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10 Songwriters Win Spots In Richardson’s Wildflower! Arts And Music Festival

by Gila Espinoza 22 Apr 2014 4:46 PM

Wildflower! announces the top 10 finalists for its award-winning Performing Songwriter Contest.


z If you start seeing wildflowers on the side of the road then it must be time for Richardson’s Wildflower! Art & Music Festival.  The festival runs May 16-18 at Galatyn Park in Richardson. In the 22 years since the event began it has grown to be quite the musical destination attracting local and national acts. The festival also fosters independent singer-songwriters with a songwriting competition. The panel of judges just released the names of the Top 10 finalists who will perform during the 3-day festival. The full press release is below.

RICHARDSON, TX–APRIL 22, 2014 – The City of Richardson’s 22nd annual Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival, North Texas’ largest music festival, has announced the top 10 finalists for the award-winning Performing Songwriter Contest. Interestingly, while three are from Texas, four are from Maine.  Their names, and details, after the jump.

Hailing from all over the country, each contestant will perform two songs at a final performance on Saturday, May 17, at 11 a.m. on Wildflower’s Singer Songwriter Stage in the Eisemann Center Bank of America Theatre. Selected by a panel of judges, the top three performers will each win a $500 cash prize. One other finalist will be selected to receive the Michael Terry People’s Choice Award of $500 as judged by the audience.

“With only 300 total entries allowed for the Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest, the competition is stiff,” said Al Johnson, Singer Songwriter Manager, Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival.  “The top ten finalists represent incredible talent from all over the country and we are excited to have them perform during the festival.”

The top ten finalists were selected after a rigorous selection and judging process that started in early 2014. Five screeners, with a strong background in music, judged each submission. Once the top 50 were selected, each submission was reviewed by a total of 10 separate screeners. The scores from this judging round resulted in the selection of the top 10 finalists, which include:


Marc Berardo
Westerly, Rhode Island

Ben Bochner
Eugene, Oregon

Carolyn Currie
Cumberland, Maine

Robin Hackett
Frisco, Texas

Jen Hajj
Carlsbad, California

Drew Kennedy
New Braunfels, Texas

Libby Koch
Houston, Texas

Paddy Mills
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Heather Styka
Durham, Maine

Ellen Tipper
Appleton, Maine


The award-winning Wildflower! Performing Songwriter contest encourages the growth of the art of independent performing singer-songwriters. The genres include Acoustic, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Celtic, Country and Folk. Past finalists include Ruthie Foster, Beth Wood, Karen Mal, Grace Pettis, Dave Carter, Louise Mosrie, Betty Soo, Matt Harlan, Butch Claude Morgan, and RJ Cowdery.

Throughout the three-day Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival, to be held May 16-18, the finalists will perform a set on the festival’s Courtyard Stage located in The Taste of Texas Food Garden. More information can be found at

About Wildflower! The Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival began as a small community event in 1993 held in a local park in northeast Richardson, Texas. Twenty years later the festival has become the premier music event in the area. Originally a community event designed to celebrate the acres of wild flowers planted throughout the city each spring, Wildflower! quickly “blossomed” when national headlining entertainment was added after only the second year. Growing crowds and subsequent logistical challenges lead the event to its first move to the Greenway Corporate Office Park at US 75 and Campbell Rd. Here the event was able to expand with multiple stages, over 30 acres of arts, music, and family activities. In 1998, the Wildflower Nights! Program was added, bringing an additional weekend of concert-style entertainment to the event. Wildflower Nights! featured evening concerts in an amphitheater setting and the program quickly gained popularity as bigger and better artists were added to the lineup each year. In 2013, more than 60,000 attendees, ranging primarily from ages 25 to 54 attended the event.

About the City of Richardson With nearly 100,000 residents, the City of Richardson is widely recognized for its commitment to excellence, its rich history and its bright future, all of which make Richardson a smart choice for residents and businesses. Known globally for its high-tech business leadership, the City of Richardson also offers a high quality of life, diverse array of neighborhoods, convenient Metroplex location, multi-modal transportation infrastructure and outstanding

City services. Richardson has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top places to live and work by the national media, and the City remains dedicated to continuous improvement, as well as to the principles of open government and two-way communications with residents. To learn more, visit