Students Can Use Winter Break to Work on Original Prevention Songs

The holiday season is upon us, and students throughout New Jersey soon will be able to enjoy a relaxing and well-deserved break before the start of the New Year.

The winter break presents a great opportunity for high school students to get together with their friends and work on their song for the 2018 New Jersey Shout Down Drugs music competition.

In its 14th year, the contest encourages high school students to create songs with original music and lyrics that contain a strong peer-to-peer prevention message. Whether the song is R&B, rock, jazz, hip hop or soul, the goal is to spread a positive message about avoiding substance use.

There have been so many songs in the past 13 years that have displayed not only the creativity and musical talent of high school students, but also their determination to make a difference in the lives of their peers by using their talent to spread such important messages.

To enter the 2018 contest, all songs must be submitted by February 1. Click here for contest information, rules and entry forms.

After the songs are entered, independent panels of judges will select county finalists to perform in the statewide Prevention Concert, which will be held Friday, April 27 at the Daytop New Jersey Auditorium in Mendham.

There also will be two periods of online voting. Following the first, from February 16 to March 2, the top vote-getter will earn an automatic spot in the Prevention Concert. During the second voting period, from March 5 through April 26, participants can choose from their favorite finalists and the online tallies will be factored into each performer’s final score the night of the concert.

The concert first-place winner will receive a $5,000 music contract, second place will earn a $3,000 contract, and third place will take home a $2,000 contract.

I am excited for what 2018 will bring for New Jersey Shout Down Drugs, and I hope this state’s talented high school students will use their approaching time off to get started or continue to work on what might be the program’s next hit song. 

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