In terms of function, they are an important link in Philadelphia culture. They offer artists access to high profile stages and venues they might otherwise be denied, while also introducing audience members to talented local musicians they may have never met.

I believe the first year, 6 finalists were chosen and the second year 4 finalists were selected. This benefited clients, performers, and audiences alike. Narrowing it even further to 2 or 3 finalists may make it even more beneficial. In so doing, showcases would be more efficient in turnaround, artists would have more time to establish a relationship with new audience members, and the showcase would have more weight and credibility.

I say this, because as a professional musician I have seen several performers or bands slip through each year that were capable of playing two songs and winning a contest but were incapable of performing a set of cohesive material before a large audience. It is not inconceivable that out of a 1000 submissions, only 3 performers possess the talent, determination and professionalism to write good music AND put on a good show.

One could argue that every performer benefits from the exposure, experience, and opportunity PSW provides and I would certainly agree. However, the flip side is that the very "green-ness"of the finalists I mention can undermine the credibility of PSW and its brand as an authoritative representative of emerging artists.

It is my opinion that PSW finalists should be able to rise to the great opportunities (and challenges which every opportunity poses) which PSW provides. Narrowing finalists, creating more extensive contests, and more carefully navigating that space between an artists' "green-ness" and professionalism, would strengthen PSW's brand and the integrity of it's product.





General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Philadelphia Songwriter's has given me the opportunity as a singer-songwriter to perform at several events this past year which has made me become much more confident in my performance.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Philadelphia Songwriters Project provided me with a multitude of learning, performance and networking opportunities during my music career. For example, they invited me to host several showcases, provided affordable learning workshops that I attended, and allowed me to meet and network with artists who have become lifelong friends. In my current career teaching voice to teenagers and adults, I pass along the knowledge gained from the experiences derived from PSP to my students. They have had a profound impact on my life and I am proud to pass their knowledge and message on to young people every day.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a performer as well as leader of a songwriting workshop for PSP I can only say amazing things about what they do to bring together the Songwriting community of Philadelphia. There was really no one doing what they do before Dena and Stu brought PSP to the scene. The fantastic and diverse shows they've produced, the songwriting contests, the workshops offered, they truly care about the community and should be commended for their hard work and contributions.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4


I am extremely grateful for PSP and the work that they do to help nurture, grow, and promote songwriters on all levels and abilities. It is a wonderful organization with a strong mission and I applaud them for their work. I have been given some incredible opportunities to grow as a performing artist with the help of PSP. As a winner of two of their competitions (2007, 2010), I have been able to hear my songs arranged and performed in a choral setting, earned the opportunity to play in some incredible venues such as the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia Folk Festival, and the Bethlehem Musikfest, and was rewarded the chance to expose and promote my music in ways that would, otherwise, have been extremely challenging.

I also admire PSP’s work to give teenagers and young adults an approachable steppingstone to explore their creativity through songwriting. But they don’t stop there. PSP also helps these students to build confidence and experience through workshops, open mic performances, and competitions.

I was given the chance to be a part of leading one of PSP’s student workshops at Germantown Academy with a fellow songwriter. In this workshop we focused on exploring the process of songwriting with a group of students through performance and discussion. Not only do I think this was beneficial to the students, but it also gave me yet another opportunity to grow as an artist and give back to my community though music.

From my experience, PSP is relentless in finding new ways to grow as an organization that helps songwriters, performers, and lyricists develop and thrive. They are an excellent resource, and I give thanks for all the support that I have received through their hard work and dedication to their mission.

I look forward to observing PSP’s growth as an organization in the years to come as a valuable resource for up and coming musical artists.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Philadelphia Songwriters Project gave me a leg up in my career. I am grateful for the opportunities they provided me, which otherwise would have been much more difficult to obtain.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I entered the Philadelphia Songwriters Contest in 2009 and my band was lucky enough to be one of the winners. Dena and the Project set up a great array of festivals which showcased the winners.

The contest really helps to highlight Philly local songwriters and their craft. It is also a good networking opportunity, because It allows for local songwriters to get an honest critique of their songs from other artists and industry folk. It's a valued local program.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Philadelphia Songwriters Project has become an essential and important part of the arts community in The Philadelphia area.

Without them, the arts and music community would be sorely lacking.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This organization is a powerful networking force for musicians in Philadelphia. So many music professionals utilize the songwriters' project, and it fosters an amazingly supportive environment in which creators feel free to interact. From recording studio executives and radio personalities to songwriters and musicians, people from all walks of life have a unique opportunity to get connected. Contests are my personal favorite thing to work on and to attend. Though it takes an extraordinary amount of effort to sift through all of the submissions, the board takes the task very seriously and with a positive attitude and dedication to fairness, they make their way through every artist's work. The result is amazing showcases that expose audiences to new musicians and connect performers from potentially disparate genres to one another. The president is always professional and takes the best-interest of her artists very seriously, always endeavoring to create events that are enjoyable for everyone involved.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the honor of placing in the genre bending experiment of Philadelphia area songwriters being paired with area choirs. To this day, it is one of my most rewarding musical moments. The songwriters varied from Country to Pop to Alternative to Gospel. The choirs varied from high school choirs with over 100 members to women choirs and gospel choirs. The writers had a chance to be involved with the arrangers at practice sessions with the choirs, getting a behind the scenes look at the process of developing an arrangement. The choirs got to hear first hand from the writers about creative process. Hundreds of musicians gathered and created a unique experience of shared expression. Several members of the audience approached me at the end of the evening to tell me they were so moved by the performances. The most constructive comment I can give is that there should be much more of these opportunities. I know that the economy is in a recession and it takes funds to run an organization with big aspirations. but the Arts are a reflection of our society that need to be developed and fostered. Do we really want reality TV will be our biggest contribution to the culture?

Review from Guidestar