The original showcase started in back 1996 with Salt Lake's Community Radio Station KRCL, 90.9FM. The contest was soon being facilitated by one KRCL's longest-ever volunteer hosts, Susanne Millsaps who was noted for her Thursday morning show on KRCL.
Susanne eventually organized the songwriter showcase under the annual IAMA - Founders Title Co. Folk and Bluegrass Festival which was held at Deer Valley for many years and then at Snowbird Resort from 2004 until 2011.
Susanne Millsaps passed away in the fall of 2006 from breast cancer. The contest was proudly renamed after her just following her passing as a tribute to her years of dedication to music and songwriters. She will be forever missed! She gave tirelessly back to songwriters in a multitude of ways to make sure their words and music were heard and appreciated; sharing their music on her radio show, running the showcase, promoting and managing some directly, and providing performance spaces at FAI and FAR-West.
Susanne was a regular at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, as well as attending the Folk Alliance International conference and many of the regional FA conferences, and she was a board member for FAR-West and IAMA for multiple years. You could always find her sitting quietly at various song circles listening and enjoying the beautiful voices and lyrics. She and her husband Grant Hogarth started Magpie House Concerts which was the first modern house concert series in Salt Lake City, and which has spun off several other house concert series along the Wasatch Front. Magpie House Concerts is still going strong today thanks to Grant and his wife Laurel, who also took over running the showcase after Susanne's death.
IAMA is happy to have the showcase back under the association's umbrella once again and we look forward to continuing the showcase in future years in our new location at the Gallivan Center.
Past winners from 1996-present include: Gretchen Peters, Carla Eskelsen, Joel Cage, Jen Adams, Jim Gilmour, Jean Synodinos, Jaime Michaels, Michael Troy, Amy Speace, Neal Bradley Owen, Danny Donnelly, Kort McCumber, TR Ritchie, Russ Chapman and Peter Danzig. Many of these artists have gone on to achieve brilliant careers in music.
Other "Name" Performers who have been finalists in our contest include: Sarah Sample, Christopher Williams, Marv Hamilton, Holly Figueroa, Dan Hazlett, Dave Crossland, Pat O'Kelly, Dan Pelletier, Anke Summerhill, Kate McLeod, Sally Shuffield, Justin Roth, Shaney McCoy, Juliet Wyers, Karen Mal, Lee Penn Sky, Ryan Mintz, Dana Hubbard, Jen Hajj, Mary McAdams, Jill Jack, Steve Brooks, Holly O'Reilly, Stacy Board, Dave Eskelsen and Blake Guthrie. Please spread the word about this contest to your songwriting friends.
We would also welcome anyone at our annual Songwriter Academy (formerly known as the Snowbird Song School, which started in 2008). This event will take place in conjunction with the IAMA festival at the Gallivan Center each year. Please see www.iamaweb.org for details. The cost is minimal for such an extensive weekend of workshops and networking with a tremendous group of national touring songwriter instructors at the helm!
Please feel free to contact our coordinator with any questions regarding the Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Showcase or the IAMA Songwriter Academy: