youtube instagram newsong recordings

Rachael Kilgour Wins the NewSong Contest

January 12th, 2016



Rachael Kilgour, a Duluth, Minnesota-based singer-songwriter, was named the grand prize winner of the 2015 NewSong Contest after performing, along with eight other artists selected from nearly 1,000 entries, during a music showcase and competition finals held January 7, 2016 at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium in New York City.


Rachael Kilgour performs during the 2015 NewSong Music Showcase and Competition Finals (Photo: Darial Sneed)

As the contest’s grand prize winner, Kilgour will receive a performance slot at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival’s ASCAP Music Café in Park City, Utah later this month; an opportunity to perform at Lincoln Center later this year; and a recording session at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, NC, produced by Gar Ragland, NewSong Music’s executive director, for an album to be released under the NewSong Recordings label.

A passionate and engaging performing artist whose songs merge the personal and political, Kilgour also was the winner of the 2015 LEAF Newsong Contest in North Carolina and a finalist in last year’s Telluride Troubadour Competition. Noted singer-songwriter Catie Curtis is producing Kilgour’s next crowd-funded CD, which is set for release later this year.

Among the tracks on the forthcoming album is “If I Am Gonna Fall Apart,” which impressed both a capacity crowd and the judges, securing Kilgour a slot in the competition’s final round, along with Blair Bodine (New York, NY), Bonomo (Brooklyn, NY) and Sarah Morris (Shoreview, MN). During the second round, Kilgour poured her heart and soul into singing “Still My Wife” and “In America.”


Rachael Kilgour performing an in-studio of her song ‘In America,’ which she performed in the final round of the NewSong Showcase and Competition.

“Participating as a finalist in the NewSong Music Showcase and Competition was a remarkable experience. I think we were each very fortunate to have had the chance to perform in that phenomenal space to such an appreciative audience,” says Kilgour.

“It can be unimaginably difficult to cultivate those kinds of performance/listening experiences, especially when you are at the early stages of your career. With that in mind, I am in awe of the support that NewSong provides to emerging artists,” continues Kilgour. “I so enjoyed the genre-diverse make up of the group of finalists. It is obvious that NewSong is more interested in helping artists be the best versions of themselves. I have the utmost respect for their integrity in that regard.”

Now in its 14th year, the NewSong Contest showcases emerging performing songwriters. NewSong Music is an independent music organization that aims to build a supportive community of performers and songwriters across various genres of music and skill levels, while identifying truly exceptional artists and introducing their music to a broader, international audience.

by Michael Kornfeld, editor & publisher,, (where this article was originally posted on Jan. 10), with additional quotes from Rachael Kilgour.