Colorado High School Songwriting Competition

2024 Colorado High School Songwriting Competition 

We received many wonderful applications for the Colorado High School Songwriting Competition! Ten finalists were selected and invited to the final live competition on March 8th, 2024 on the CU Denver campus (Auraria Campus). It was a friendly competition that celebrated all of these wonderful, young musicians! While all of the performances were fantastic, the three winners were:

1st - Elsa Vossler and the band Common Molly from Denver School of the Arts
2nd - Gabrielle Cohlmia from Valor Christian High School

3rd - Vivianna Bellance from Dawson School

Congratulations to the three winners and all of the ten finalists:

  • Henry Adams - Denver East High School
  • Vivianna Bellanca - Dawson School
  • Gabrielle Cohlmia - Valor Christian High School
  • Eiley Connell - Durango Big Picture High School
  • Elsa Dean-Kendall - Boulder High School
  • Usha DeWilde - Valor Christian High School
  • Melody - Boulder High School
  • Ella Seng - Fairview High School
  • Neva Upton - Fairview High School
  • Elsa Vossler - Denver School of the Arts

Please see additional competition details below.

Who is eligible?

All Colorado high school students

Why does CU Denver host the high school songwriting competition?

To celebrate the musical talent of all the high school musicians in Colorado and to provide a platform for these young artists to demonstrate their music. We hope that this competition will provide inspiration to young, contemporary musicians! The event will also help the CU Denver Music & Entertainment Industry Studies (MEIS) Department to identify and connect with potential future students.

How to apply?

Just create a music video of yourself or your band playing a song that you wrote. We do require a video and not just an audio file. It is important to our judges to actually see you playing the music. Please note that you don't need a nice video camera to record your video. Even a phone camera should work. We do encourage you to do your best to maximize sound quality but, again, we emphasize that expensive sound equipment isn't needed. The 2024 competition submission period is closed. The 2025 competition period will be announced on this page in fall 2024 with a likely submission deadline of early Febuary, 2025.

What are the prizes?

The first and second place performers will win the opportunity to open for a concert at Levitt Pavilion this summer! Additionally, the first place winner will win a 3 hour recording studio session in the CU Denver recording studios with CU Denver Studio Manager Kevin Lee. In addition to being CU Denver's studio manager, Kevin is a live sound engineer for Gregory Alan Isakov!

All of the finalists will also receive scholarships to the 2024 LYNX Arts Camp Music Industry Program from June 16-28, 2024. The scholarship amounts will vary from $100 to $800 depending on which place a student gets. More prizes will be announced soon!


Once we have received all of video submissions, our judges will review the applicants and choose the finalists. All of the finalists are invited to perform live at the King Center Recital Hall on the CU Denver campus. All applicants will receive feedback about their music from the judges. 

All applicants and finalists will be judged on both their song (lyrics, musicianship, etc.) and how the song is performed.


Just reach out to Dave Walter at or 303-315-7487

Congratulations to all of the past Colorado High School Music Competition Winners!

The musicians competed in-person on the Auraria Campus at the King Center Concert Hall on Friday March 10th, 2023. Prizes included Studio Time at Youth On Record, creative coaching from Owen Kortz, CU Denver Music & Entertainment Industry Studies (MEIS) merchandise, and scholarships to the  2023 LYNX Camp Music Industry Program

2023 Winners

1st Place - Hadessah Haggard - "Something I Used to Believe"

2nd Place - Isabella Fabiani - "Perfect in My Eyes"

3rd Place - Eiley Connell - "How Come"

2022 Winners


1st Place - Robot Tennis Club - "305"

  • Band Members: Laura Steadman - Guitar and Vocals; Eli Schulz - Bass; Nina Dorighi - Drums

2nd Place - Levi Randolph - "OST (Omicron Standard Time)"

3rd Place - AugustX - "Flurries"

  • Band Members: August Brassell - Vocals; Noah Sedarwall - Piano and Vocals

2024 Judges

We are happy announce our 2024 Competition judges. All are experts in their fields and work in the contemporary music industry.



Evan Shelton - Evan is a CU Denver faculty member in the Music & Entertainment Industry Studies Department. He has years of experience writing and performing music.
Finn O'Sullivan - Current CU Denver Singer/Songwriter student. Finn is "committed to creating things that other people can relate to". She released her first EP in 2020. Finn's song  “When the Power Comes Back On” won the 2020 John Lennon Songwriting Contest "Song of the Year."  This was an international competition with thousands of entries and judged by music industry stars. Her newest EP, "Fine Things" is out now!
Verena Fuentes  - CU Denver Singer/Songwriter Alum. Verena is a pop/R&B singer/songwriter from Mexico City with the goal of sharing her experiences as a woman, POC, and human. She recently opened for Devotchka at the Bluebird Theater. Her newest single, “Si Me Debilito” is out now!
Katie Yeager - CU Denver Singer/Songwriter Alum. Katie is a pop/folk singer-songwriter and describes her music as “if George Harrison and Harry Styles met in a coffee shop on a road trip." Katie also writes about pop music scholarship and is a part of the trio Children of DivorceHer new single "Black Cravat" is out now!


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College of Arts & Media

CU Denver

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1150 10th Street

Suite 177

Denver, CO 80204


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