Performing Songwriter Competition

Entries are open for the 2018 Competition

Rules and Information 
Entry Form

Abbye West Pates

The winner of our 2017 competition

Abbye West Pates

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. 


Abbye West Pates is a songwriter and storyteller based in Memphis, Tenn. Born and raised in southern Mississippi, she often writes about the small town that raised her and the city that's grown her up. Inspired by folk/Americana artists like Patty Griffin and authors like Wendell Berry, Abbye tells stories that locate you in a particular place with a particular people. She explores life's real struggles - addiction, grief, anxiety - reminding us of grace and faith and forgiveness in the midst of it all. 

Our Winners

2017: Abbye West Pates (finalists: Ric Allendorf and Rob Flax)

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 RossKen Ross - Longtime features/entertainment editor at The Sun Chronicle, based 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