Songwriters recognized at NSAI Member Awards

Songwriters recognized at NSAI Member Awards


First ever ‘in person’ NSAI Member Awards


By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International


Songwriters are always the focus of the Annual Tin Pan South Festival that wrapped up a few days ago.  They take the stage to play their songs and tell the stories behind their creation.  This year, The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) kicked it up a notch with their first ever in-person NSAI Member Awards (presented by Regions Bank). The Awards recognize the achievements of songwriters in chapters across America and around the world. The invitation-only event was held at Analog at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville and included performances from several of the songwriters.


“We have thousands of songwriter members who may not describe themselves as professional songwriters, but write amazing songs, are outstanding performers, and deserve recognition for their work. This is one of the most exciting additions to NSAI’s programming in years and we applaud Region’s Bank for underwriting this event. Nothing could be more in line with the part of our mission statement that says: ‘to educate, elevate and celebrate the songwriter’.” – Bart Herbison, NSAI Executive Director


At the risk of some ‘shameless self-promotion’… During the Awards ceremony, I was surprised to be called to the stage by Bart Herbison who joked that he and Erika Nichols, General Manager of Nashville’s famed Bluebird Café, often argue about who is the biggest supporter of the songwriting community. He added that everyone could agree that Preshias Harris is the best friend that any songwriter could wish for. He then presented me with the Friend of NSAI Award, saying that it recognized what he called my tireless activities encouraging and supporting songwriters. I felt both humbled and honored to receive the medallion. In my world, this was my equivalent of winning a GRAMMY!  A day and an honor I will never forget.


Awards were voted by NSAI’s global membership and NSAI staff. They included Online Pitch Award presented to 2021 Recipient, Sarah Jones and 2022 recipient Kate Zickler, Song Evaluation Award presented to 2021 recipient, Nell Maynard and 2022 recipient, Hayden Cain, NSAI Mentor Awards were presented to 2021 recipient Greg Wilson and 2022 recipient Jahnavi Goldstein, NSAI One to Watch Award presented to 2021 recipient Ben Johnson and 2022 recipient John Frank, NSAI New Member of The Year presented to 2021 recipient Brett Trout and 2022 recipient Beldon Burch,  Volunteer of The Year presented to 2021 recipient Herb Chaffin and 2022 recipient Michelle Pereira, Friends of NSAI presented to 2022 recipient Preshais Harris, Graduate Award presented to 2021 recipients Kyle James, Sarah Jones, Kelly McKay, and Megan Barker; and 2022 recipients: Lily Rose, Martin McDaniel, Sara Haze, and Aubrey Toone, Chapter of The Year presented to 2021 recipients Oklahoma City, OK Chapter, over seen by coordinators Bryan Mitschell and Nancy Borum, and 2022 recipients Tidewater, VA overseen by coordinators Michael Crockett and Michael King, Chapter Coordinator of The Year presented to 2021 Recipient Kathy Kay Wallace who oversees our St. Louis, MO Chapter with co-coordinator, and 2022 recipient Scott Forman, who is a co-coordinator of New York City, NY Chapter.


Other Recognitions include Todd Givens Scholarship Winner presented to 2021 recipient Jesse LaBelle and 2022 recipient Ben Wagner, NSAI Song Contest Winners presented to 2021 Song Contest Winner Matthew Soileau and 2021 Song Contest Winner Claire Bunnik, Anthem Chapter Challenge Winners presented to 2021 winners Sal Cosentino and Linda Sclafani and 2022 recipients David Unlayao, Kathy Kay Wallace, and Emily Bea.


Dates have already been announced for the 2023 Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival – March 28 – April 1, 2023 – so mark your calendars! Visit for more info. Updates can also be found on the Tin Pan South Facebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

Photo credit: NSAI

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