Last night Kish and I joined our friends Dr. Science and the Bionic Half-Marathoner for the Columbus Songwriters Association Finale Showcase at Notes. We were there to see their son, Jack, compete with more than a dozen other local songwriters.
It was also our introduction to the Columbus Songwriters Association, an interesting organization that says a lot about what our city has to offer. The CSA seeks to nurture and support the creative impulses of lots of homegrown musicians, by doing things like hosting Songwriter Showcase events where the musicians get to perform live at venues like Notes. The ultimate goal of the CSA is to make Columbus into a music city, like Nashville. It’s a worthy goal, because any great city needs vibrant music and arts scenes. In that regard, we thought it was pretty cool that we walked to the CSA Finale Showcase directly after leaving a great performance of La Boheme by Opera Columbus, which meant that we touched very different points on the live music spectrum in the space of just a few downtown blocks.
At last night’s event, 19 different musicians performed their own songs before an overflow crowd that jammed the club. After each song, audience members completed evaluation cards for each performer. The cards were eventually collected and counted, along with the reactions of a panel of judges, to decide who made it to round two. Although we had to hit the road before the second round began, participating in the first round was a lot of fun and showed that Columbus has a lot of budding musical talent. We particularly liked Jack, of course, but I also want to mention Maya Mougey, a teenager who showed tremendous poise in playing guitar and singing a song she wrote about losing touch with her sister who had moved on to high school. We sat next to what looked like a table of her friends who cheered like crazy for her when she was finished, and we did, too.