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Teenage Songwriters Receive “Atta Girl” 
Song receives honorable mention in Grand Slam Songwriting Contest

Teenage songwriters Kelley Hagood and Cori Harding received an honorable mention in the Grand Slam Songwriting Contest sponsored by Music Connection Magazine and Sam Ash Music Megastores for their song Beat of Your Heart.  The song characterizes a young girl's ambivalence about a romantic relationship and a yearning for one that is more substantive.  This accomplishment marks the first contest win for the two teenaged songwriters. 

Kelley, 17 and a student at Broad Run High School, had written the chorus for the song in the summer of 1999 when she lived in Annapolis, MD but had difficulty finding the right versus to complement the chorus.  Then Hagood moved to Ashburn, VA in August 1999 where she met schoolmate Cori Harding, 17, who had written a poem about a romantic relationship.  When Hagood read the poem she knew the poem’s two stanzas were the two verses for the song.  She used Harding’s lyrics and quickly composed the melody for the song’s verses.  Next, Hagood wrote the then song’s bridge.  “I could just imagine the bridge being sung by a church choir, “ she said.  At the time Hagood was working with Dennis Balin, a talented songwriter-producer, on a demonstration tape in his Columbia, MD recording studio with members of her all teen female vocal group, By Chanz.  Balin contributed the song’s pre-chorus that added a plaintive longing from the teen girl for her boyfriend to realize what they have experienced and shared together.

When asked how she became such an accomplished poet at such a young age, Harding responded, “It’s just what I do.”  Beat of Your Heart was the first song this talented duo wrote and the first one they submitted to a contest.  They are still in a bit of shock that their first composition has won then recognition.  These two songwriters clearly have a bright future. 

Hagood recently penned a second song entitled I Can't Breathe, which is a ballad about the feelings of desperation a teen girl has when the relationship with her boyfriend is going through those inevitable ups and downs.  By Chanz will add two- and four-part harmonies to both of these songs to improve their production value and ready them for a CD release in the summer of 2001.   

The Grand Slam Songwriting Contest was hosted online at Molly-Ann Leikin’s Songwriting Consultants Limited web site Ms Leikin was one of the contests judges.  She is an author and hit songwriter who has authored such books as How to Write a Hit Song and How to Make a Good Song a Hit Song.  To hear a sound clip of Beat of Your Heart, go to the Songwriting Consultants Limited web site and click on the song’s title. 

By Chanz will be performing both Beat of Your Heart and I Can’t Breathe live in concert at The Planet Club, an alcohol and drug free teen night club in Chantilly, VA on December 8th and 9th and on December 31st at First Night Leesburg.  The Planet Club is located at 4600 Brookfield Corporate Drive near the intersection of Route 28 (Sully Road) and Willard Road.   Look for details in the local papers for the exact times and location of the By Chanz performance at First Night Leesburg. 

To learn more about By Chanz, go to their web site