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Lipscomb School of Music Songwriting Contest 2023

Songwriting Finalists

2023 is a new year and with it there are new promises and the excitement of a fresh beginning! We are thrilled to announce these talented High School students as the finalists for our School of Music Songwriting Contest!

Lipscomb's Commercial Music Department is committed to raising up the next generations of artists, songwriters and producers in Nashville's fertile music community and this is only one of the things we are doing to contribute to that mission.

If you are an aspiring High School songwriter and are concerned that you missed out on this year's opportunity, don't worry, we will be posting info for the 2023-2024 contest very soon.

Judges for the contest were:

Steve Taylor

Don Chaffer

Randy Gill

Jeff McPherson

Brooke Odum


Overall Winner:


Seven Finckel



Seven Finckel (17), currently a junior at The Beacon School in New York City, has been making music since they were little. They especially love singing, songwriting, producing, and playing guitar & piano. Seven is also the lead singer and guitarist of the band Electric Dickinson, which they formed with school friends, and which recently performed at The Bitter End in a fundraiser organized by Kids Rock for Kids to raise money for children in crisis. Seven sang with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City for many years and currently studies voice with jazz singer Carolina Santos. In their free time, Seven enjoys drawing, painting, hiking, and set-building for their high-school theater productions.

Seven's Song- Stuck My Tongue Out At the Moon





Lydia Smith

Lydia Smith

Lydia Smith is a singer and songwriter from Northern Virginia. She has been singing, playing piano, and writing songs from before she knew how to write. Lydia has also led worship in churches since she was six years old. Music has always been an important part of Lydia’s life, and she sees songs as worlds of color, emotion, and meaning that can be visited through music and words. She will be studying psychology in Fall 2023 and hopes her music continues to move people. 

Lydia's Song- Rag Doll


Vicky Gao

Vicky Gao

From Abilene, Texas, Vicky Gao enjoys finding music in the ordinary and the extraordinary. While she has loved singing and playing piano for much of her life, she discovered her love for writing music in 2021 while in the midst of the hectic narrative of her junior year. Since then, she has recorded and released two songs on all streaming platforms: "little ghost inside my head" and "last day being 17." Despite discovering her love for songwriting relatively late in her music career, Vicky does not plan to stop writing and sharing music that speaks to human nature, acts as a medium for human connection and empathy, and reflects elements of her life anytime soon. When she isn't writing songs or doing music-related things, Vicky enjoys spending time with her friends, embroidering and crocheting, and going for walks. Vicky is excited to major in songwriting at a university in the fall and hopes to one day write poignant music to raise awareness of environmental degradation. She's super honored to be a finalist for this year's Lipscomb Songwriting Contest. 

Vicky's Song- Little Ghost Inside My Head


Titus Thomas

Titus and Jazzmen

Titus Thomas and Jazzmen Mendoza make up the singer songwriter duo SO 2 REALLL. They are Juniors at McNary High in Keizer, Oregon. They began collaborating two years ago in their Studio Productions class. They love creating melodies, lyrics and performing together. Jazzmen has been singing her whole life and is on her way to following her calling to steward the anointing God has put on her life. Titus has been playing the drums since before he could walk and soon added the piano and bass. Titus has been recognized at Jazz Festivals for his drum and piano solos. He is the MD for his band “Flight” and enjoys writing, arranging and producing music. This song “Looking at Me” is about the feeling of when you are with someone you love, and nothing else seems to matter. They are beyond excited to be honored with this recognition!

Titus' Song- Looking At Me

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman

Emma Jo is an 18 year old singer-songwriter from Denver, Colorado. Emma has been singing and performing since she could speak, but just started writing songs at the start of her junior year of Highschool. Something immediately clicked when she wrote her first song, and she knew that this was what God was calling her to pursue. Emma has found that songwriting is a beautiful way to connect with people, and turn intense emotion and pain into a beautiful thing that holds people together. She currently has a 4 song EP titled "Angel" out on all streaming platforms, and cannot wait to continue releasing music that connects and speaks to other people. Emma is moving to Nashville in the fall, and hopes to continue pursuing songwriting in order to continue her passion for music and others. 

Emma's Song- Fool


Cami Walsh

Cami Walsh

Cami Walsh is a singer-songwriter with a focus on blending the dream-like textures of modern indie music with timeless pop melodies. Her fire-laden voice is spontaneous and emotional, in line with the heartfelt nature of her lyrics. 
 At 17, she has already developed a unique sound, and she’s been creating quite a buzz with the stunning cover songs she’s been posting to her socials, so much so that A-list artists including Willow Smith, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Maisy Stella, Lennon Stella, and Evann McIntosh have reposted her renditions on their profiles. 
 One of Cami’s most distinctive perks is her nostalgic and emotionally haunting vocal performances. Her sound feels cinematic and all-encompassing, yet it has a warm, organic and down-to-earth touch.


Cami's Song- Hopeless Romantics