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Songwriting Majors Win John Lennon Scholarship for Original Songs

Bethany Warner and Chelsea Gilliland headshots, side by side

Bethany Warner and Chelsea Gilliland headshots, side by sideStudents Bethany Warner and Chelsea Gilliland were recently awarded John Lennon Scholarships, given out by BMI Foundation in cooperation with Gibson Musical Instruments.

Warner, a contemporary voice and songwriting double major, took home the second-place prize of $5,000 for her song “$mall Talk & Old Money.”

“I was so shocked when I received the call that I won,” she said. “I almost didn’t believe it! Most songwriters know how tough it can be at times to whole-heartedly be behind your work, so it’s always extremely validating to have others believe in it to, especially people from the business. It was really just overwhelming. ”

Gilliland, a first-year songwriting major, tied for the third-place prize of $2,500 for her song “Fire.”

She asserted that, “just being part of the BMI Foundation’s amazing history and legacy is very special to me… Being selected by this top tier judging panel is certainly a major highlight in my songwriting career, and I am thankful to the BMI Foundation for all of its support for musicians around the world.”

This year was the 20th anniversary of the first John Lennon Scholarship, and hundreds of students from all over the country participated. The John Lennon Scholarship competition annually awards up to $20,000 for the three best original song submissions.