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NewSong is an independent music organization with the following two-fold mission:

Over the past ten years, NewSong has achieved its mission by producing the following programs and events:


The NewSong Contest

NS-Contest NEW

Now in its 14th year, it’s one of North America’s premier showcases of emerging performing songwriters across an array of genres. The final deadline to enter this 2015 NewSong Contest is November 27, 2015. To learn more and submit, click here.




NewSong Recordings

Our record label, established to work hand in hand with exceptional talent that we identify within our community of artists. Our releases from the Cardinal Sons, Diana Jones, Chris Velan, Amber Rubarth, Arthur Alligood and others have all received critical acclaim.



NewSong Presents

NS-Presents 800wLive music concerts, series and events, held across the country that feature some talented NewSong Contest alumni, including former contest winners and label artists. Recent series include the NewSong Series @ Bryant Park (NYC), the Summer Plaza Series presented by the Arts Brookfield (NYC), and the NewSong Emerging Artist Series @ Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in the David Rubenstein Atrium (NYC).



About Gar Ragland, NewSong Music President & Founder

Gar Ragland is a music producer, composer, manager and the president and co-founder of NewSong Music. A native North Carolinian (Winston-Salem), Gar began his music career while an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia, sharing bills with acts that include the Dave Matthews Band, Gov’t Mule and the Aquarium Rescue Unit. After working several years in Washington, DC as an environmental economist for the policy think tank Resources for the Future, Ragland relocated to Boston to study composition and improvisation at the New England Conservatory with MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award winning pianist, composer and educator Ran Blake. He then moved to New York City to open NewSong’s Brooklyn studio and office, and eight years later moved to Asheville, NC with his family in 2012 to set up shop at Echo Mountain Recording Studios. He is a voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammys), and is the current board chair of the Asheville Area Arts Council.