Cambridgeshire youths win songwriting contest

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A number of young people from across Cambridgeshire have won a competition to write and record songs about life during the lockdown.

He is part of Cambridgeshire Music’s Rhapsody songwriting competition which received 70 entries from aspiring musicians.

The songs paint a vivid and uplifting picture of the lives of young people over the past 18 months.

Young people from the region came out on top in all three categories.

Three expert judges from the world of music chose the winners.


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Contest winners

  • First Place – Isla Mae, 14, of Linton Village College for her haunting song called “The Rainbow”.

Isla Mae said: “I was very happy to hear that I had been chosen!

“I hope my music reaches a wider audience and people find joy in it.

“This competition helped me to believe more in myself because I often doubt myself.


Isla Mae, 14, of Linton Village College won the songwriting competition, with her haunting song called “The Rainbow”.
– Credit: Isla Mae


Isla Mae, 14, of Linton Village College won the songwriting competition, with her haunting song titled

Isla Mae, 14, of Linton Village College won the songwriting competition, with her haunting song called “The Rainbow”.
– Credit: Isla Mae

Aspiring songwriter Jed is now studying at the Royal Northern College of Music.


Jed, 19, from Cambridgeshire, won second place in the competition for his song

Jed, 19, from Cambridgeshire, won second place in the competition for his song “Hey Neighbor”.
– Credit: Jed

Mia wrote the catchy chorus: “The coronavirus, it changed us, it inspired us and it reshaped us …”

The project inspired people aged 7 to 21 to make their voices heard during a difficult year.

The winner of the Song and Lyrics contest (second category), which invited contributors to create their own lyrics and a melody line on a backing track provided by Cambridgeshire Music was 13-year-old Joe with his song titled ‘We Help the World “.

Joe is in eighth grade at Ely College and plays the piano and trumpet, as well as singing in the school choir.


Joe, an eighth grade student at Ely College, won the melody and lyrics contest with his song called

Joe, an eighth grade student at Ely College, won the second grade melody and lyrics contest with his song called “We Help the World.”
– Credit: Joe

“I’ve always loved playing music,” he says.

“I struggled with foreclosure and home learning and really liked being able to keep making music online.

“My song was a personal experience – I was at home with my family in confinement, including my grandmother, who we were taking care of.

“She really loved it when I played music for her and loved listening to me play my different instruments.

“Grandma has now moved into a care home and I can’t wait to share my song with her.

“I also look forward to many more music creation opportunities in the future. ”

Some of the memorable lyrics from Joe’s song are: “When we are free and can walk outside and meet our family and friends, be grateful for the sacrifice, for the world is being restored.”

The third category of the competition invited young people to submit their own original lyrics.

Winners will work with a singer-songwriter to turn their lyrics into a song.

Category winners

  • “Dancing with you” by Lucy from The Grove Primary School, Cambridge.

  • “Lockdown Times” by Jessica from Cromwell Academy, Huntingdon.

  • “Who Am I” by Darcy, a Grade 11 singer at the Neale-Wade Academy, in March.

Liza Field, Cambridgeshire Music’s acting program and vocals manager, said: “The main theme that shone was optimism and hope for the future.

“The songs were so uplifting and I especially enjoyed seeing the many themes covered such as the NHS, hero applause and home schooling, which epitomizes many lockdown experiences for young people across the county.

“The judges were really impressed with the talent that emerged among the 70 entries.”

The finalists will perform today (Tuesday, July 20) in a concert broadcast live and their songs will be turned into a Spotify album.

Matthew Gunn, Director of Cambridgeshire Music, said: “The quality of the lyrics writing and the musicianship was really nice to hear on the recordings.

“For me the songs have created a snapshot of the impact of the world we live in and the different experiences in the lives of young people across Cambridgeshire, especially over the past year.

“We have a strong tradition of creativity in the county and I hope these talented young people will continue to write more songs in the future.”


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