SPRING SYMPOSIUM '97
by Seth Jackson
I had the privilege of attending NSAI’s Spring Symposium ‘97 on April 18-19 in Nashville. The Symposium is held during the week of Tin Pan South, an exhilarating time for NSAI.
The first morning featured the eagerly anticipated publisher/pro writer song evaluations. This year, the evaluations were done in a group setting, a change for the better from last year’s one-on-one pubisher sessions. Instead of 10 short minutes with the publisher, we were privileged to spend a full three hours with our industry guests, which gave us all time to relax and get to know each other. The publishers and pro writers worked as a team, and were very helpful and informative. In addition to the critiques, they shared some insider insight into the Nashville music business.
The afternoon featured panel discussions with hit writers and a successful publisher. I particularly enjoyed the session with writer Bob Regan, who answered questions on what it’s like to be making a living writing songs.
On Saturday morning, Steve Seskin spoke about writing better melodies. Steve is a wealth of information and a caring and articulate teacher. At the end of his talk, he performed his new song, “Don’t Laugh at Me”. Nobody laughed. He had the room in tears with this powerful and important song. Keep your ears open for this one.
In the afternoon, Pat Pattison spoke about lyric writing. Pat is a pioneer in using scientific methods to analyze lyrics and develop tools for improving the craft. He delivers the information clearly and with humor.
The Legends Concert at the Ryman Auditorium was a fitting climax, featuring Barry Mann, Jimmy Webb, and others. It’s rare to see so many great songwriters in one place!
Unless otherwise noted, workshops are held from 5-8 p.m. at Musician's Institute, 1655 McCadden Place, just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Admission is free for NSAI members and NAS members, $10 for non-members. For more information, call Bev Nelson at (714)733-2717, or Craig Lackey at (310)439-4069.
CCMA’s Entertainer’s Educational Workshop, Sunday, May 4, 9:30am-5:00pm, Country Star Hollywood, 1000 Universal Center Drive. Topics include songwriting and marketing, stage presentation, press kits, and management. CCMA members $30, non-members $40.
The UNISONG International Song Contest offers an expenses-paid trip to Ireland with the opportunity to write with 25 famous hit writers from the US and Europe, plus other valuable prizes. The contest is co-sponsored by NAS, MCA Music Publishing, Peermusic, TAXI, Songlink International and others. Entry deadline is Sept. 1. Call (818)890-5092 for info.
Garrett Swayne will be appearing on May 2 from 8-8:30pm at the new “Acoustic Soup” showcase at the Book Grinders coffeehouse/bookstore at 13321 Burbank Blvd (just west of Fulton) in Van Nuys (phone 818-9884503). There's no cover charge but you'll be asked to buy one coffee drink.
This showcase is held the first Friday of each month, and features a full slate of talented artists and songwriters.
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