Striking a Chord Against Homelessness Benefits City Rescue Mission and the Homeless | Arts & Culture

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Striking a Chord Against Homelessness Benefits City Rescue Mission and the Homeless
Striking a Chord Against Homelessness Benefits City Rescue Mission and the Homeless


Ever wanted to be a part in writing the next great musical? Here’s your chance. The Jacksonville BUZZ Magazine is partnering with Jacksonville’s City Rescue Mission to announce the third round of the Musicians Against Homelessness competition in which musicians can win cash and prizes, all while raising awareness of the plight of many in our community who find themselves homeless.

Striking A Chord Against Homelessness was a contest originally created to help raise awareness on the different pathways to homelessness, as well as provide an opportunity for musicians to have a chance of having their song included in Another Sign, a stage musical written by Mike White.

This round of the contest is open to bands and individual musicians writing in all styles of music. They may choose to write the accompanying music for the lyrics provided to a song titled Gambling Man, or submit an original song that has to do with homelessness. Entry deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, January 13, 2011. Winners will be announced the first week of February, and will be invited into a studio to record their song. Grand prizes for this round of the competition is $1500 in cash, and $2,500 in additional prizes.

Round two of the competition awarded over $10,000 in cash and prizes to local musicians. Winners Jeff Congo, TJ Ward, J Collins, and Jeff Reynold all received cash prizes for their submissions and have had the opportunity to perform their entries at several gatherings around Jacksonville. "We had so many great musicians and it was exciting to see the talent who participated in round 2 of the competition," said White. "We have already started to get new submissions in and we just announced round 3 last week."

After becoming friends with a local chef who later lost his home and was living on the streets, White learned that everyone can be vulnerable to homelessness. White started writing a poem, which turned into a song, which transitioned into a full musical. He has written the storyline and lyrics to songs for the musical, and is collaborating with other playwrights and musicians to help finalize the project. Well-known Northeast Florida musician, playwright and award-winning journalist John E. Citrone has been hired by White to edit the script as well as to add more original music to the play. "I thank Mike for inviting me to be a part of the project," Said Citrone. "I am pretty Psyched."  White’s vision is for the musical is to be performed live on stage, and even go on tour to raise funds for homeless shelters. In addition, the music from the competition will be available for download on Itunes and on CD for purchase, all raising funds for the City Rescue Mission.

Over the past 3 months, White has raised over $20,000 in donations from local supporters through a program called Kickstarter. "I am very appreciative for all of those that stepped up to help underwrite my musical," said White. "We had a goal of raising $20,000 in 60 days and at the last minute Stan Bishop from EXIT Real Estate Gallery pledged the remaining $4200."

On any given night there are less than 900 shelter and transitional beds available for nearly 4,000 homeless men, women, and children in northeast Florida,” says Penny Kievet of City Rescue Mission. CRM is one of a handful of downtown shelters providing services to area homeless and needy. For complete details, disclaimer form, song lyrics, and contest rules, visit

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