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Leesburg Today
Volume 20, Number 15
Page 17
March 21, 200


- Leesburg Today

"ISSA Announces the Winners of the 2008 Song Contest"

The Independent Singer Songwriters Association (ISSA) Announces the Winners of the 2008 Song Contest
Published 10/23/2008 - 8:00 a.m. EST (PressMediaWire) - The Independent Singer Songwriters Association (ISSA) is proud to announce the winners of the 2008 ISSA Singer Songwriters Song Contest. The complete list of winners can be found at The song contest is an international competition designed to promote the disciplines of songwriting, musicianship and performance. Its primary objective is to give independent singer-songwriters the opportunity to have their music heard and build a larger fan base.

Our 2008 ISSA Singer Songwriter of the Year is Bruce Conlon with his song “Two Worlds Colliding.” Bruce receives a $1,000 cash prize from ISSA, a performance opportunity from Nibbay Events and Media, a one-year supersonic membership to Sonicbids, a one-year Primo Mob membership from Broadjam, two four-hour recording sessions from Studio West Recording Studio in San Diego and a song produced by Loveit Productions in Hollywood, California.

Our 2008 ISSA Best New Artist is Miranda Dickinson for her song “Man Behind the Smile.” Our 2008 ISSA Best Single winner is Venture for their song “Bitter.” Each receives a $500 cash prize, a performance opportunity from Nibbay Events and Media, a one-year supersonic membership to Sonicbids and a one-year Primo Mob membership from Broadjam.

The following is the complete list of winners by category:

Singer Songwriter of the Year: Bruce Conlon – “Two Worlds Colliding”
Best New Artist: Miranda Dickinson – “Man Behind the Smile”
Best Single: Venture – “Bitter”
Adult Contemporary (tie): Stars Go Dim – “Come Around”, Francesca de Valence – “Breathe”
Instrumental: Andreas – “Heart Full of Love”
R&B: Andre Kerek – “Come Sundown”
Country: Donna Marie Manzer/Laura Michelle Manzer – “Picture Inside the Frame”
Pop: Casey Desmond – “Chilly Allston”
Folk: Austin Willacy – “Waiting for Someone Else”
Jazz: Alyse Black – “Stood and Stand For”
Contemporary Christian: Jon Niven – “Wonderful, Glorious, Beautiful”
Rock: Jen Foster – “Closer to Nowhere”
Lyrics: Matthew Chase – “Believe”
Green: Coco Love Alcorn – “Revolution”
Dance/Electronica: Taxi Doll – “Be With You-Remix”
Fan Favorite: Adam Swink – “Seasonal Delivery”

The 2009 ISSA Singer Songwriters Contest will begin in December. Also coming soon is the first annual ISSA Christian Songwriting Contest, looking for the very best in independent Christian artists across all genres of music.



Laura Manzer of Ashburn released her first CD, 'November' late last year. It features 10 modern country songs. Photo Courtesy/Laura Manzer

'Rush of the stage' inspires Ashburn teen
People and Community
By Elizabeth Coe
Source: Loudoun Times-Mirror

At Briar Woods High School, senior Laura Manzer is known for her music and singing talent.

Laura, 17, recently released her first CD, "November." Her original, contemporary country songs can be heard on her classmates' iPods all over the Ashburn school.

"People come up to me all the time and tell me they are listening to my music," Laura said. "It's modern country, like a mix of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift."

Laura has been singing for as long as she can remember. As a toddler, she auditioned for an Oscar Mayer hot dog commercial. Although she didn't get the part, that did not discourage her from pursuing her dream.

"Every year at St. Theresa [School in Ashburn] I'd sing in the talent show," she said. "I've always been singing. I memorize lyrics all the time and sing in the car."

Laura's thirst for performing grew stronger two years ago when she auditioned for the U.S.A. World Showcase at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Out of 180,000 who tried out over the phone, only 180 performers were chosen to compete. She was one of them.

There were about 15 people in Laura's teen singing portion of the competition, she said. The show was the first time she sang onstage in front of an audience of thousands.

"I loved the rush of the stage," she said. "It made me realize that singing is what I want to do. It's who I want to be."

Laura didn't win the competition, but she came away with the knowledge that singing would always be an important part of her life.

That fall, Laura and her mom, Donna Manzer, traveled to Charleston, S.C., to audition for the seventh season of “American Idol.”

Laura made it through several rounds of auditions, but was cut just before she got the chance to sing for judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.

Last year, Laura again tried out for the show in Louisville, Ky., but was cut in the first round.

Laura and her mom returned to Ashburn, determined to make music. They went to Cue Recording Studios in Falls Church and spent eight months writing and recording the 10 songs that make up "November."

The CD was completed Dec. 5 and is on sale on iTunes and from Laura directly for $10.

Laura plans to attend Northern Virginia Community College next year and will keep singing, playing the piano and guitar, and writing songs.

She hopes to release another CD soon.

For more information, visit

Contact the reporter at

- Loudoun Times Mirror


Released album - LAURA MANZER-November in Dec. of 2008.
Airplay on WMZQ every Sunday night at 7:00-8:00 - Songs played: KISS ME - YOU LIED - SURE IS PERFECT - I WISH

WPOC - in Baltimore

Hot Country 102.9-South Carolina

Common NonSense Radio in New Orleans

Songs played in UK, etc.




Sang LIVE - on ABC May 30th -Dover Int'l. Speedway NASCAR Heluva Good 200 Race - NATIONAL ANTHEM - please view at

1. WINNER -Independent Singer-Songwriter Assn.2008 2. SEMI-FINALIST -UK Songwriting Contest2008 and 3. HONORABLE MENTION -Mid-Atlantic Song Contest2008

Received HONORABLE MENTION in Billboard World Song Contest 2008
Received HONORABLE MENTION in Billboard World Song Contst 2008

Laura is gaining exposure in the VA area and looks forward to promoting her music to the next level. Her songs can easily transition themselves to cross over in several genres, including country, americana, pop and adult contemporary. CD released in December 2008 -showing growth and sales from CDBaby and I-tunes.
1 USA WORLD SHOWCASE-Age 15 Chosen to sing at MGM Grand in Las Vegas
2 AMERICAN IDOL 2007 -Age 16 One of the youngest contestants chosen in Charleston, SC. Made it to 3 rounds and was approx. one of only 200 chosen out of 10,000+ auditioners
3. NASHVILLE STAR 2007-Age 16 Chosen by a local well-known radio station in Wash., DC to advance to "National" Round
4. COOPERSTOWN, NY 2008-Age 17 Chosen to sing National Anthem at a baseball tournament to a crowd of 8,000+
Chosen to perform at Loudoun County Youth Festival 2009

Her songs air every Sunday night on WMZQ/Wash. D.C. 98.7 - Homegrown Country

Has performed at events such as WMZQ Fall Festival, chosen for National Anthem at several events in front of thousands. She is honored to have received several awards given to her through not only her high school choral department, but the drama department as well. She now writes her own songs and developed her own unique writing style that combines youthful lyrics with ear-catching melodies. She is excited to have them recorded in the future. She began writing songs with her mother, Donna Marie, which songs you can find on her CD - LAURA MANZER-NOVEMBER. She looks forward to advancing her career.

NOTICE ME - Honorable Mention in Billboard World Songwriting Contest - 2007 !!