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Winners of ‘My NYC Song’ Teen Songwriting Contest Announced

Winners of ‘My NYC Song’ Teen Songwriting Contest Announced

Chloe Hennessee, a 15-year-old from Manhattan, was awarded the grand prize for her original song, “Awake.”

The winners of the first-ever city sponsored songwriting contest for teens in New York City, #MyNYCSong, were recently announced by the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and Guitar Mash. 

Chloe Hennessee, a 15-year-old from Manhattan, was awarded the grand prize for her original song, “Awake,” according to a press release. As the grand prize winner of #MyNYCSong, Hennessee will have the opportunity to professionally record her song as well as perform live on Nov. 19 at Guitar Mash at City Winery. She will also receive a mentoring session with Ben Lovett of the Grammy-award winning band Mumford and Sons.

The judges based their decisions on appeal of the song’s concept and subject matter, overall quality of the song, and the interpretation of the NYC theme. Two songs were named runners-up: “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” by Erick Dutan and “Gowanus Canal” by Charlie Kilgore and Julian Kaufman. The runners-up will also receive professional studio sessions and mentoring sessions with Ben Lovett, as well as VIP tickets to attend Guitar Mash.

Click here to listen to the winning song, and the runners-up.

“I’m thankful to have won this contest because it allows me the opportunity to share my music with a large audience, as well as collaborate with so many talented musicians at Guitar Mash,” said Hennessee in the press release. “I was inspired by the wonderful opportunities New York offers, as well as how independent one becomes when living here. New York is a magical place, where people have the chance to make their dreams a reality but ultimately it’s up to them to take that chance.” 

The #MyNYCSong contest was announced in August and created through a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Guitar Mash. Guitar Mash is a nonprofit organization created with the belief that creating music with others connects people in a profound way. Teen musicians ages 13-19 showed off their talent and love for the Big Apple by submitting an original song accompanied by guitar or ukulele and inspired by New York City.

The song submissions were judged by Tom Colicchio, chef and Guitar Mash artist co-chair; Valerie June, award-winning recording artist; Mark Stewart, Guitar Mash artistic director; and Julie Menin, MOME Commissioner.

“I was so moved and inspired by the remarkable outpouring of songs,” said Stewart in the press release.

According to Guitar Mash’s website, the event on Nov. 19 will be an afternoon of music and community to support the nonprofit's outreach and programming. For more information about the upcoming Guitar Mash at City Winery, visit


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Main image: Chloe Hennessee, the grand prize winner of #MyNYCSong
Courtesy #MyNYCSong

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Jordan Laird

Author: Jordan Laird is a junior at Hofstra University, studying journalism and political science, and a fall 2017 editorial intern for NYMP. Laird is a proud Cleveland native, a superhero enthusiast, and an avid writer. See More

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