Performing Songwriter Competition

The winner of our 2024 Competition:


James Lee Baker performs at the Rose Garden 2024 Performing Songwriter Competition.

James Lee Baker performs in the Rose Garden 2024 Performing Songwriter Competition.

Watch the Competition:



James Lee Baker

Colorado-based songwriter James Lee Baker crafts emotive songs reflecting a small-town past and a journey of self-discovery. In 2020, the title track from his LP 100 Summers reached #1 on the FAI Folk charts. His single Santa Barbara amassed close to half a million streams and songs like Returning to Paris and The Last Cowboy in Hutchinson County gained recognition in national songwriting contests. In 2021, he was awarded Male Artist of the Year by the International Acoustic Music Awards before his 2022 release, Impressions, featured the #10-charting cover of Ellis Paul’s Did Galileo Pray?

Chris LaVancher

Chris LaVancher’s performance evokes a mini-movie festival in your head, complete with a full soundtrack. He writes cinematic, character-driven songs. A seasoned and skilled craftsman mining life’s subject matter – family challenges, work, love and love lost, childhood memories, and finding one’s place in the universe. His song Nostalgia received an honorable mention in the 2018 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Contest.

Allison Rose

A Rhode Island-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Allison Rose is who you’d get if Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Sara Bareilles, and a Disney Princess all had a baby together. She writes honest, heartfelt songs that will punch you in the gut, and shares them with authenticity and sense of humor to create a connecting musical experience.

We are no longer accepting submissions for our 2024 contest.
Finalists chosen must be able to perform 2 songs at our May show
The submission deadline was April 1.
See rules for additional information.