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    Contestants traveling as far as France, Nova Scotia, Georgia, Ohio, and right here in Louisville competed in the Abbey Road on the River 'Imagine Peace Songwriting Contest.' The competition was fierce (open to professionals as well as amateurs) as all the competitors were very talented, but only three winners would be chosen.

    The first round was held from Saturday from 1-5pm in the Muhammad Ali Center Neiman Gallery. Here all the competitors performed one original song inspired by John Lennon's lifetime commitment to peace and love in front of a panel of three judges. From here 10 competitors were chosen to compete in the semi-finals held at noon on Sunday. Here they went thru the same process for a new panel of judges who would select the top 5 finalists.

    The top five finalists selected to perform on the outside Ali Plaza stage included Hal Bruce (Nova Scotia), Taylor Nicholson (Jeffersonville), Nick Peay (Louisville), Jeff Perholtz (Cincinnati), and Misty Perholtz (Cincinnati). The six person panel of judges judging the final round included Matt Anthony (WFPK), Tyler Morrison (Liquid Recording Group Incorporated), Paul Pickard (Guitar Center), Catherine Feeny (JLSC Winner), Laurence Juber (Wings guitarist, 2x Grammy Winner), and Annette Skaggs (Louisville Public Media). The first place winner received a Gretsch Electromatic Guitar. The second place winner received a $100 gift card to Guitar Center with 2 hours of free studio time. The third place winner received a $100 worth of Abbey Road on the River merchandise.

    The judges selected these top 3 winners:

    1. Misty Perholtz, "Transcend"
    2. Hal Bruce, "Dream On"
    3. Nick Peay, "Life & Love & Us"

    Abbey Road on the River continues thru Monday evening.

    Photo: courtesy of Anna Blanton

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    About Anna Blanton

    Anna Blanton holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music (violin) and a Minor in Marketing from the University of Louisville. Anna currently plays with the Paducah Symphony, Southern Sirens, and The Porch Possums. She is also organizes the backup string section for the Beatles festival, Abbey Road on the River.

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