03.06.12 @

LINCOLN, NE – In tandem with Susan Werner’s March 9th performance at the Johnny Carson Theater, the Lied Center held a songwriting competition for young singer/songwriters in Lincoln. The Lied Center is excited to announce the two talented winners:  Pius X High School senior Shannon Kelly and UNL student Rachel Whelan. 

Shannon Kelly is a senior at Pius X High School where she is active in Theater, Show Choir, and Student Council.  Shannon started writing music two years ago and it has quickly become one her passions.  She strives to write music with meaningful lyrics and a universal message and has performed in Pinewood Bowl Productions, NMEA All-State Chorus, and various music and theater productions at Pius. After being announced as a winner Kelly said, “I feel incredibly thankful for this opportunity.  I have always loved writing music, and it is very rewarding to know that people appreciate your work and imagination.”

Rachel Whelan, originally from Denver, Colorado, has had a life full of regrets, heartbreak, and bad haircuts, which she channels into music, while writing for chamber and large ensembles on the side. Rachel has played piano since the age of five, and has performed for talent shows, open mic nights, and piano recitals across the Denver Front Range.

Dale Bazan of the UNL School of Music acted as one of the competition judges.  “There is some astounding young creative talent in Nebraska,” he said. “The decision to select only one song from each age group as winners was quite challenging.  It’s with great enthusiasm I look forward to the live debut of the winning songs.” 

The two winners will perform their songs as opening acts for Susan Werner on March 9th at 7:30 PM at the Lied Center’s Johnny Carson Theater. Tickets to the March 9th performance are priced at $18, and may be purchased online at www.liedcenter.org or by calling 402-472-4747.