Performing Songwriter Competition

Our 2017 Performing Songwriters Competition Finalists!

Ric Allendorf Rob Flax Abbye West Pates

 Ric Allendorf - website

 Rob Flax - website

Abbye West Pates - website

Middleboro, Mass. Boston, Mass. Memphis, Tenn.
Ric, Rob and Abbye will each perform their two songs in advance of the feature performance at the Rose Garden on Saturday, May 20. Our judges (see them at right) will evaluate their performances and their songs and choose one winner. Tickets are now available online for this season finale show. The winner receives a $100 cash prize and a featured performance slot during the Rose Garden's next season. Congratulations to our three finalists! 

~~~~~ BIOS ~~~~~


Ric Allendorf is a native New Englander who has spent nearly half of his life as an acoustic musician, illustrator, art educator, and breadsmith. He performs from Cape Cod to Boston, both as a solo artist and in the duo ‘Still Willow’. Ric’s music is a tool of navigation and anchoring; pulling deep into the familiar narratives of love, loss, and renewed hope while holding as steady and supportive as a mast. Since discovering Boston folk and acoustic music scene in the 1980s, Ric’s musical influences have grown to include traditional folk and blues, to Celtic/British fingerstyle players, to modern Americana singer-songwriters. 


Multi-instrumentalist Rob Flax describes his music in a concise way: “I play things with strings, I hit stuff, and I sing.” Behind this simple tag line lies a rich depth of genre-bending, from classical and jazz violin to bluegrass fiddle, to blues and rock influences, and beyond. In his “One Man Band” shows, Rob uses a looper pedal and other effects to transform his violin into an entire symphony of sounds. Rob is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory, where he received his master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation, and he currently lives in Boston. 


Hailing originally from Mississippi, Abbye West Pates is a singer/songwriter and worship leader. Writing for over 10 years, her story-driven songs are poetic, yet ordinary, spilling over from her everyday life. Her newest album, Miles of Green, was released in April 2016. Abbye plays concerts in houses, coffee shops, churches, and anywhere else that can be turned into a music venue! But perhaps most important in her travels and music-sharing is the work of hospitality, both of those extending hospitality to them and the ways they invite others into our lives and stories, as well. 

Our Winners

2017: Finalists: Ric Allendorf, Rob Flax and Abbye West Pates

2016: Seamus Galligan (finalists: Joanne Lurgio and Ian Meadows)

2015: Dan Weber (finalists Christine DeLeon and Tom Smith)

2014: Zoe Mulford (finalists Lara Herscovitch and Mike Laureanno)

2013: Paddy Mills (finalists Jane Fallon and Hugh O'Doherty)

2012: Martin Swinger (finalists Ashley Jordan and Dan Cloutier)

2011: Ron Carlson (finalists Tom Gizzi and Charlie Loesel)

2010: Larry Murante  (finalists Jim Colbert and Chris Elliott)

2009: Garrison Doles (finalists Lynne Hanson,Chris Elliott) 

2008: Chuck Hall (finalists Jenny GoodspeedBrian Kalinec)

2007: Mike Morris (finalists Dan Gonzalez, Peter Verity)

2006: John Schindler (finalists Jay Mankita, Dave Potts)

2005: Arlon Bennett (finalists Joe Crookston, Kate Redgate)

2004: Jud Caswell

2003: Cadence Carroll

2002: Michael Troy

2001: Dan Pelletier

2000: Richard Berman

1999: Jean Bratman

1998: Darryl Purpose

1997: Michael Hsu

1996: Carl Cacho

1995: Max Cohen

1994: Steve Hurl

1993: Rick Tarquinio

2017 Judges 

Courtney RodlandCourtney Rodland - Membership and Communications Coordinator of Club Passim, Cambridge.


Ken Ross - Features writer/editor for The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro.

Rick Santos - Owner of Rick's Music World in Raynham, musician and host of weekly open mic.

Rules and Information 

Entry Form

The goal of the competition is to encourage emerging singer/songwriters to seek recognition for their work and to offer them the chance to further their careers.

Contest winners receive:

- A $100 prize
- A featured gig at the Rose Garden