Making Music History

Wyoming-Singer Songwriter Competition

Unrestricted Endowment Fund

Think about what you would put in a time capsule for someone to open in the future. What would you want people to remember about this time? For Jon Gardzelewski, director of the Wyoming Singer-Songwriter Competition, he’s collecting something that will be remembered and understood for decades to come. He’s collecting an album of original songs.

“I think of this album as a historical document,” Jon says. “What if we took the most talented songwriters from 100 years ago and we had recorded them? Wouldn’t that be an amazing artifact now?”

Because of you, a grant from the Wyoming Community Foundation was made to the Wyoming Singer-Songwriter Competition to produce a compilation album of songs from the first year of the competition.

The Wyoming Singer-Songwriter Competition released the first  album of songs in 2019. This album gives songwriters a way to tell our state their stories, in the way they want to tell it. Because not everyone can win the songwriting competition, this album makes it possible for songwriters to professionally record their music.

“Not everybody wins, that’s why the album is great, it gives them something tangible,” Jon says.

Bringing People Together

For some songwriters, recording their song for the album means it’s the first time they have been in a studio. The competition helps people write better lyrics. It gives songwriters the motivation to find direction and figure out why and how they want to be a songwriter.  And putting something in front of people is a learning experience and it’s valuable.

Win or lose, this is about much more than the competition. Songwriters get to meet and help each other out. They also get their song on an album.

“Music brings people together,” Jon says. “Musicians who didn’t know each other before the competition now meet up around the state to play together and tour.”

Because of you, musicians are getting better and working together and Wyoming has proof of that through this album.