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Saturday December 4th

Sweet victory: Chapel Hill chocolate shop to host Triangle Songwriters Competition

<p>A previous concert hosted by Special Treats at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. Photo courtesy of Dan Friedman.</p>
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A previous concert hosted by Special Treats at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. Photo courtesy of Dan Friedman.

Local musical talents will compete for the title of “Best Songwriter in the Triangle” at the Triangle Songwriters Competition hosted by Special Treats, a chocolate shop in Chapel Hill.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for musicians to share their art because there's not a lot of places that are willing to do this,” said John Stevens, a local singer-songwriter. “It will allow artists a chance to be heard.”

The event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 24 from 2 to 6 p.m. and is open to the general public. 

This competition will give local songwriters the opportunity to showcase their talent and gain publicity. 

“If you come out to this show, you will see the time and energy people put into crafting their songs,” said William Nesmith, a local live music performer.

Audience members will vote on the winner of the Triangle songwriting competition. 

The winner will receive a trophy and get a chance to play their winning song on the “Licks and Lyrics” show on Carrboro’s community radio station WCOM. Donations for WCOM will be collected at the competition.

Dan Friedman, owner of Special Treats, said he has wanted to do a songwriter competition ever since his organization expanded to a new larger space. 

“It supports local talent and creativity,” Friedman said.

Friedman said he has been playing in bands and writing songs since he was young. 

“It’s a great form of expression,” he said. “It’s a way to take what you’re feeling and thinking and put it out there for the world to enjoy.”

Some local songwriters such as Nesmith have been writing music since they were young.

Nesmith said that the first time he wrote music was for his senior solo in his high school choir. He said that when he performed his solo he found that the members of his choir were in tears. 

“That was my first time seeing the power of songwriting,” Nesmith said. “I can have these thoughts and feelings and put them to music to connect with a large group of people.”

Friedman said that the competition has no restrictions or limitations and will showcase a variety of musical talent.

“We are all unique as people, and we have our own amalgamation of experiences, trauma, successes and failures,” Nesmith said. “We can use these unique perspectives to put an idea out into the universe.”

Some songwriters who will attend the competition have unique personal experiences that influence their songwriting. 

“I watch a lot of TV and might get inspired by a character,” Nesmith said. “Friends will tell me their personal stories so that will inspire ideas, and I do write from personal experience as well.”

Stevens said he is an English teacher in his daytime job, so a lot of his song ideas originally came from poetry he had written. 

“There is a little bit of me in all of the songs that I write,” Stevens said. “Sometimes it is just a feeling, and I try to write around that; sometimes I observe people, write about that and put it in the song.”

Additionally, contestants will have an opportunity to sell any merchandise or CDs that they may have.

“I think that people should come out because these truly are some of the best songwriters around,” Nesmith said. “You won’t be able to find this many well-crafted songs anywhere else.”

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