WYEP's Singer-Songwriter Competition



Fourth Round: August 24th at the Town Square Stage at South Side Works  6pm

Contestants have already been selected for this competition.

Final Round: September 7th in Market Square

Round 1 Winners : Billie Sue Bracken, Annina DeBerardinis, Sam Stucky

Round 2 Winners: Cody Piper, Mary Kay Twargowski, Tracey Lee Simmen

Round 3 Winners: Jeff Noble, Soren de-Niz and Adam Fitz


Meet the contestants
Barrett Lipkin
“I am from Virginia and have been living in Pittsburgh for a year. I play guitar and sing the songs I write. I like the music of Bob Dylan, John Prine, Loudon Wainwright and Bill Morrissey.”

Matt w/2 t’s
“Pittsburgh-living non-binary singer-songwriter, Blue Moon bartender, theatre artist.”

James Platt
“My name is Jim I'm a singer songwriter from Derry Pa.. For a living I work at the city brewery and have a wife and daughter I've been writing for 15 years and my music influence is the Beatles especially Lennon and Harrison.”

Jake Johns
“I began writing songs on the guitar after college while living in Cleveland. I began playing these songs at open mic nights at coffee shops and bars until a move back to my hometown of Erie, PA when my daughter was born. A few years as a stay-at-home dad allowed me time to focus on songwriting and eventually form The Arden Room, a three piece to perform my songs with a rhythm section. Since disbanding The Arden Room, I've continued to write songs and perform them solo, occasionally using a loop pedal, foot stomping on a tambourine, and glockenspiel. I moved to Pittsburgh two years ago so my family and I could take advantage of the opportunities and culture of an exciting, growing city. I'm currently working on an untitled recording project featuring new and old material with like-minding musicians.”

Linda Wellner
“I'll be 70 in Jan and I am reimagining myself as a "Hunched over Comedian and a Rocking Chair Star."

Jessica Rosario
“I would describe my music as evolutionary world music with an indie pop vibe. I grew up listening to a lot of traditional latin and world music all mixed in with the r&b music gods of the late 80s like M.J. and Tina Turner. It's like cutting edge soul meets that traditional familiarity, making you feel all warm & fuzzy inside! I always took well to the stage. I moved to Pgh from Miami as a girl with my mom and little brother and from the time I could sing and dance, I was singin and dancing! I learned how to sing by jamming to any and everything I heard. As I grew up my world became very rock n roll oriented where I was able to encompass my identity as a stage performer. I always loved theatrics and rock n roll was game! After my time playing with bands I taught myself to play guitar as an adult, realizing the inportance of being able to compose my own songs. As a song writer, my biggest inspiration come from the world and people around me, especially my son. Being a mom has allowed me to understand our connection with universal consciousness on an even deeper level and a lot of that reflects in my music. Sharing that connection with others is just such an amazing experience. Music is very much the air I breath :)”

Keith Van Horn
“Born in McKeesport, I perform under the name “Scraggleface” and consider my music as acoustic Americana. I work in the research field.” 

Brandie McClain
“I’m a hairstylist by day & lead singer for local Pittsburgh band, Average Jane”

Samantha Silk
“I am a 16 year old high school student from Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. I enjoy singing, acting, and writing poetry and songs. My style is singer-songwriter but I also write pop and am currently composing a musical.”

Ryan Kerr
“Born in Sewickley. Lifelong Pittsburgher. Engineer by day. Guitarist for The Deep Roots by night.” 

Dean Milan
“Singer songwriter from Monongahela, PA. Construction worker. My music is pop/rock.”

Justin Wade
“I am from Chippewa Pa. I am a general contractor. I've worked beside my Grandfather and Father since I was 14. Now running our contracting company. My style of music is New Country mixed with modern rock.”

Mark A Jeffries
“I'm a lifelong Pittsburgher, and currently a schoolteacher teaching 8th grade science (yikes!). I was raised on classic rock, which has been a major influence in the songwriting for my band, called Single Jo. Using my solo moniker Mark Albert Fly, my solo style is strongly influenced by blues, soul, and folk music.”

Annamarie Chantel
“I am originally from Johnstown, PA but have spent the last 4 years living between Cleveland, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. I have worked in communities providing support in youth shelters, organic farming, integrative health and assisting folks in aquiring housing. My style of music includes blending genres such as indie, ambient, folkrock, electronic and more. “

Kevin Potthoff
“Hello, my name is Kevin Potthoff. I am a resident of Latrobe, Pennsylvania (a Highlander through and through). Life can't be too hard when you come from the same town as Mr. Rodgers. My career is spent teaching. I love Mountains to the point, that my first full-time teaching experience was in Asheville, North Carolina (home to the Black Mountains & the highest peak east of the Mississippi River (i.e. Mount Mitchell)). My style of music reflects my lifestyle -- a Southern-Style Country-Rock.”

Spencer Dann
“I am an independent "bedroom musician," recently graduated from Duquesne University. My style might be described as easy-going, indie folk/alternative. My biggest influences are Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.”

John Sadowski
“Born and raised in Pittsburgh. I've been playing guitar most of my life and recently started songwriting in the last couple years. I work in a medical lab aiding with organ transplantation. My style of music is acoustic folk with what I hope is a punk edge.” 

Thomas Reinhardt
“Most individuals know me as Tomcat. I’m about 40 minutes north of Pittsburgh in Beaver County. If you are familiar with that area, I’m just in Beaver Falls. Occupation - Live. Every day. But I currently receive an income by clocking many hours at a valve repair shop located even further north than Beaver County. If I had to describe my style of music (and I am being asked that), I would describe it as my own. Distinct. We all have our own experiences and I’m just trying to put mine into words with some noise behind it that doesn’t sound terrible. Some friends who have heard me play have described my style as melancholy yet heartened, and I would agree with that.” 

Marshall Lewis
“From Pittsburgh. Currently working on It as a System admin. My style of music is a mixture of Singer Songwriter, pop and rock.”



First Place: One Backstage Guitars gift card, one day of studio time at The Church Recording Studio, performance gig at Local 913 Live in November, First Night and one on-air Local 913 feature.

Second Place: One Backstage Guitars gift card, performance gig at Local 913 Live in November, First Night and one on-air Local 913 Guest DJ set.

Third Place: One Backstage Guitars gift card and performance gig at Local 913 Live in November, First Night

Rules for those selected: All performers ages 16+ are welcomed. Performers must perform their own, original work in the competition (no covers!); and must perform solo vocal with solo instrumental accompaniment (no backing vocals or instrumental ensembles). Read the complete contest rules here. 
Each preliminary round has 20 contestants  and 3 winners to be selected to advance to the final round. will vie to move on to the final round of the competition.


Have a question? Email Nick Wright at [email protected]