UP library to host singer-songwriter mentor series

The Union Parish Library is hosting a unique opportunity for teens who are budding singer-songwriters called SPARK: Songwriter Studio Series sponsored by Origin Bank for students in Union Parish.

Stephanie Herrmann, Director, comments, “We wanted to offer something we never have hosted here in Union Parish. A lot of our students have guitars, write songs, but they’ve just never had an outlet for that.”

Students will attend mentoring sessions once a week for seven weeks beginning with the finale being an outdoor concert in April.

Spark: February 20th, Session 1, The MUSIC (Define your Music)
Flame: February 20th, Session 2, The LYRICS (Write the Lyrics)
Glow: March 5th, Session 3, The STAGE (Perform on Stage)
Ember: March 12th, Session 4 The RECORDING (Create a Single/Album Cover)
Ignite: March 19th, Session 5 The VIDEO (Make A Music Video)
Burn: March 26th, Session 6 The REHEARSAL (Practice in Outdoor Venue)
Blaze: April 2nd, Session 7 The CONCERT (Autographs and Public Concert)

Kimberly Dean serves as the music producer of the series and will be joined by nine other musician mentors that will coach, guide, and offer encouragement to the teens throughout the sessions. She adds, “Our mentors are absolutely phenomenal. We have nearly all
genres represented by our mentors that not only are original songwriters, but also recording artists and performers. We have a wide range of talented artist that are sharing their time to help students develop the craft of songwriting.”

Most all of the mentors will be at the song-writing session to help one-on-one the artists develop their song lyrics which will be the most intensive night of the series.

The mentors and their backgrounds include:

Kimberly Dean, Blue-grass/Folk gospel singer, guitar/banjo, concert performances, teacher

Jordan Sheppard, Country/classic rock songwriter/performer, recording artist, concerts, music streaming

Julianne Post, Pop/Alternative/Contemporary, music/piano, music streaming, poet/storyteller

Deanna Ellsworth, R&B/Gospel, piano, stage performance, recording artist, teacher

Rickey Pittman, Folk/Bard of the South, songwriter/performer, recording artist, music streaming, teacher, author

Amanda McDowell, Rock & Roll/Contemporary Christian, songwriter/performer, recording artist, music streaming, teacher

Kiki Pryor, R&B/Gospel/Southern Soul, songwriter/performer, piano, concerts, recording artist, music streaming, teacher

Katie Knight, Country, songwriter/performer, concerts, music video, recording artist, music streaming
Grayson Mack, Country, songwriter/performer, concerts, recording artist, music streaming, recording artist

Shauna Hamilton, Classical/Contemporary Christian, performer, vocal coach, choir/music teacher
Dean said, “In addition to this priceless experience with the mentors, students will leave the series with a USB album/album cover (they design), a published music video, concert poster, and autographed musical photos.”

Union Parish Library director adds in closing, “We will only be accepting ten students into the series, so there will be a pre-application process that will be a selection process. Students must be at least 13 years old and must already have basic musical experience. They must play an instrument at least for rhythm purposes and be willing to sing public performances. An application is required and mentors will select the students for admission.”

Origin Bank has agreed to be the title sponsor, so there will be no charge for the students to attend.
The final concert will be held at an outdoor venue in Union Parish where the public will be invited to attend at the stage behind the Soul Effie Good restaurant. Bring a lawn chair and come enjoy the home grown talents of Union Parish.

For more information, call the Union Parish Library at 368-9226.

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