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LIPA STUDENT WINS MBF SONGWRITING AWARDS 2010/11
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LIPA STUDENT WINS MBF SONGWRITING AWARDS 2010/11
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David Stark and Tony Moore with Dan Croll and his band
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David Stark & Tony Moore
with Dan Croll and his band

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The Musicians Benevolent Fund showcased some of the country's most talented young songwriters last night at its 8th Annual Songwriting Awards Final at The Bedford, Balham. Six acts performed in front of a leading industry panel, with Dan Croll from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) walking away with the main award of 5,000. Daniel Bryer (University of Gloucestershire) and Ben Whelan (University College Falmouth) both received a Development Award of 1,250, all presented by the celebrity industry panel - Alison Clarkson (chair), David Arnold, Shelly Poole, Ally McErlaine, David Stark and Tony Moore, who hosted the event.

Born and raised in Staffordshire, Dan Croll developed his love for music at the age of 13 after being introduced to various musical instruments and genres by family members. By the age of 14 he had begun composing songs, which quickly spiralled into a passion for writing. Talking about his music, he says "Since arriving at LIPA, my appreciation of music has grown exponentially. I have met many international students, and indeed artists, and shared different musical cultures with them. This has opened my eyes and ears to the widest panorama of musical styles. These have heavily influenced my music development across songwriting, performance and technical aspects, resulting in the couple of songs you heard tonight."

Dan impressed this year's panel, which was made up of some of the biggest names in the music business. Alison Clarkson is probably best known as Betty Boo, with her debut album Boomania winning her a Brit Award and worldwide acclaim but now, a sought after songwriter, Alison has written for artists including Girls Aloud, Paloma Faith, The Feeling and Emil with Greg Kurstin. Alison was joined by David Arnold, Grammy Award winner for his music in the film Independence Day; highly respected songwriter Shelly Poole, formally of band Alisha's Attic; Ally McErlaine, guitarist and founder member of pop/rock band Texas, David Stark, founder of SongLink International; and Tony Moore, the founder of the Kashmir Klub host at and The Bedford. On their involvement, Shelly and husband Ally said "We are happy to help out this organisation in any way possible as they do brilliant work and musicians have nowhere else to turn when they hit hard times. It was a pleasure to help out and see some great music from the students."

In recognition of the high standard of performances, the panel also gave two Development Awards of 1,250 to Daniel Bryer, University of Gloucestershire and Ben Whelan, University College Falmouth. All the award recipients will use the money towards a songwriting project of their choice. Last year's recipient, Sherika Sherard, was the special guest performer for the evening. She received 5,000 for a new guitar and songwriting equipment. Sherika and Dan join well known artists and past recipients Alex Lipinski, RnB singer Hannah Rei and The Wombats who have helped firmly establish the Songwriting Awards in the UK Songwriting Industry.

Check out all the award recipients from last night's showcase at:
myspace.com/dancrollmusic
myspace.com/danielbryermusic
myspace.com/benwhelanmusic

Find out more about the Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Songwriting Awards at helpmusicians.org.uk

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