Song carries student to John Lennon Scholarship
LCC student Dillon Gorden enjoys computers, sound design and playing with his band “Lights and Caves” in concerts around the Lansing area.
In late August, Gorden, 24, received a call saying he won first place for the national John Lennon Scholarship for his band’s song “Carry Me Home.”
“Carry Me Home” was the lead single of Lights and Cave’s first album, “In Satori,” released in August 2013.
“That song is kind of an important one to me,” Gorden said. “I’m glad to see that something that’s near and dear to my heart was able to also be near and dear to somebody else’s.”
Gorden said he wrote the song during a very transitional period for him and it was designed to be a letter of encouragement to himself.
Although the song is personal to him, Gorden said he hopes people will be able to relate the song to their own lives.
“The way I like to write music is so that whoever is listening to it can really take that sentiment, whatever it is, and figure it out for themselves and attach it to their own lives and connect with that song on a more personal level,” he said.
The John Lennon Scholarship was created in 1997 by Yoko Ono, in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, to honor John Lennon’s songwriting legacy and for the purpose of recognizing the nation’s best young songwriters, according to Amanda Charnley, BMI Foundation communications manager.
The BMI Foundation, founded in 1985 by members of Broadcast Music Inc., is designed to help support young songwriters.
According to Charnley, thousands of students apply for the scholarship every year. The grand prize of $20,000, made possible by donations from Yoko Ono and Gibson Music Instruments, is divided between first-, second- and third-place winners to be used for tuition.
To be eligible for the John Lennon Scholarship, applicants must be current college students between the ages of 17 and 24 anywhere in the United States, according to Charnley. The submission song must be the artist’s original lyrics and music. It is then judged by a panel of music industry professionals.
“The John Lennon Scholarships have a well-established record of recognizing some of the best young songwriting talent in the country for nearly two decades,” said Samantha Cox, John Lennon Scholarships director. “The award provides emerging artists not only with tuition assistance, but also with industry exposure and the creative encouragement needed to realize their dreams.”
According to Charnley, the scholarship committee is currently taking new applicants. Deadline for application is Monday, Feb. 15, 2016.
“I’m really fortunate to be able to get the scholarship,” Gorden said. “I think there’s a lot of people around me that I surround myself with that ultimately pushed me and challenged me to get to the point where something like this could be possible.”
Gorden said he is grateful to friends and family and the Lansing music scene for the support he has been given in his music career.
For more information about the John Lennon Scholarship or to apply, visit www.bmifoundation.org/programs/info/john_lennon_scholarships.
To listen to and download “Carry Me Home,” visit https://lightsandcaves.bandcamp.com/