U.S. Navy War of 1812 Bicentennial Original Song Contest

Most people appreciate music and probably also have a secret desire to be able to write it.  Many golfers are musicians, me included.  Judging from the number of people who can’t leave home without Ipods or other music technology, if you don’t like music, you are in the minority. In fact, it is hard to escape the presence of music in our world of ‘muzak’ in elevators, grocery stores, doctors’ waiting rooms, or anywhere else music is piped in. 

Music also played an important role in any war that has ever been fought.  From the Roman trumpets to the Scottish bagpipes to the fifes and drums of American patriots, music always announced that something important was about to happen.  Now in 2012, as the U.S. Navy celebrates the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, this ‘Forgotten War’ or the ‘Second American Revolutionary War’ will be front and center.  Many Americans don’t know much about this conflict and those that do may know it as the war that ‘nobody’ won;  however, it is first the war during which the U.S. Navy first played a starring role;  it is also when the Star Spangled Banner was written.  Essentially, the War of 1812 marked the first time the mighty British Navy was ever truly challenged…..by the fledgling American nation.  Also joining in the fray were France, Canada, and Native Americans.   Three years later, nothing essentially had shifted;  borders, possessions, power, and control were virtually unchanged.  The only real losers were the Native Americans, who had mostly decided to support the French and British.

200 years later, the U.S. Navy bicentennial celebrations began in April, 2012, when an armada of Navy and tall ships moored in New Orleans.  Since then, the armada has visited coastal cities along the eastern seaboard for week long celebrations, concerts, events and airshows.  The armada will continue to stop at cities in the U.S. and Canada along the St. Lawrence Seaway and throughout the Great Lakes until October.  The fleet stops in Detroit September 3-10, 2012 where dozens of activities will bring attention to the U.S. Navy and the tens of thousands of young men and women who serve.  For a full schedule and more information, visit  www.ourflagwasstillthere.org.

In Detroit, a few special contests have been added…..golf events too.  Golfers are often musicians or performer-wanna-be’s.  If there is a song in your heart, you are a Michigan residents (any age) and you can do a bit of research about the War of 1812, this contest is for you.  Here are the details:


Why was the War of 1812 Important in the Development of the U.S. Navy?  

 In cooperation with the U.S. Navy Recruiting District Assistance Council-Michigan (RDAC-MI), the Michigan Council for History Education, and the Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

WHAT?  This music composition contest will allow people to share learned knowledge in song on how the War of 1812 influenced the development of the U.S. Navy through naval battles on the Great Lakes and the High Seas. Known as the ‘Forgotten Conflict’ the War of 1812 shaped the future of Michigan and its people.

WHO?  This contest is open to all Michigan residents in two divisions, Adult and Youth.

WHY? The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 offers an opportunity to utilize the creation of music as a way of learning about this conflict and how wars in the modern era are viewed today.

HOW? By independently and collaboratively researching key events and naval battles on the Great Lakes and High Seas using resources available at local libraries, museums, and the internet to learn about this topic; then transferring this into song of any musical style or genre and submitting the work content into:

  1. A paper version of music and lyrics, or chart.
  2. DVD of performance of this newly created music

WHEN?  To take advantage of summer vacation time, entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PRIZES:  The War of 1812 U.S. Navy Original Song Writing Contest offers the following awards:

Adult Division (age 18 and over):  1st Place – $500 and 2nd Place – $200

Youth Division (must not have reached 18th birthday by 11:59pm August 15, 2012):

1st Place – $500 and 2nd Place – $200

Awards will be presented at a special event during the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 to be celebrated September 3-10, 2012 in the Metro Detroit area. Photos taken at Awards Ceremonies may be used in publications of the U.S. Navy and other organizations, and may be posted on various websites.  There may be additional interviews, biographical information, and news coverage requested by local media and U.S. Navy Community Outreach (NAVCO) or PR personnel.

Guidelines for Song Contest:

–      Song length should be at least 3 minutes and must not exceed 4 minutes.

–      You must supply a paper copy of the Song Title, Music Score and Lyrics (or a chart).

–      A Video DVD of the complete performance of this submission marked with the Song Title and Artist(s) Name

–      An Artist submission form (with Guardian Signature if a Minor); if more than one Artist, all names must be listed.  Use an additional sheet if necessary.

–      Declaration that this submitted song and lyrics are original

–      Declaration that the Artist(s) would be available for performance(s) during Bicentennial celebrations Sept.3-10, 2012, if applicable.

Please note:  Failure to follow these guidelines will result in disqualification of entry.

 Judging Criteria:

  • 25 points, creativity and originality
  • 25 points, responding thoughtfully to theme
  • 20 points, presenting of content clearly and effectively
  • 20 points, appropriate spelling, grammar, flow of content
  • 10 points, completeness and quality of the submitted materials
  • **Ten points will be deducted for every 15 seconds exceeding the length requirements.
  • ***If there is any plagiarized content, entry will be disqualified

 NOTE:  Music and lyrics will be judged by a panel of local and national experts.   Winners may be asked to video record their submissions for use by the U.S. Navy and must agree to media interviews.  Winners agree that their work is original and may be also used for promotional purposes.  Submissions become the property of Original Song Writing Contest Sponsors for use in print or other media as judgment determines.

Any questions may be directed to NRD-MI RDAC Chair Janina Jacobs via email at Jjacobs2456@gmail.com.

ORIGINAL SONG WRITING CONTEST                                                    

Focus:  Why was the War of 1812 Important in the Development of the U.S. Navy?            

ORIGINAL SONG CONTEST ENTRY FORM                                                      

Artist Information:   Division Please check one:
Artist(s) Name(s):   Adult: Youth:   Date of birth:
Home Address:  



Home or Cell Phone:  


Artist(s) Signature(s)    


Guardian/Parent  Signature:   (Required if Artist is a Minor)  


Name of Song:  


Is this an original song created by the Artist(s)? Circle Appropriate Response:                  YES                       NO

Chart, Music and Song Lyrics


Circle Appropriate Response:                  YES                       NO
If applicable, I can perform during War of 1812 celebrations. Circle Appropriate Response:                  YES                       NO

Video DVD Provided

Circle Appropriate Response:                  YES                       NO

 Entry Material must be postmarked by Wednesday, August 15, 2012 to:

 Lynn Gorback,   Music Director

2623 Birch Harbor Lane

West Bloomfield, MI   48324

Attention: 1812 Original Song Contest

 Note:  Judges’ decisions are “Final” and may not be contested.


Form: ON Song Writing


For Office Use Only; To be assigned by judges:    Blind Entry Number:___________        

















Lynn Gorback,   Music Director

2623 Birch Harbor Lane

West Bloomfield, MI   48324

Attention: 1812 Original Song Contest



Note:  Judges’ decisions are “Final” and may not be contested.


Form: ON Song Writing


For Office Use Only; To be assigned by judges:    Blind Entry Number:___________        

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