Original Songwriting Competition
The Original Songwriting Competition made its inception to the festival back in 2011. It was introduced to provide aspiring songwriters with the opportunity to share their original works with audiences, professional musicians, composers and record labels. We hope that the competition also inspires younger musicians to venture into the world of songwriting and arrangements to bring a newer perspective to the genre. This year, the first place winner will receive a $1,500 performance grant as well as be given the opportunity to open up the Mariachi Extravaganza Concert for Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán.
Rules and Regulations
Any songwriter with original material is allowed to compete. There is no age restriction for this competition.
As opposed to prior years, the Original Songwriting Competition will be awarding its competitors differently this year. Prizes will be awarded as follows:
- Best Original Song – $1,500 and spot in the opening act of the concert if performed with live accompaniment and is approved by the artistic director. Only one finalist can qualify for this award*
- Best Arrangement – $500. Only one finalist can qualify for this award*
- Best Lyrics – $500. Only one finalist can qualify for this award*
- Best Student Song – $500. Any student enrolled in a school or a college/university can qualify for this award regardless of whether they advance to the finals or not. Students must be 27 or under to participate.
Only one prize will be awarded per submission*
Cost and Fees
- 1 Song submission ($25 for each additional song entry).
- Registration badge, lanyard, and bag with promotional materials and mariachi music.
- Competition wristband with admission all competitions on Friday and Saturday.
- Admission to workshops led by professional mariachi musicians.
Register to the competition using the portal under the registration tab on the homepage or use the link above. You will be asked to submit a Youtube link of your song so make sure you have that ready prior. You will also have to submit a URL link of the lyrics of the song. This link can be redirected to a dropbox, google drive folder, or any site where the lyrics can be obtained from.
You are allowed to submit more than one song, however only one song per participant will be allowed to advance to the finals.
After you submit your song, it will be reviewed by a panel of judges during the month of October. Six finalists will be selected during the month of October and announced on November 1st. Finalists will get to perform their original song LIVE on December 1st in San Antonio, TX.
October 17, 2023 at 11:59 PM.
- All submissions must be the original work of the participant.
- Song must belong to the mariachi genre/Mexican regional, example:
- Song length is preferred to be under 4 minutes.
- If you have questions about the style or genre of your song please contact Leon Camacho: email@example.com / (210) 304-0297.
- Song can be performed with a digital track, with acoustic instruments, or with a full ensemble.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if the song is a collaborative work?
If more than one person participated in the creation of the song, please list with your submission the names of all collaborators and/or co-writers.
Who are the judges this contest?
Current or former members of Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán will judge this songwriting competition.
What is the judging criteria?
Judging criteria include melody, lyrics, mastery of songwriting technique and originality.
How is the winner selected?
Each of the songs is played in its entirety for the judges, who give each song a rating based on the above-mentioned criteria. These ratings are tabulated and discussed by the judges. Judges then choose first-, second- and third-place winners.
When will judging take place?
Judging will take place on December 1st at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. Winners will be notified that same day. Winners will be recognized after the competition is over.
Who can attend the competition?
Competition Wristbands will be sold at the door of the Lila Cockrell Theatre on the day of the event.
How important is the quality of the recording I submit?
Although the quality of the recording is not part of the judging criteria, it will be important for the judges to better understand your songs and lyrics therefore make a better decision during the audition process.
How many winners are chosen?
Six finalists will be selected to perform in San Antonio on December 1st.
Who maintains the rights to the song?
The author maintains all rights to the song until such time as he or she chooses to sell, transfer or forfeit those rights.
How many entries can I submit?
The first entry is included with your registration. Each subsequent song entry requires a $25 fee.