Thomas’ 7x semi-finalists in 3 categories in prestigious 2007 UK Songwriting Contest

The Thomas' at their home in South Wales, United Kingdom, c. 2009.

South Wales songwriting duo 7 time semi-finalists in 3 categories in prestigious 2007 UK Songwriting Contest

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE ~ Newport, Wales, UK (Thomas Standridge Music) August 15, 2007 ~

Rhonda L Thomas and Russ Garfield Thomas have been declared seven time semi-finalists across three categories in prestigious UK Songwriting Contest (UKSC).

Support for the competition comes from heavyweights of the music industry, the BRIT Trust (of BRIT Awards fame) and the Guild of International Songwriters and Composers. The duo’s songs have gained recognition in three different categories of the UKSC: Rock/Indie, Folk/Country and Christian/Gospel/Faith. Six songs out of nine entered into the contest – Differently, Blytheville, I Feel Alive, I Wrote This For You, Laughing’s For Babies Crying’s For Clowns and My Life Goes On Without Me – were all named as semi-finalists by the contest judges.

There were just under 5,000 entries and the most popular categories were the Pop, Rock/Indie and Folk/Country categories. All categories in the UKSC are judged independently and the same song entered in different categories may receive different results in each category. In this respect the UKSC is like ten separate song contests in one. A song competes with the other entries in that category and its position will reflect the standard of the other entries in that category. The duo’s song ‘Differently’ has been declared a double semi-finalist in both the Rock/Indie and Folk/Country categories.

The song that rated highest in the competition was Blytheville. This true-to-life song was inspired by Rhonda Thomas’s childhood experience as the daughter of a career military man, stationed at Blytheville Air Force Base in Blytheville, Arkansas. As was (and is) the experience of many children of military parents, Thomas’s childhood was often disrupted by frequent house moves, as her father was re-stationed from one base to the next. Blytheville is a slice-of-life story penned by Rhonda Thomas to express her life-long attachment to the town.

Released as a single in March 2006, Blytheville quickly sold out, received some international radio play and was featured in several local papers. Also offered as a free download, the song has been downloaded nearly 11,000 times and has taken on a life of its own on Myspace. In addition, the song was featured on the popular website, Military Brats Registry, which boasts a membership of nearly 75,000 current and former children of members of the armed forces. Military Brats Registry was established by Marc Curtis, a military brat himself, who was featured in the film ‘Brats: Our Journey Home’, narrated by Kris Kristofferson. Blytheville is also earmarked to be included on a compilation CD of ‘brat’ songs and was more recently featured in Operation Proud Hearts Celebrity Charity Auction, with auction proceeds going directly to support the Proud Heart Military Family Sponsorship and Retreat Programs.

Entries that almost made the semi-finals were awarded Highly Commended Entry status. Other songs that showed above average talent and ability were awarded Commended Entry status. The remaining three songs entered by the duo – Time We Made A Fuss, Mine, and The Miner’s Song – all received either Highly Commended or Commended Entry recognition. Time We Made A Fuss, and Mine are both from Russ’s album Not Far, released in 2006.

“We are absolutely over the moon about how well our songs have placed,” says Rhonda. “We have great belief in our music, but it’s wonderful to have it officially recognized by such a world renowned songwriting competition,” adds Russ. All the songs were entirely South Wales productions, produced by Russ at Garleighfield Studios based in Newport. All semi-finalist vocals were performed by Rhonda, with backing vocals by both Rhonda and Russ. The duo has an extensive music catalogue which can be viewed on the Broadcast Music Incorporated website or their own publishing/licensing website, Thomas Standridge Music. They are active members of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Americana Music Association.

What’s next? The duo are working on their first full album, which will be released in late autumn this year and have songs entered in several other prestigious songwriting contests, including the USA Songwriting Competition, International Songwriting Competition (ISC), Country Music Television/Nashville Songwriters Association International Song Contest (CMT/NSAI), 15th Annual Billboard World Song Contest, and the American Songwriter Magazine Amateur Lyric Contest. Watch this space to see what’s next!

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The UKSC was formed through a partnership between the BRIT Trust (of BRIT AWARDS fame) and The Music Aid Organisation to promote the art of songwriting. The first UK Songwriting Contest was held in 2002. The contest is now held annually in association with these organisations, BBC Radio and other leading music companies and organisations such as The Guild of International Songwriters and Composers. It is also supported by The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. Although it is the national UK songwriting event the contest also attracts entries from all over the world and it is a major part of the international songwriting calendar. Many UK Songwriting Contest winners and finalists have gone on to receive publishing and recording offers and have been widely featured and play listed on radio stations in the UK and abroad. These categories cover most styles of music and include Pop, Rock, Indie, Folk, Country, Gospel, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Dance, Miscellaneous and Instrumental compositions.

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The Thomas' at their home in South Wales, United Kingdom, c. 2009.
The Thomas’ at their home in South Wales.

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Thomas Standridge Music (TSM) produces and releases music on the Garleighfield Records label to aid in promoting its music to industry. TSM is committed to producing the best in contemporary music and its catalogue represents a diverse collection of music in many forms and subject matter. From grass roots rock to folky pop, contemporary country to pop crossover, from love songs to lullabies – there’s something for everyone.

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Download a pdf version of this press release to your computer or print it. You’ll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the pdf file. To download an item to your computer, please right click and select “Save Link As” or “Download to Disk.”

> News Release: August 15, 2007 (PDF)

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UK Songwriting Contest

Thomas Standridge Music website

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For more details, logos, or verification of position please contact the UK Songwriting Contest media support desk at

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If you would like to receive a CD of music placed in the UKSC by the Thomas’, please send an email with the subject ‘2007 UK Songwriting Contest CD’ via the Thomas Standridge Music website contact form.

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