Jillian Guetersloh, a Finalist in the National Endowment for the Arts Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

By Paula Gilarde

Jillian Guetersloh, a finalist in the National Endowment for the Arts’ Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge – Courtesy image (c) 2018 all rights reserved

Jillian Guetersloh, a freshman at Bedford High School, was named recently as one of only six high school students selected from almost 200 applicants across the country as a finalist in the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge, a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) initiative.

Jillian submitted a powerful original song titled “Nothing at All” in which a young woman contemplates her first and lost romantic relationship. To listen to her song and watch a short video she created, go to https://arts.gov/partnerships/songwriting/pilot/2018-finalists.

Jillian will travel to New York City in April with the other finalists for a weekend workshop with professional musical theater artists. The final competition is scheduled for April 23. As a finalist, she’s already in line for a music publishing deal with Samuel French, the leading publisher and licensor of plays and musicals. She will compete to win a $25,000 school scholarship.

No stranger to the arts, Jillian sang with the JGMS rock band and was Rafiki in last year’s JGMS production of Lion King. She has been in every school musical since 6th grade and participated in the Bedford Recreation’s Summerstock program for many years. She started writing and recording her songs last June.

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