8th Annual Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards is Accepting Applications; Finalists Will Perform Their Songs at Bethesda Concert For a $10,000 Grand Prize

The eighth annual Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards is searching for the best songwriters in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The competition, founded by Cathy Bernard, is named in honor of Fred Ebb, one of the great American songwriters and creator of Broadway hits such as Cabaret and Chicago and iconic songs including New York, New York. Applicants must submit three original songs. Each song must have lyrics. Therefore, instrumental compositions are not accepted. All genres are accepted. Maximum song length is 4:30 min.

The contest will be a multi-staged, adjudicated competition. Jurors will include professional artists, venue operators, booking agents and music academia. The jury will select the finalists who will perform their original songs during a concert in Bethesda, Maryland on Friday, April 1, 2022 at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club. Each finalist will perform two of the songs they submitted for the competition. The Grand Prize Jury will attend the concert to select the winners. The winning songwriter and young songwriter will be announced at the close of the show. Judging criteria below:

  • Composition
  • Lyrics
  • Originality
  • Melody/Harmony

The adjudicated contest will award one talented songwriter a Grand Prize of $10,000. The Grand Prize Winner will also be awarded 25 hours of recording studio time and 2 hours of music business strategy consulting with Dave Mallen at Innovation Station Music in Annandale, VA. As one of the area’s top Music Producers, Dave has a particular focus on song and artist development, and will guide the contest winner through his highly personalized and collaborative approach to music creation. A young songwriter who is 17 or younger will also be honored with $2,500. (*Please see alternate application form for Young Songwriter entries.)

Adult Songwriter Application: Apply Here

Young Songwriter Application: Apply Here

ABOUT: Cathy Bernard is the President of HCM Corporation, a real estate management and investment firm. She serves on the Board of Directors at Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Imagination Stage and Strathmore. She is also the President of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District Board of Directors. Bernard has been named to the Top 100 Women in Maryland in 2006, 2008 and 2010. She was also named to the Top 25 Women in Business in Montgomery County in 2008, and received the County Executive Volunteer Award in 2004. The Bernard Family Foundation provides grants to organizations in the arts, education and cancer advocacy programs. Bernard is the niece of Fred Ebb and lives in Bethesda, MD with her two children.

Fred Ebb began his career in songwriting in 1953 when he was asked by Columbia Records to write a song for Judy Garland. In 1966, Ebb and partner John Kander’s collaboration Cabaret, opened and received seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score. In 1972, the songwriting team wrote a number of songs for Minnelli’s television special Liza With a Z, which received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Program – Variety or Popular Music. In 1975, the two wrote the Broadway musical Chicago, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. Their other musicals include The Happy Time, Zorba, The Act, Woman of the Year, Kiss of the Spider Woman, among others. Ebb has also worked with Shirley MacLaine, Lauren Bacall and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

In addition to their significant Broadway contributions Ebb and Kander also collaborated with Martin Scorcese on the movie, New York, New York for which they wrote the iconic theme song by the same name. The song, first introduced by Liza Minnelli in the movie, was later recorded by Frank Sinatra and became an American classic. Ebb was a Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Olivier and Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award winning recipient. He passed away in September 2004.

Courtesy of Bethesda Urban Partnership

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week.

To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

  1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

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Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

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Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

  1. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

  1. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

Submit your own Announcement here.

Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:



This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.


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