The Music Contest

Our Music Contest and the voting has now closed. A big thank you to everyone who entered our competition, the judges who helped us pick the shortlists, and to everyone who voted.

We now have great pleasure in announcing the Winners!


Winner of the 18+ Age Category

War Machine – John Bump

“I feel very honored to be chosen as the winner of the contest. I know all of us are dealing with our everyday lives and sometimes taking the time to look at the bigger picture of our world is difficult.

I would like to thank those who created The Return of the Troubadour. They have taken a noble idea and made it a reality. My hope is for this contest to grow and become an institution for many years to come. Hopefully it will have a positive effect on the world we live in.”

The Music Contest

About the Song:

“Some info about me and the song. It was done in one take with no rehearsal. I had written the song after watching a show on Veterans. I came away with the feeling that the Soldiers were being tricked and used as a business tool for the rich to gain money and power. I am a big fan of Michael Rivero. ”All wars are bankers’ wars” is a saying that he refers to that I believe to be accurate.

The name of my band, ‘Last Americans’, refers to those who are true Americans at heart, and believe in the Constitution and goodwill towards other countries. The founding fathers would be freaking out if they could see what has become of our once great nation.”

Winner of the 13-17 Age Category

Battle Cry – Hannah Marie Johnson

“I would like to say that I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this contest!

God has been so good in providing opportunities for me to glorify Him through music and to help others draw closer to Him.  I want to bring Him glory in all I do, and in all the songs I write, and in all the music I play!  I also want to say "thank you" to my wonderful Dad who has encouraged and helped me grow in my musical abilities, and who taken time to teach me and show me how use music to bring an offering of worship to my King. "Thank you", mom and nine siblings, for encouraging me to use gifts in the manner in which God called me! I pray that people are encouraged by this song and that we will all rise up and be a body that works together drawing others to Jesus and sharing His love with the people around us.

Thank you to the everyone who helped put this together!

Britt Keller and Ben Ingham, keep up the good work and never ever shy away from using your gifts!  🙂 ”

The Music Contest

Visit Hannah’s YouTube Channel YouTube

About the song:

“My name is Hannah Johnson. I am 15 years old and Love Jesus! I am a song writer, musician, and vocalist.  I enjoy using the gifts that God has given me to give glory to Him, and share his love with others through music! I am the fifth of ten children and home educated. I enjoy cooking, baking, music, photography, and hanging out with friends and family. I am on the worship team at my church and enjoy doing that as well! I wrote this song "Battle Cry"  out of desperation for the church to rise up and be who God has called us to be.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate in this contest! A special thanks to all who helped put this on, and for investing in my generation and encouraging us in our music skills and songwriting!


Our Other Finalists:

18+ Age Category

Demand – Kristen Graves

Demand was inspired by the idea of the earlier generation of folk musicians igniting the torches of younger generations. When folk music is done correctly, it’s inclusive, people stand for something, and they create the change they’d like to see in the world.

As for me, I’m a singer/songwriter and humanitarian from Fairfield, CT, serving as the current State Troubadour. I was recently mentioned as ‘the new generation of folk’ by the New York Times, and perform approximately 175 times each year across the country.


What is A Saint – Michelle Mangione

What Is A Saint is a song I wrote after years of questioning what was really important to me. In America, we have this silly thing called "the American Dream", which is a dream surrounded by money, property and prestige. We constantly chase it, and tell our children to look up to people who have achieved these "goals". I think that what really matters usually has nothing to do with any of those things, and I am saddened by the power that it has over people, and the pain it causes. I was brought up Catholic, and I was amused to find out what the ridiculous criteria was for achieving official "sainthood". Living with hypocrisy isn’t easy for anyone in the world – we’ve all experienced it on some level. I just needed to express my views about all of this stuff in the song.

As far as personal info, I am a songwriter/musician, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I have been playing drums & guitar, and writing songs most of my life. I love love and I love music. They are a good combo, yes?”


Your Time – Meco Jay

“Abubakarr Jalloh, who is better known as Meco Jay, is a rapper from New Kabala, Sierra Leone, West Africa . At the beginning, he was a part of the hip-hop group 2.1.k Boys who he released the first song with. After the members of the group went their own separate ways, Meco Jay released his own solo song, My Dream, on Biko Studios which went Platinum and since then, Meco Jay has not stopped – only aiming higher. Thanks for listening, Meco Jay.” 


Just Like Tennessee – Ron Keel

“In my life, I’ve bounced back and forth between Nashville and the American West, calling both home. ‘Just Like Tennessee’ is a kind of musical metaphor for trying to outrun the rain, and the pain of a heartbreak…but it doesn’t matter how far you go, you can’t outrun either. It’s gonna rain, and that heartbreak is still gonna hurt.

This song is from my solo album ‘Metal Cowboy’, a collection of songs that combine my heavy metal heart with my cowboy state of mind. I’ve been blessed to have enough success to allow me to make music my life’s work, but the real measure of success is how much you enjoy what you do and how much other people enjoy it as well. I’m really proud that ‘Just Like Tennessee’ is a finalist in the ‘Return Of The Troubadour’ songwriting contest, thanks for listening.”


13-17 Age Category

For Better – Ben Ingham

“I have seen the effects of bullying and I really just wanted to write a song about it from the point of view of the person being bullied. I was kind of hoping that the genre and the serious content of the song would draw people in and really make them want to listen and pay attention and then change to make a difference.

I am a young, Asian musician/rapper hoping to make it big and inspire others with my music. I count this opportunity as a blessing and thank God for the providence.”


Pioneer Road – Britt Keller

“I’m from the small, Upstate New York town of Galway. I’m a junior at Galway High School. I’ve been playing the guitar and writing songs since I was 13. Since then, songwriting has been all I want to do. I’ve written over 130 songs and I plan to write a lot more in my lifetime. 

My English teacher got an email about this contest. She forwarded it to me, knowing that songwriting is my life, and pushed me and encouraged me to enter. So one night I sat down in my bedroom with my guitar and some paper and played around with ideas for hours. I knew I wanted the song to be a revolutionary kind of song. I wanted it  to have the kind of power to change people and get them to think. Think about changing the world, making an impact, standing up for what’s right. I’m pleased with how "Pioneer Road" came out, because I think it captures all those thoughts.”


The Spirit of the Contest

Music is ever present today; it lingers in the clouds.
Never has its influence been so pervasive or compelling.

Songs can initiate change.
To simply initiate change, any change,
can be a catalyst to change the world.

The greatest transformation comes first
from change of heart,
which gave us “Amazing Grace.”

Within your personal vision,
put any aspect of change within a song.

We are offering a substantial prize for the selected songs:
A purse of 5 Gold Austrian Philharmonic coins to the winner,
currently valued at $5,000.
A purse of American Silver Eagle coins currently worth $500,
awarded to the selected entry for 13-17 year olds.

The selected song can be from any musical genre.
All that we ask is that the song be original and yours –
Not a cover of someone else’s material.

This is an international song competition
So it doesn’t matter where you live;
all are welcomed to enter.

Don’t forget, it’s the song that we are looking for.
Production and sound quality are always appreciated,
but it’s the song that counts.


Even in eras of human descent
Music strives to ascend.

Whether the sublime focus of Handel,
Or the moving rhythm and honesty of blues and rock –
Music makes a difference.

It can inspire, excite, and define momentous changes.
It can unite individually or collectively.
It has no limitations.

This contest seeks that next great work of music –
One grounded in the moment but soaring with vision.

A song that brings a light into darkness.


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