Writers Announced For Johnny Mercer Foundation's Inaugural Songwriting Intensive In Maine

JMF's inaugural program will be held at Snow Pond's idyllic lakeside campus in Sidney, Maine, June 12-19, 2024.

By: Mar. 23, 2024
Writers Announced For Johnny Mercer Foundation's Inaugural Songwriting Intensive In Maine
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The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) has announced the writers selected for their first annual Songwriting Intensive at Snow Pond Center for the Arts. Our master teachers, award-winning songwriters Rona Siddiqui and Adam Gwon, will join Snow Pond's recently appointed Artistic Director Kaitlin Hopkins for JMF's inaugural program to be held at Snow Pond's idyllic lakeside campus in Sidney, Maine, June 12-19, 2024.

The 10 young songwriters selected for this one-of-a-kind songwriting intensive are: Jonah Broscow, Paola Cruz, Peyton Herzog, Zhengchun "Dewey" Huang, Chloe Meinershagen, Makena Metz, Nina Osso, Bryce Palmer, Alyssa Payne, and Eden Witvoet. When asked why they wanted to participate in this program, writers cited the legendary Mercer name, the opportunity to collaborate and network with mentors and participants, and being inspired by the natural setting of Maine.

Siddiqui, a Grammy-nominated composer/lyricist with shows being developed at Playwright Horizons, will work alongside Gwon, an award-winning composer/lyricist whose musicals have been produced on six continents and in more than half a dozen languages.

"It will be thrilling to see artists with such a vast range of styles, interests, and experiences converge and collide," said Siddiqui. "This is where the expansion of the genre begins!"

"I could not be more excited about this program and these songwriters," Gwon added. "The Johnny Mercer Foundation helped launch my own career, and I'm honored to be paying that forward with this group of talented new voices."

"JMF is excited to partner with Snow Pond to provide this amazing opportunity," said JMF Vice President Jonathan Brielle. "This program provides a precursor to the JMF Songwriters Project in which Adam participated as a student. Additionally, both Rona and Adam have participated several times in the JMF Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals, which makes this doubly rewarding."

The 10 participants will study and explore the fundamentals of contemporary and musical theater songwriting, developing the skills and tools necessary to pursue a career as professional songwriters. This free 8-day Songwriting Intensive will provide students a unique learning experience through classes, collaborative exercises and professional mentorship.

The JMF Songwriting Intensive curriculum will be developed by Siddiqui, Gwon and Hopkins to fit the specific needs and distinctive musical voice of each applicant and will include tutorials, master classes, workshops, collaborative writing time, as well as salon-style presentations. Tailoring the curriculum to the individual artists is one of the unique aspects that differentiates this new JMF Songwriting Initiative from other programs.

To learn more about the participants, click here:  https://www.johnnymercerfoundation.org/2024-snow-pond-participants/


The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator, and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny's legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered. JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions including the JMF Grove at Goodspeed Musicals, Accentuate the Positive Programs in Los Angeles and New York's Kaufman Music Center, the JMF Musical Theater Composition Residency at the Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), the JMF Songwriting Initiative at Snow Pond Center for the Arts (Maine), the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project at Belmont University (Nashville), the Georgia State University Fellowship Program, and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University. JMF also supports the Johnny Mercer Music Program at the Braille Institute, Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.johnnymercer.org.


Snow Pond Center for the Arts is an arts & culture destination, educational institution, and tourism attraction located in Sidney, Maine between Augusta (the state capital) and Waterville. Founded in 1937 as New England Music Camp, it values lifelong learning amid a strong sense of community. Importantly, Snow Pond's mission ensures that everyone, regardless of age or economic position, has equal access to innovative and high-quality arts education, programming, and events.

Compelled by its' summer programs' positive impact on thousands of youths over the last 86 years, Snow Pond committed to provide year-round arts opportunities on a scale that would make a substantial difference for youth in central Maine. To that end, Snow Pond's Community Arts School was established in 2016. The Arts School allows Snow Pond to weave the arts into the fabric of the local community through free before-school and after-school arts education programs at 5 partnership locations in the region. By meeting youth where they are - not requiring that they come to rural Sidney or pay a fee - Snow Pond removes all barriers to arts education.

In 2022, Snow Pond hired a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator, Thea Hollman. Ms. Hollman will work alongside C.S.H.A.R.P. related to recruiting and ensuring BIPOC students have the resources they need to be successful and ensure a supportive, safe learning environment for all students, faculty, and staff. Snow Pond Center for the Arts