This Saturday was the WriteGirl Songwriting workshop. It is a special and unique event. The girls don’t simply learn about the elements of songwriting and the structure of songs. They don’t merely write full songs or pieces of songs. They don’t only get to sit with professional songwriters to get feedback on their works in progress. Some get to hear their songs performed by professional singers/musicians!
Every year I’m impressed by the songwriters and singers who participate in the workshop but this year, wow! Not only did we have MoZella the writer of “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. We also had Anne Preven, the songwriter who has written hit after hit including “Listen” for Beyonce.
Wikipedia says: After graduating from Harvard College, Preven began writing songs and has since collaborated with some of the music industry’s top artists including Madonna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Sinéad O’Connor, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Jordin Sparks, Zac Brown Band, Pixie Lott, andMiranda Cosgrove. In 2007, she was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award and won the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Original Song for “Listen” from the motion picture adaptation of Dreamgirls. In 2011, Preven was nominated for a Grammy Award forBest Song Written for Visual Media for her collaboration with Zac Brown Band on “Where The River Goes” from the movie Footloose.
Showing my age, I was most thrilled to hear the classic Earth, Wind and Fire hit “September” performed by Allee Willis, the woman who wrote it! She also happened to have written “I’ll Be There For You,” the theme song to a TV show you might just know as well as many other familiar and hit songs.
[Her WikiPedia entry says: In 1995 Willis was nominated for an Emmy for her #1 hit, “I’ll Be There for You“, the theme from Friends, one of the best selling television themes of all time. In 1985 she won a Grammyfor Best Soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop. Her songs have sold over 50,000,000 records, including “September” and “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth, Wind & Fire, “Neutron Dance” by the Pointer Sisters, “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” by Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield, and “Lead Me On” by Maxine Nightingale. Willis has collaborated with hundreds of leading artists and composers from all fields of music, including Bob Dylan, James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Deniece Williams and Motown legend Lamont Dozier. She co-authored theBroadway musical version of The Color Purple, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Alice Walker and film by Steven Spielberg, which opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theater on December 1, 2005, and continues on national tour.]
The hits these women have written or collaborated on, the projects they’ve been involved in and their long resumes were tossed out so casually that I missed most of them. That and I was busy handing out song sheets and mentoring two lovely young ladies.
There were over twenty singer/songwriters in attendance – each performed one song in addition to talking with the girls and doing consults.
Unfortunately my iPhone ran out of juice before I thought to take any pictures.
However, there were group shots taken which, hopefully, will end up on the WriteGirl webpage.
If/when they are, I’ll be back to update this post with more names and photos!