"Sing, sing a song" - A Call for Entries for New Jersey Shouts Down Drugs

“Sing, sing a song. Sing out loud, sing out strong.”

The classic Sesame Street tune turned Carpenters hit is a timeless piece of music and also a wonderful theme for the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s Annual Shout Down Drugs competition. Now in its 11th year, Shout Down Drugs has seen thousands of entries from New Jersey’s most creative and talented high school musicians all with one theme in common: to prevent their peers from falling into substance abuse addiction.

The time is upon us once again to call for new entries in one of PDFNJ’s most celebrated and successful statewide programs. But act fast because the deadline is this Monday, January 12, 2015. We welcome any genre and musical expression for this contest, as long as the contestant and song follow these basic criteria:

- The contestant must be a current high school student, grades 9-12, and in good standing with the school

- The contestant must be a New Jersey resident

- Groups are permitted but may not exceed 6 members

- Songs must be completely original music and lyrics with no copyright infringement violations

- Songs must be no more than 3 minutes in length

- Of course, each song must contain a strong substance abuse prevention message

A complete listing of the rules can be found on the Shout Down Drugs website. After the deadline, a panel of judges will select one finalist from each county. The songs are also featured on ShoutDownDrugs.com, where the public can vote for a statewide online finalist. In past years, we've received hundreds of thousands of votes from all 7 continents. Each of the finalists will then compete in one night of great music at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on April 17, 2015, where our Shout Down Drugs first, second, and third prize winners are crowned. The winners are then awarded a touring contracted with PDFNJ to perform their song at events across the state for the year.

Shout Down Drugs is one of several PDFNJ school based programs that draws on the belief that peer-to-peer messaging is an effective tool to prevent substance abuse. Though parental involvement remains the number one way to prevent children from ever trying a drug, sometimes the best way to reach a teen is through the words and experiences of other teens. We invite all of our blog subscribers to forward this message to talented high school students to use their skills in a truly positive and constructive way. Every year, we are floored with the high level of musical talent in the young people in this state and we expect 2015 to be no different. Our hope is that these young songwriters and those that hear them will take these messages to heart throughout their lives- or as Karen Carpenter sang:

“Sing, sing a song. Make it simple to last your whole life long”


For more information on entering or to hear contestants and winners from prior years, visit www.shoutdowndrugs.com

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