Hey Nonny’s first-ever songwriting contest focused on songs about the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL, October 11, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — After a rollicking final round of performances Tuesday night, Arlington Heights venue Hey Nonny crowned Sean Heffernan and his song Pioneer Park as the winner of its first songwriting contest. Heffernan took home a check for $1,000, a trophy, and the commitment of a future performing spot at Hey Nonny.
Hey Nonny’s first-ever songwriting contest was focused on songs that in some way were about the Northwest Suburbs. That gave songwriters with a local connection an edge and served to make the contest’s final event Tuesday night a community celebration.
“We wanted to use this to discover and develop the interesting culture we have in the Northwest Suburbs,” said Hey Nonny co-owner Chip Brooks. “Our area is becoming much more than a standard swath of suburbia. The contest songs helped to shine a light on what’s special and unique in our area.”
Heffernan’s winning song did all that, focusing on a wild array of his youthful experiences in and around Arlington Heights’ Pioneer Park.
“My parents came in from Holland, Michigan for this final show,” said Heffernan. “They really got a kick out of being here for my performance – and especially seeing me win.”
The $400 second prize went to longtime Arlington Heights resident Roger Bain for his The Arlington Heights Song, which extolled the virtues of a town where “the Mayor wears tights” – a reference to former Mayor Arlene Mulder, not current Mayor Thomas Hayes. The $300 3rd prize went to local high school student Mallory Leno for her song “Bus Crush.”
The Hey Nonny Songwriting Contest Final Round was judged by three professional songwriters/performers: noted poet, author, and songwriter Jenny Bienemann, Delmark Records President (and ace guitarist) Julia Miller, and Rockford’s finest, Miles Nielsen (of Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts).
“Our judges took this incredibly seriously and were troubled because they’d heard way more than three great songs,” said Brooks. “They each had their own preferences, but in the end, they agreed that Sean Heffernan’s song was the winner.” The judge’s praised Heffernan’s song for its sophisticated musical structure and its “specific but universal” lyrics.
The lead sponsor for the Contest was the local personal injury attorney Ron Wittmeyer of the Law Office of R.F. Wittmeyer. “Ron’s a genuine music lover,” said Brooks. “He contributed prize money, trophies, certificates, and advertising. His ideas and energy were critical to making this event so successful.”
The songwriting contest struck a chord with the community – contestants entered over 60 songs and each of the contest shows was a sell-out. “The final result exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Brooks. “It ended up being more about community and fun than just a contest.”
Hey Nonny is considering whether to make the songwriting contest an annual event.
About Hey Nonny:
Hey Nonny is a bistro and music venue located in the heart of downtown Arlington Heights. The bistro, now under new Chef Mauro Berruti, serves an array of fresh seasonal Midwestern comfort-food-with-a-twist and a seasonally changing menu. The music venue is one of the best new “listening rooms” in the country, and hosts live music six days a week, featuring the best Chicago and touring acts playing jazz, blues, country, folk, and rock.
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