Cole Ritter

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Based in Gallatin, TN, 17 year old Cole Ritter is a talented musician who started violin lessons at age 3. A skilled musician, he plays a wide variety of stringed instruments, writes music, and sings. He also is versatile in musical genres with influences from classical, jazz, blues, country, bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, and Indie. Cole plans to pursue a degree in commercial music in college, hopefully followed by a successful career as a writer, performer and studio musician.

Katherine Plotz

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Katherine Plotz, 17, is from Chehalis, Washington, but currently resides in Tokyo and is in the 12th grade at The American School in Japan. Her passion for piano started at the age of three, and has influenced her fascination with mathematics, which she hopes to continue studying in college. She is in her school’s jazz band, and is president of the Space Club. She contributes to her community through various types of service, and leads her church’s praise team.

https://youtu.be/gBYwICr ZYis

Joshua Landgraf

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My name is Joshua Landgraf and I am 11 years old and 6th grade student at Eubanks Intermediate School in Southlake, Texas.
My interests include writing graphic novels, sketching and drawing 3-dimensional art, playing tennis, playing with my three siblings and I have a voracious appetite for reading, especially mythology of all types.
I enjoy all of my classes, especially, math and history. Also, I enjoy watching shows like Tiny House and I would like to be an architect, engineer or a lawyer.

Gabriella Tommasi

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My name is Gabriella Tommasi, and I am 11 years old. I have had a passion for music since I can remember!  I love playing electric guitar most of all, but also play piano, drums and just this year, I have begun to play the trombone in the Eubanks Intermediate School band. I do more than just jam, I also love to swim, paint, and spend time with my friends.  I have a younger brother and sister, Maximillian and Angelica, and we are very close. Last, but certainly not least, I am blessed with the most amazing parents who continue to support and encourage me throughout my journey. God Bless. 

AMBER HODGE

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Amber Hodge, 19, is a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. She loves making music. She makes it electronically composed from the piano. Another passion of Amber’s is animals: She volunteers at an animal shelter and is studying to become a veterinarian. Amber is ready to take advantage of all America has to offer on her road to becoming a veterinarian and thereafter. She loves hanging out with her friends and going to the beach in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

KORI CASWELL

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Best High School Song: Kori Caswell, 17, is from Hannibal, Missouri, made famous in the writings of Mark Twain. She is a senior at Hannibal High School where she is active in the music department and drum major of the marching band. Kori is well known in her community for her work with literacy, history, the arts council and her church. She is very proud of her accomplishments as a bassist for the Quincy Symphony Orchestra. Kori plans on attending Belmont University in Nashville next fall.

EMILY KEENER

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Best Middle School Song: Emily Keener, 12, has been homeschooled since the 2nd grade. She plays the guitar and piano. She has a passion for music and singing and hopes to have a career as a singer/songwriter. When she’s not performing or practicing, she’s playing softball, learning martial arts or reading. Her favorite school subjects include American and World History. She lives in Wakeman, Ohio with her a younger sister and brother and her parents.

KORI CASWELL

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Kori Caswell, 18, Best College Song Winner, is from Hannibal, Missouri, made famous in the writings of Mark Twain. She is now a freshman at Belmont University in Nashville, TN where she is a commercial double Bass major. Kori is in the honors program and is in the university’s symphony. Kori is well known in her home community with her work with literacy, history, the arts council and her church. Upon graduation, Kori plans to pursue a career as a professional musician.

ANNIE NIRSCHEL

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Annie Nirschel, 17, Best High School Song Winner, is a senior at the Academy of Information, Technology and Engineering in Stamford, Connecticut. Her interests include film production, art, and musical composition. She plays the piano, guitar, ukulele and banjo. Annie has been singing for years; her first performance was the National Anthem at a Bridgeport Bluefish minor league baseball game in Connecticut when she was 7. She sang in front of 15,000 people at Battery Park in Manhattan for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and for over a million people at the 2011 “Salute to Israel” parade, also in Manhattan. Annie has done voice over work for Blue Jean Teddy and College Board.org. For the past two years she has worked as a student reporter for “ItsRelevant.com” an online local news service in Stamford, Connecticut. Annie lives at home with her parents, brothers, two sisters and three yappy dogs.

JESSIE LIZ CLEMENT

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Jessie Liz Clement, 13, Best Middle School Song Winner, is a musically gifted singer-songwriter from Lafayette, Tennessee. She is the youngest of four children and is homeschooled through Classical Conversations’ Challenge program. Self-taught on the guitar, piano, ukulele, and mandolin, Jessie writes songs about life and the world around her. Her debut album, “Hey World,” was released in 2011 and new songs can be heard at www.jessieliz.com. Jessie’s Creator has definitely blessed her with special musical talents and she seeks to honor Him and bless others with the gifts she’s been given. Besides music, Jessie enjoys hunting, arts and crafts, and playing on a volleyball team.

JUSTIS WARD

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Justis Ward, 18, Best College Song Winner, is from Douglasville, Georgia. He is a Freshman at Mercer University and is currently on a Pre-Med track. He recently graduated from Central High School, where he was MVP on his Varsity Basketball Team and Student Body President. Along with his high school activities, he volunteered over 3000 hours at a local afterschool program and summer camp. However, despite his busy schedule, he always finds time to write and compose music, as playing his guitar and singing are two of his favorite pastimes.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/89623582

MICAH EDWARDS

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Micah Edwards, 18, Best College Song Winner, lives in Houston, Texas. Currently, a junior at the University of Houston, he is part of the Bauer School of Business and pitches for the university’s baseball team. Along with his sister, he is also the co-founder, pianist, and lead singer of the locally popular Jazz/Pop group LEYBON (pronounced lay-bun). His future goals include becoming a major league pitcher and then eventually moving on to the front office of a major league sports franchise.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/86725359

KORY SHORE (2013 WINNERS)

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Kory Shore, 16, Best High School Song Winner, hails from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He’s been musical his entire life — a drummer at 3-years old, piano and singing at 6, and composing at 12. His first music video, “Crying for America” went viral and was featured on several national news outlets. He’s passionate about freedom and his music and often will weave Constitutional themes into his lyrics. Currently, he’s recording a number of new songs, and just released his latest music video, “Don’t Be Afraid (to Cry)” on YouTube, a song written in memory of one of his classmates who was killed tragically in a car accident a few days before school ended. Kory attends Episcopal Academy. He’s a serious wrestler, runner, and snowboarder. His website is koryshore.com.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/83306673

JESSIE LIZ CLEMENT

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Jessie Liz Clement, 14, Best Middle School Song Winner, is a musically gifted singer-songwriter from Lafayette, Tennessee. She is the youngest of four children and is home-schooled through Classical Conversations’ Challenge program. Jessie was honored to be Constituting America’s Best Middle School Song winner in 2012 and, in turn, had the high honor of singing at the SBA List “Campaign for Life Gala” in Washington D.C earlier this year. Self-taught on the guitar, piano, ukulele, and mandolin, Jessie writes songs about life and love from the heart of innocence. Her newest album, “Runaway Adventure” with 13 new songs written by Jessie and produced by Nashville session singer Russell Terrell, was released in August, 2013, and can be found on iTunes or at www.jessieliz.com. Besides music, Jessie enjoys hunting, arts and crafts, and playing on a local varsity volleyball team.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/83873626

JOY FROST (2014 WINNER)

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Joy Frost, 22, Best College Song Winner, is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. She currently lives in Germany where she is studying music production. She is working hard at establishing herself as an independent songwriter abroad and hopes to one day soon have her work appear in film, TV, and on the radio.

JIM BOOKER

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James Booker, 22, Best College Song Winner, is a native of Portland, Michigan. He attends Belmont University as an audio engineering technology major and has interned for Soundcheck Nashville and Station West Studios. James has been involved in his local community arts council and has performed music for three Relay For Life events in Michigan. He is pursuing a career in country music performance.

DOMINGO HIRACHETA, 23 & ESTEBAN HIRACHETA, 19

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Brothers Domingo and Esteban Hiracheta (ages 23 and 19, respectively), Best College Song Winners, were born in Corpus Christi, Texas – four years apart, to the day and hour. Both now attend Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi where Domingo is a Computer Science major and Esteban is an Environmental Science major. They are music ministers for Islander Catholic, a growing Catholic student organization located on campus. They also make their own music as “Fire and Flame.” You can visit their website at FireAndFlameMusic.com.

ISAIAH JACKSON

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Isaiah Jackson, 18, Best College Song Winner, is from Chicago, Illinois. Isaiah is a poet, hip hop artist and songwriter. He grew up with four brothers and spiritual parents who taught him the love of God, and this is what instilled in him to write music for the people especially those who went through some hardship in their life. He was the first place winner in a Chicago area music competition judged by professional music industry producers who worked with the likes of Kanye West, Beyoncé, John Legend, and Lupe Fiasco. His favorite type of performance is spoken word because it forces you to listen to his words and to understand them. When he isn’t making poetry about the ongoing current issues facing our society, he enjoys to make comical songs.

KORY SHORE

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Kory Shore, 17, Best High School Song Winner, hails from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He is a singer, songwriter and gifted musician with talent and charisma. Kory began playing drums at age 3. (See the video.), break dancing at 4, piano at 6, singing at 8, and started writing music at age 12. He’s now 16 and ready for the world to hear his uniquely mature point of view as expressed through his music. He’s currently being produced by Top 10 Producer, Kurt Shore. His first music video, “Crying for America” garnered national attention striking some controversy with its patriotic theme, and was interviewed on news outlets around the country. Stay tuned and subscribe to hear more. Kory is a runner and snowboarder. Hobbies include airsoft, photography, and of course, video games.

JOY FROST

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Joy Frost, 23, second time Best College Song Winner, is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. She currently is studying abroad in Germany, majoring in music production. She is working hard at establishing herself as an independent songwriter and has signed several tracks to film and TV music libraries. She is currently recording her second album.

ABDUL REID & JANAYE MASTERS

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Abdul was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Douglasville, Georgia, a small town outside of Atlanta, in 2010. Abdul has been working on music ever since he was 11 years old. HeI became interested in music because his older brothers were doing it and he wanted to be just like them. Abdul started producing music seriously when he was 14 and loved it ever since. He plans on attending The Art Institute of Atlanta after he graduates to continue his career in audio engineering and hopefully become an established music producer.

Janaye, 17, is a senior at Chapel Hill High School and will be attending Kennesaw State University in the Fall 2016 as a Marketing major. She has participated in Chorus for 8 years, starred in musicals and has been paid to sing at a wedding. Janaye plans to keep music in her life after college as a vocal coach for young students.

KIRK TAYLOR, CALBEB THOMAS, JONATHAN FRAZIER

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Jonathan Frazier loves to make music and is a performing rapper trying to become famous. He loves history so it is very easy for him to make a song about it. He is very happy that he won and looks forward to winning again. Caleb Theophilus Thomas was born on October 21st, 2000 to Tennis Thomas I and Earlisa Spencer-Thomas. He is a native of Dallas, Texas and currently attends Booker T Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts. The youngest of five brothers, he was always influenced by their generation of hip-hop culture which sparked his interest in the hip-hop genre. By the time he was in school he was getting in and out of trouble and felt like no one understood him except the bad crowd he hung out with and the rap music that they would listen too. When his parents got divorced he would begin to express his feelings on paper in short stories, then poems, then eventually rhymes. During his first year of middle school he participated in the Hip-Hop club which helped him hone his craft and value the culture as well as the music. In his 7th grade year he wrote a poem titled “Threat Since Birth” which was about the struggles of being a black man. By his 8th grade year he found his own style and mastered his flow and is now the same Caleb (stage name Roccy Montana) that you see today. Kirk D. Taylor,14, started his life of music in kindergarten, performing at P.T.M. meetings for school. Soon after he decided that his life would be dedicated to changing the world through music. The rest of elementary school he used his voice to make himself known, but not just musically. He was a finalist in the Gardeer Oratorical contest in 2010 speaking on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also learned to play piano in 5th grade. He achieved 1st chair in the Region 20 All Region Choir both 7th and 8th grade year, He has sung for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and now he plays bass guitar. He is now learning how to play acoustics guitar and once he does he’ll just have to find himself another goal.

EMILY KITZMILLER

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Emily Kitzmiller, 19, is the 2017 Best College Song winner and the 2016 Best College PSA winner. She grew up in Vernal, Utah, but has most recently spent time with her family in Colorado. Emily has been singing for as long as she can remember and started playing the guitar and writing songs a few years ago to counteract a busy school life. She is a sophomore at Brigham Young University where she is pursuing an undergrad degree in Family Sciences with a minor in music. Emily loves people and music, and she hopes to be able to combine those loves at grad school and become a music therapist.

ISAIAH ROSS & CAMERON GWYNN Best College Song

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My name is Isaiah Ross! I am currently a Freshman at the University of Georgia, where I am earning a degree in biology. I also march trumpet in the Redcoat Band! My hometown is Chatsworth, GA. My friend Cameron and I are honored to accept this scholarship.

My name is Cameron Gwynn, and I’m a first year Music Theory and Music Composition student at the University of Georgia. I’m primarily a trumpet player, and I’ve been playing piano for three years. I’ve always loved writing music, so I really enjoyed getting to write a song for Isaiah to sing.

HALLEY MOAK

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Halley is a native Coloradan, and is an 8th grade home schooled student. She has studied piano, music theory and plays the ukulele. Halley keeps busy with her nine chickens, two Schnauzers and three horses. She enjoys riding the trails, participating in the rodeo and is a committed hunter/jumper equestrian athlete. Halley loves history and is a past Best Elementary Poem winner.

SARAH LEARNED

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I am homeschooled and I live in Sanford, Florida. I love to sing and write songs, Other things that I enjoy are drawing, swimming, filming, and dancing. I play the ukulele and piano. I love animals and have two dogs and a turtle. I like to hangout with my friends and we usually make songs and stories together! I would like to be a voice over actress, writer, or a singer songwriter someday!

CAMERON GRAVES

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My name is Cameron Alexander Graves. I was born on Oct 30, 1998 in Portsmouth, Virginia and moved to Alexandria, VA in 2007. I am currently a senior at T.C. Williams High School and plan on going to college to get my masters’s in Business. Ever since the age of 14, I’ve been a huge fan of Hip-Hop music. So much of a fan, I took up the art form myself and began writing raps and poems. Over the years, I’ve developed my own distinct style, and have received local recognition because of it. This positive feedback has only deepened my passion for the art, which is why one of my top goals is to become one of the best lyricists to ever live.

ISABELLA CRING

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As a senior at Western High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Isabella Cring, 17, is already a veteran in vocal performance and local theater. With musicals, open mic nights, coffee houses, civic organizations and even a lead singer at the Renaissance, where she performs weekly in her father’s church, she has scattered the seeds of her talent and has begun to harvest a great crop of appreciation. About a year ago Isabella added song-writing to her pursuits, using both the piano and the ukulele. Isabella also leads the South Florida Cappies (Junior Theater Critic) and is a food bank and mentoring volunteer.