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Anthems for the Anthropocene: Frequently Asked Questions

How does a song contest work?

Solo performers or bands are challenged to create a unique and original new song in response to our creative prompt, and their entries are evaluated by a panel of judges to choose a set of winners.

Why would I participate in Anthems for the Anthropocene? 

Anthems for the Anthropocene is an opportunity to engage with a community of artists addressing the climate crisis. It gives participants a chance to craft new creative work and to share it with the Drexel community.

Who can participate?

This contest is open to all Drexel graduate, undergraduate, and online students. Online students considering participating should know that the workshops and final celebration event are held in-person on the University City Campus.

What is required to participate?

Each participating solo performer or band must commit to completing the contest and attending the required events. Each performer will need to create an original song in response to the creative prompt and submit their song recording by the provided deadline.

What if I have questions about the prompt and the deliverable?

The competition launch event (April 3, 2023) will include an informative presentation from competition organizers, including music industry experts. The organizers will also be taking questions from participants, so be ready with your questions about the basic parameters for contest deliverables. The organizing team will also be available to answer questions throughout the span of the competition.

What constitutes an entry?

For this competition we are welcoming student bands, performing groups and even solo performers to enter. One entry = one song, recorded by a solo performer, a duet, a trio or a whole band. We are not limiting band sizes (in the event an entire orchestra may decide to enter!).

I play in a band and we want to participate. Should we register individually or as a group?

You can register as a group! We will have a space for that in the registration form.

Not all of the members of my band are Drexel students. Can they participate?

All band members must be either a Drexel graduate or undergraduate student.

Do I have to attend the launch and closing events?

Yes. At the launch, participants will learn details about the competition challenge and will have the opportunity to ask the organizing team clarifying questions about the expectations for competition deliverables. There will also be an exciting songwriting workshop built into the launch. At the final celebration event, participants will be expected to take the stage to introduce and describe their songs.

Does my team need to attend the climate change office hours?

No, the office hours period is not mandatory. However, this is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the scale, impacts and drivers of climate change.

The songwriting workshop looks great! Can I come to that without participating in the contest?

The contest workshops and activities are open only to registered participants. If for some reason you can’t join us as a competitor, please attend the final celebration event to cheer on your fellow students!

What constitutes an eligible song?

Judges are looking for original songs that thoroughly engage through lyrics and musical composition with the prompt as discussed in the launch event. “Original” means the music and lyrics are new, not published or performed prior to the competition. The composition may not include samples from other artists’ work or covers of preexisting music. Songs found to be duplicative or unoriginal will be disqualified. Participants must submit an MP3 audio file in which they perform their original song, along with a lyric sheet, by the April 12, 12 p.m. deadline.

How will the winning song be chosen?

Prizes will be awarded on the strength of the song’s lyrics and quality of the musical composition. The judging rubric will be shared with competitors once the competition begins. In addition, we will include a “people’s choice” scoring segment that will invite voting by the broader Drexel community. Our panel of judges includes music industry insiders and performers as well as Drexel sustainability champions.

Who owns the rights to our song?

You, the artist or artists, will own the rights to your song. But by agreeing to participate, you will also permit Drexel to share your song through our information channels. We’ll ask you to sign off on that permission in the registration process.

How does the prize pool work?

We offer Visa gift cards for our prize pool — first place $1000, second place $600, and third place $400. All winning performers will need to submit information such as student ID numbers to receive gift cards.

Am I expected to perform my song at the final event?

Nope! At the final event, we will play clips of the recording you submit. It’s too complicated in terms of stage setup to have up to 15 separate live performances unfortunately!

How does the recording time for the winning team work?

The first-place team will have access to studio recording time with world-class music industry professionals: sound engineer Cyrille Tallandier and music producer James McKinney. Teams may choose to create a professional quality recording of their competition song, or of other music of their choice.

What are the rules and fine print for Anthems for the Anthropocene?

This case competition is for Drexel students to write an original song about climate change.

The competition is open to all Drexel students: undergraduate, graduate, and online.

Fully formed bands may enter but all members must be currently enrolled at Drexel.

Solo performers may enter and must be currently enrolled at Drexel.

No sampling or use of lyrics from your own or other artists’ existing songs is permitted; any song entries that are found to contain work that is not your own original and new creation will be eliminated.

Each solo performer and at least one member of each participating band must attend the competition launch and songwriting workshop, the technical skills workshop, and the final celebration.

Songs will be judged based on melody, composition, originality, and lyrics by a panel of judges, with a separate “People’s Choice” component. The song and songwriting will be judged; audio quality is not a judging criterion.

Participants must submit their deliverables at the time indicated in the contest timeline. Deliverables include mp3 file, one mp4 file, and a lyric sheet for their song in addition to providing the song title, name of band if applicable, and names of all participants completing the challenge.

Entry constitutes permission for Drexel to use participants’ names, likenesses, and voices for future marketing and publicity purposes without additional compensation.