All posts by Todd Schultz

2017 Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Contest


Pictured 2015 Susanne Millsaps Performing Singer Songwriter Winner Mindy Dillard.

2016 Finalist!

The 2017 Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Showcase will be held in conjunction with The Utah Arts Festival again this year at the Big Mouth Stage, on Saturday, June 24th. (This event is being presented by: The Intermountain Acoustic Music Association- IAMA).
Come one, come all–it’s the annual Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Showcase.
Previous finalists have called our contest “a complete honor”, “a total blast”, and “the best songwriting contest around.”
We are once again welcoming entries from solo singer-songwriters (sorry, no duos, trios, etc.) performing their own original music. Finalists will be selected by a blind judging panel, with scoring based on vocal ability, instrumental ability, and songwriting. Last year’s winner, Josh Harmon(son of previous 2013 winner – Rob Harmon) from Heber, Utah.
Ten finalists will be selected and invited to compete on Saturday, June 24th between noon and 3:00pm at the Big Mouth Stage in conjunction with Utah Arts Festival.
A panel of experienced judges will be situated in the audience and will select our winners. Their judging criteria will be the same as for the initial round, plus the added element of performance quality. All performances must be solo. You must use an acoustic instrument. Instruments will be limited to what you can carry on stage and no piano will be provided.
Utah Arts Festival admission for finalists will be complimentary. You will receive information on how to enter the Arts Festival once selected. The first-place winner will have the opportunity to perform a 20-minute set on one of the Arts Festival’s many stages (to be announced), as an opener to the Mitch Barrett Trio.
There will be cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place winners. Once again, we are asking for electronic submissions only via a special email address. Prior to submitting your electronic MP3 files, you will be required to submit your payment via our Eventbrite link. Once you’ve paid and confirmed your entry, you can send us your MP3 files with proof of your Eventbrite confirmation and payment. All entries will then be organized for pre-judging.
Instructions as follows:
1. DEADLINE FOR ENTRY AND PRE PAYMENT OF $40.00 IS: Sunday, MAY 7th, 2017.
2. PRE PAYMENT REQUIRED VIA EVENTBRITE LINK ONLY: Please visit and submit payment via the Eventbrite link provided for the contest.
3. ONCE PAYMENT HAS BEEN ACCEPTED AND CONFIRMED, please email your 2 original songs as MP3 files only (no videos) to: [email protected] along with confirmation of your payment via Eventbrite.
A single entry is 2 songs (written or co-written by you) that showcases your solo sound.
Payment of $40.00 via the Eventbrite link will be required in order for each pair of 2 songs to be included for pre-judging.
Multiple entries of 2 songs are OK, but a fee of $40.00 per entry is required.
If you have questions about entering, please email [email protected] or contact Ruthie Naccarato at 801-870-0487. Finalists will be announced and notified by Friday, May 26th, 2017. You will have approximately one month to make arrangements to be present at the showcase on Saturday, June 24th. Please also consider participating in the 9th Annual IAMA Songwriter Academy workshop series, which is being held at the Salt Lake Public Library on Saturday morning.
Registration will be opening soon for the IAMA Songwriter Academy. Stay tuned for details and please pass the word along to anyone who might be interested in submitting songs for the contest.

Most sincerely, Ruthie Naccarato

April Local Concert Series


“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

Long before the first shoots appear, the roots beneath the surface grow deeper to tap the strength of the earth. The same can be said of our April 7, 2017 Local Concert performers, The Three Son’s and the J.T. Draper Trio. The roots of these bands are deep and wide, drawing from the rich dirt of Americana music traditions.
The show will be held at 7:30pm at the South Valley Unitarian Church on 6876 So Highland Drive. The evening will begin at 6pm with a workshop. (TBA!)

Admission is 7.00 for members and $12 for non-members.

JT Draper Trio
J.T. Draper has performed constantly around the Salt Lake Valley atvarious clubs, restaurants, and other venues in various musical configurations. He is known for his intricate guitar playing, soulful harmonica, and baritone voice. Fans often think of him as a blues musician, but in reality, his influences are much more varied. It’s true that the bedrock of his style reaches back to prewar acoustic blues of Robert Johnson, Son House, Skip James, Blind Willie McTell and others, but careful listeners will hear a history the previous century’s music in his songs. The influences of Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen are especially present, along with traditional country, Memphis soul, and—of course—rock and roll.
Joining him for this year’s local concert series are Steve Stewart on mandolin, Brady Anderson on bass, and Phil Triolo on woodwinds. Each of these players brings their own contribution and influence to this musical gumbo such as jazz, world music, and newgrass. Their loose and spontaneous work includes classic tunes and Draper’s originals and leaves plenty of room for improvisation and experimentation that captivates and surprises audiences.
The Three Sons
“The Three Sons” is a family bluegrass band based out of Logan, Utah. They were formed in 2014, and recently released their first album, “Take Me Back” The individual members have studied many different styles of music, from jazz and blues to rock, and you can hear it in their original music, as well as their choice of covers. The band is made up of Karl Gibbons on Dobro, mandolin, and banjitar. A talented musician, Karl switches between the three instruments seamlessly, and is one of the lead vocalists in the group. Kelin has played banjo for 13 years. He toured across the U.S., and has played for many popular bluegrassacts. He is the other lead vocalist for the band. Kory Gibbons drives the guitar. Kory started out on percussion, and later picked up the guitar. He provides the driving rhythm, and some searing leads. He also joins in on backup harmonies. Wally Gibbons on bass, Is the father of The Three Sons! He has played in many different bluegrass groups in Logan, and provides the bass vocal harmony.
  • Kid Friendly


We will also be hosting our popular Acoustic fun class just before the concert at 6 PM.   The class is FREE!  This month the fabulous Tara Shupe will be conducting a Mandolin Workshop.

January Local Concert Series


Pictured at top Mindy Dillard and above Elizabeth Hareza


The Local Concert Series swings into 2017 with our yearly Songwriters in the Round showcase.  Mindy Dillard, Elizabeth Hareza, Scott Rogers & Alicia Stockman will be performing some original songs from their repertoire.  This is certainly a highlight of the concert season.

Friday January 6th.  7:30 PM at The South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society.  6876 South Highland Drive.  IAMA members are $7.00 , non-members $12.00.  Coolers welcome!

A special FREE Acoustic 101 workshop will take place at 6:00 pm just before the concert.  Peter and Mary Danzig will be talking about song writing collaboration.  Check this class out from some accomplished professionals.


2017 Utah State Instrument Championships

Pictured:  Peter Danzig, former Utah State Banjo & Mandolin Champion, playing a Martin 12 string guitar generously donated by the estate of Tom Florence to help raise funds for the Instrument Contest.

The 2017 Utah State Instrument Championships will take place on June 3 & 4 in conjunction with the Ogden Music Festival at Ft. Buenaventura State Park in downtown Ogden.

Registration is now available at

Saturday June 3    8:00 AM Flat Pick Guitar Championships  Novice & Open Divisions.

Mandolin Championships  Novice & Open Division.  Directly following the Flat Pick Guitar Championships.

Fingerstyle Guitar  Open Division Directly following the Mandolin Championships.

Sunday  June 4   8:00 AM

Banjo  Novice & Open Division

Bluegrass Fiddle  Novice & Open Division  Directly following the Banjo Championships.

For questions please contact event coordinator Mary Danzig  at [email protected]


December Local Concert Series

Come celebrate the holidays IAMA style with a great concert on Friday night December 2nd.  Bronwen Beecher, “The Fiddle Preacher”, will be performing songs off of her new much acclaimed CD  The Nathan Spenser Revue will be spinning some great classic Americana tunes along with some fun originals.  7:30 show at the South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, located at 6876 South Highland Drive in Cottonwood Heights.  $7.00 for IAMA members and $12.00 for non members.  Coolers welcome.

November Local Concert Series

The Local Concert Series continues on Friday night November 4th, featuring national touring singer/songwriter Julian Moon and the Celtic Jazz band Synkofa.  The show starts at 7:30 and coolers are welcome.  Tickets are general admission at the door.  $7.00 IAMA members and $12.00 non-members.  Kids 12 and under are Free.

South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society  6876 South Highland Drive.

Pictured Julian Moon

November Local Concert Series

The Local Concert Series continues on Friday night November 4th, featuring the fabulous singer/songwriter Julian Moon and the Celtic Jazz band Synkofa.  The show starts at 7:30 and coolers are welcome.  Tickets are general admission at the door.  $7.00 IAMA members and $12.00 non-members.  Kids 12 and under are Free.

South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society  6876 South Highland Drive.

Pictured Synkofa

Jamming 101 Workshop FREE!

If you ever wanted to “Jam” with your friends this is the workshop for you.  A fun, informative class to help you break in to your favorite Jam circle.  Bring an instrument and join in the fun.  This class will talk about Jamming etiquette and will feature a couple of songs to help you get started.


Marilyn and Chuck Dillard will conduct the workshop.

Friday October 7th,  just before the Local Concert Series at 6:00PM.

SVUUS  — 6876 South Highland Drive