NACCE Song Writing Competition Winner


Music has the power to inspire, unite, and convey emotions in ways that words alone often cannot. At the 2023 National Conference in Nashville, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) celebrated this power by announcing the winner of the NACCE Songwriting Contest. This exciting competition not only highlighted the conference's theme of "The Beat of Collaboration" but also served as a platform for individuals and teams to showcase their songwriting skills, focusing on themes related to entrepreneurship, small business, innovation, collaboration, engagement, and community.


After a selection process by a committee of professional musicians and songwriters, the winners of the Songwriting Contest were announced: Melissa Carey, Becky Russell, and Steph Santoso from TCA Knoxville. Their original song stood out as a piece that encapsulated the essence of NACCE's mission and values, making it the perfect song for going into the 2024 conference.


The winning song struck a chord with both industry professionals and conference attendees. Michael Peterson, a Country Music Recording artist, and Larry Butler, a music producer, coach, and tour manager, were thrilled with the song's quality. In particular, they praised the song's ability to capture the NACCE spirit while being a standout piece on its own.


Larry Butler, who is known for his work in the music industry, was impressed by the song's structure and artistry. He complimented the songwriters for adding a surprise chord in the chorus that subtly grabbed the audience's attention and ultimately led to a lyrical payoff at the end. This dynamic touch, according to Butler, is what makes the song not only a fitting NACCE theme but also a musical gem in its own right.


Michael Peterson, a seasoned musician himself, recognized the songwriters' talent and encouraged them to continue their songwriting journey. He commended their craft and expressed his confidence in their potential. The endorsement from these professionals is a testament to the song's excellence and the songwriters' promising future in the world of music.

This contest has provided us with song that not only embodies NACCE;s core values but also resonates with our membership. Melissa Carey, Becky Russell, and Steph Santoso's song is a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and creativity, values that NACCE has been championing for years. As the 2024 theme song, it will serve as a reminder of the vibrant NACCE community's dedication to entrepreneurship and community engagement. Congratulations to the talented songwriters.


Listen to Stars, Stripes and Steel (Innovation in the Heartland)