Performing Songwriter Competition

Entries are open for the 2017 Competition

Rules and Information 
Entry Form

Seamus Galligan

The winner of our 2016 competition!

Seamus Galligan

2016 contest collage

Our 2016 Performing Songwriters Competition Finalists!

Ian Meadows Joanne Lurgio Seamus Galligan

 Ian Meadows - website

 Joanne Lurgio - website

Seamus Galligan - website

Chester, Conn. Warwick, R.I. Providence, R.I.
Ian, Joanne and Seamus will each perform their two songs in advance of the feature performance at the Rose Garden by Catie Curtis on Saturday, May 21. Our judges (see them at right) will evaluate their performances and their songs and choose one winner. Tickets are now available online for this season finale show. The winner receives a $100 cash prize and a featured performance slot during the Rose Garden's next season. Congratulations to our three finalists! 

~~~~~ BIOS ~~~~~


Ian Meadows is a young singer-songwriter based out of New England. He has spent the past few years touring, writing and recording with his younger brother as The Meadows Brothers, an Americana duo. Ian's songs have been praised for their emotive, relatable lyrics and memorable hooks. Several of his tunes have won awards, and have been covered by international acts. The inspiration for Ian's story songs come from being a good listener and observer and his love of books.


Combined with her gifted voice and wonderful guitar work, Joanne's songs will prompt you to chase your dreams and offer a tale or two about ordinary people who, like her, excel and inspire. Her songs, singing and guitar work honed and polished in the venues of New England, have a distinct Americana feel with New England charm. She moves from country to bluegrass, folk and r&b to gospel, all with a bluesy undertone.  A hard-hitting voice that fills the room with original songs that will awaken your soul with visions of life's great moments.


Providence-based Seamus Galligan writes songs, plays guitar and sings. He draws inspiration from artists such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and John Martyn. For several years, Galligan has done what aspiring musicians do – write and play…repeat. When he felt ready to share his music, Galligan started frequenting the open-mic scene and taking local gigs wherever he could find them. His hard-work has begun to pay dividends as he recently took home the grand prize at the prestigious Lizard Lounge Challenge Main Event in Cambridge, MA. 

Our Winners

2016: Seamus Galligan (finalists: Joanne Lurgio and Ian Meadows)

2015: Dan Weber (finalists Christine DeLeon and Tom Smith)

2014: Zoe Mulford (finalists Lara Herscovitch and Mike Laureanno)

2013: Paddy Mills (finalists Jane Fallon and Hugh O'Doherty)

2012: Martin Swinger (finalists Ashley Jordan and Dan Cloutier)

2011: Ron Carlson (finalists Tom Gizzi and Charlie Loesel)

2010: Larry Murante  (finalists Jim Colbert and Chris Elliott)

2009: Garrison Doles (finalists Lynne Hanson,Chris Elliott) 

2008: Chuck Hall (finalists Jenny GoodspeedBrian Kalinec)

2007: Mike Morris (finalists Dan Gonzalez, Peter Verity)

2006: John Schindler (finalists Jay Mankita, Dave Potts)

2005: Arlon Bennett (finalists Joe Crookston, Kate Redgate)

2004: Jud Caswell

2003: Cadence Carroll

2002: Michael Troy

2001: Dan Pelletier

2000: Richard Berman

1999: Jean Bratman

1998: Darryl Purpose

1997: Michael Hsu

1996: Carl Cacho

1995: Max Cohen

1994: Steve Hurl

1993: Rick Tarquinio

2016 Judges 

Mark Simos
Mark Simos - Musician, songwriter, associate professor of songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and author of Songwriting Strategies: A 360 Degree Approach (Berklee Press/Hal Leonard).

Donna Whitehead

Donna Whitehead - Editor of the Mansfield News and Easton Journal and editor for

Barnes Newberry
Barnes Newberry - Disc jockey for MVYRadio and 12-year NPR veteran, Barnes was owner of restaurant and former music venue The Blackthorne Tavern in Easton.

Rules and Information 

Entry Form

The goal of the competition is to encourage emerging singer/songwriters to seek recognition for their work and to offer them the chance to further their careers.

Contest winners receive:

- A $100 prize
- A featured gig at the Rose Garden