Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards Concert

Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards

Finalists Concert & Awards Ceremony


Fri, April 12, 2024 | 7pm

$25 - $35

Rochelle Rice performing on stage with Mark Meadows on the piano

The Music Center at Strathmore

Know Before You Go

Plan your visit

Post-show reception

Meet the artists at a free dessert reception after the show.

The Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards, founded in 2015, celebrate composers and lyricists in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. 

The concert and awards ceremony, being presented by Strathmore for the first time in the competition's 8-year history, features a concert of original songs written by the finalists.  

A panel of 3 esteemed judges, distinguished musicians from across the industry, will provide feedback following each performance and announce the winner at the end of the show.  

Prizes range from $1,000 to $10,000, with a special $2,500 award for a songwriter under 18. The grand prize winner also receives studio time and business consulting to help propel their music career. 

2024 Finalists

  • Deborah Bond
  • Teghan Devon
  • Taisha Estrada
  • Liam (Nim) Greaves
  • Eryn Michel
  • Samiah Perry

2024 Youth Finalists

  • Sarah Baumgarten
  • Elizabeth Gwin
  • Caia Lucas


Meet the Final-Round Judges


Damien Sneed

As a multi-genre recording artist and instrumentalist, Damien LeChateau Sneed is a pianist, vocalist, organist, composer, conductor, arranger, producer, and arts educator whose work spans multiple genres. He has worked with jazz, classical, pop, and R&B legends, including the late Aretha Franklin and Jessye Norman, Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Denyce Graves, Lawrence Brownlee, Richard Smallwood, The Clark Sisters, and many others. Sneed is a 2014 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient. Sneed recently joined the esteemed faculties of both Howard University and The Juilliard School. As a composer, he has been commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where his reimagined adaption of Scott Joplin’s opera, Treemonisha, just premiered in June 2023. Sneed was recently signed to Apple Music Classical & Platoon Records (London), releasing his newest recording project, Kaleidoscope, in February 2024, featuring the solo piano music of African-American composers.


Kavita Shah

Kavita Shah is an award-winning vocalist, composer, ethnomusicology researcher, educator, and lifelong New Yorker hailed by NPR for possessing an "amazing dexterity for musical languages." Her original projects blending modern jazz, new music, and world traditions include Visions (2014), Folk Songs of Naboréa (2017), Interplay (2018, nominated for France's Victoires de la Musique for Jazz Album of the Year), and Cape Verdean Blues (forthcoming, 2023). Shah performs her music at major concert halls, festivals, and clubs on 6 continents, and her work has been supported by New Music America, Chamber Music America, Jerome Foundation, Camargo Foundation, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and Park Avenue Armory. Her collaborators include NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, Martial Solal, MacArthur Genius Miguel Zenón, Lionel Loueke, François Moutin, and Miho Hazama. Shah holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Harvard, an M.M. in Jazz Voice from Manhattan School of Music, and speaks 9 languages. A fierce advocate for gender and racial equity in the arts, she was also a founding member of the We Have Voice Collective and the Ori-Gen Collective.


Owen Danoff

Owen Danoff is a songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist whose credits range from national television to Off-Broadway. In addition to his own work as a singer/songwriter, Danoff has worked with artists across genres to help bring their visions to life. Recent works include the musical score for the Tony Hawk mini-documentary Tony Hawk First Ever 900 Story: The Perfect Storm produced by The Strive Collaborative, Mike Schiavo’s latest single “Very Bad Day”, and song placements on FOX, MTV, and Netflix.

Strathmore extends its deepest gratitude to Cathy, Alex, and Amanda Bernard for their unwavering dedication to our region’s talented songwriters and for generously investing in this meaningful event.

Strathmore is grateful for Innovation Station Music for its support of this program.