Performing Songwriter Competition

Held May 18, 2019

Our contest winner:

Kala Farnham

Kala Farnham – website

Timothy Sawyer

Mark Stepakoff – website

ABOUT THE CONTEST

Kala, Timothy and Mark will each perform their two songs in advance of the feature performance at the Rose Garden on Saturday, May 18. Our judges 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 ~~~~~

Kala Farnham

Armed with a voice, entourage of instruments, and faith in the power of story, songstress Kala Farnham set out with one vision: To inspire through the transformative power of music. Drawing from a classical and theatrical background, Farnham presents a hallmark reinvention of the folk tradition. Her passion for fairytales, ancient history, and vivid storytelling draws audiences into imaginative re-creations of the familiar world. Her recent album, “Samadhi: Home Is Where You Are,” was hailed by Bill Copeland as “soulful Americana” in “one of New England’s best voices in one of this year’s best written and best recorded works.”

Timothy Sawyer

In the ’60s, Timothy Sawyer was swept up in the vibrant folk scene in his native San Francisco. In Boston, he played the coffee houses on Charles Street. As an actor/singer, Timothy performed in numerous theatrical productions throughout New England, as well as feature films, radio and television. He spent many years as a voice talent, narrating documentaries and museum installations. Tim won first place at the 2018 Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival Songwriting Competition for “Bones In The Field,” inspired by an Andrew Wyeth Painting. He lives in Cambridge where he tends his garden and continues to write songs.

Mark Stepakoff

Singer-songwriter Mark Stepakoff is widely admired on the Boston area folk music scene for his mix of wry humorous material and poignant ballads, in the vein of artists such as John Prine and Loudon Wainwright III. He has received numerous songwriting awards and his songs have reached as high as number 3 on the national “Folk-DJ’ radio airplay chart. Mark performs frequently in the Boston area. Among the artists he has opened for are Bill Morrissey, Steve Forbert, Christine Lavin, Cheryl Wheeler and Buskin & Batteau.

OUR JUDGES

Rick Foster

Rick Foster

Rick Foster is a musician, songwriter, newsman, former music showcase co-host and music appreciator.

Jess Phaneuf

Jess Phaneuf

Jess Phaneuf is the music director at MVYRADIO on Martha’s Vineyard where she hosts the new music show, Uncharted Waters. Jess has worked for venues including Club Passim in Cambridge and the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River.

Diane White

Diane White

Diane White is the Xfinity Center’s guest & fan experience manager.

Ellis Paul sings about our contest