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It's been all over the music press for a while now, will she, won't she. This includes a live appearance on stage in London to play the group's hit, "Don't Stop".

Well, now it's official. Christine McVie is back with Fleetwood Mac. Liz Rosenberg, the band's publicist, confirmed that McVie has rejoined the band she left almost 16 years ago in 1998.

According to Rosenberg, Christine McVie "has indeed re-joined Fleetwood Mac and we are hoping to make an announcement about a possible tour for the full tilt Macsters some time in 2014."

After marrying the group's bass player, John McVie, and joining the band in 1970, McVie became one of the main songwriters with the band, and played with the group for 28 years, as a singer and keyboard player.

McVie wrote some of the band's biggest chart hits, including:

"Say You Love Me" (1976)

"Don't Stop" (1977)

"You Make Loving Fun" (1977)

"Hold Me" (1982)

"Little Lies" (1987)

"Everywhere" (1988).

Fans of Fleetwood Mac will now, no doubt, be hoping for a new album from the band lineup that brought us the massive album, "Rumours". The expectation of what singer/songwriters Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham, might produce, must be incredible. No pressure! As a songwriting team, the three were the main song writers on a total of 5 studio albums for Fleetwood Mac:

"Fleetwood Mac" (1975)

"Rumours" (1977)

"Tusk" (1979)

"Mirage" (1982)

"Tango In the Night" (1987).

After an open discussion across the media between the band members, the return of McVie isn't exactly a surprise. The more cynical among you will no doubt be suspecting a carefully crafted piece of buzz generating, free publicity. A good lesson in getting free publicity for any singer / songwriter / band out there.

For all their musical brilliance over the years the personal lives of the band has been full of headline getting controversy. The free publicity generated may have rubbed salt in the wounds, but at the same time I suspect the resulting publicity hasn't exactly harmed record sales.

Nonetheless, for fans, this reunion is, most likely, very welcome news.

Ketchum Launches Music Division, Ketchum Sounds

PR company Ketchum has launched a music division called Ketchum Sounds focused on matching brand sponsorship within the music industry. The new division will be headed by Marcus Peterzell, executive VP of entertainment with Ketchum Sports and Entertainment.

Peterzell is an experienced music marketer. He joined Ketchum late in 2011 from sports and entertainment agency GMR Marketing. Ketchum Sounds has expertise in brand strategy, music licensing, artist partnerships and endorsements, tour sponsorship, and digital platforms. They aim to make the music industry more accessible to brands.

Ketchum has previous experience with the music industry having being involved in Sharpie's sponsorship of the North American tour dates of One Direction, and Snoop Dogg's gig in a Doritos vending machine at South by Southwest.

Billboard Unveils New Charting Methodology

Billboard has revealed a new methodology for some long-standing genre charts. Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Latin Songs charts are all receiving the upgrade. Each of these charts have had a face-lift incorporating digital download sales (tracked by Nielsen SoundScan) and streaming data (tracked by Nielsen BDS from services like Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Muve, Slacker, Xbox Music and more) which, along with Nielsen BDS monitored radio airplay, will help to determine the 50-position rankings.

This brings these charts into line with the methodology being used to determine the song ranking for Billboard's all-genre chart, the Billboard Hot 100.

At the same time Hot Rock Songs, which has been an airplay-only chart since 2009, and Rap Songs, which has been a radio survey since 1989, will now both include digital download sales and streaming data.

3 Foreign File Sharing Services Targeted by RIAA

The RIAA has obtained subpoenas regarding the operators of three file sharing web sites from the U.S. District Court of Columbia ordering WHOIS privacy services to provide the IP addresses, email addresses and any other identifying information.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted subpoenas to the RIAA relating to the privacy protection services of 3 music download sites. In addition they request that the private domain services disable access to those sites.

The targeted sites are Descargaralbum.com, Mimp3.net, and Jou-site.me. Descargaralbum.com and Mimp3.net. permit users to download music files from external sites. Jou-site.me is a small Dutch BitTorrent tracker.

The privacy protection services these subpoenas apply to are Protected Domain Services, WhoisGuard and GKG.net. Private domain registration services can be used to hide personal information about site owners and operators from the public.

The RIAA is still taking music piracy very seriously. Last month alone the RIAA requested that Google remove 836,385 webpages from the Google search index.

Regulators Tell Universal To Sell 25% Of Emi Before Deal Is Approved

On Friday, The European Commission apparently told Universal Music during a meeting that it will have to sell the global rights for EMI's Parlophone record label, . This will include, among others, the rights to the music of David Bowie, Kylie Minogue and Coldplay.

The divestiture reports mean that UMG must sell a full 25% of EMI.

European Union and U.S. regulators are close to making a decision regarding Universal's attempt to buy EMI's recorded music division. EU commissioners have until September 27th to issue a public ruling. The US, Federal Trade Commission should announce their ruling during the week of September 24th.

Parlophone is currently estimated to be worth about $500 million.

Study: Listening To The Radio Is Still The Top Way To Discover Music

It is perhaps a shock to some, but still more people discover music listening to the radio than by any other way. At the same time more teens listen to music using YouTube than any other way. Somewhat more of a surprise is that only 10% discover music via friends and family, but at the same time they cite that positive recommendation from a friend is the largest single influence when they decide to purchase. These and more are the results of a comprehensive analysis by Nielsen published in their "Music 360" report.

“The accessibility of music has seen tremendous expansion and diversification,” said Nielsen SVP for Client Development, David Bakula . He goes on to say, “While younger listeners opt for technologically advanced methods , traditional methods of discovery like radio and word-of-mouth continue to be strong drivers. With so many ways to purchase, consume and discover great new music, it’s no wonder that the consumer continues to access and enjoy music in greater numbers.”

Understanding such buying and listening habits is as useful for indie artists as it is for large record labels. Such information can be critical when deciding on how best to reach new fans.

According to the "Music 360" report from Nielsen, RADIO is the main way Americans discover new music. The new report covers all aspects of music consumption including behaviors when listening and purchasing; music discovery; live events; social networking and mobile music apps; and how the economy is affecting music sales.

Here is an overview of some of the insights from the "Music 360" report:

Listening and Discovery

Radio dominates the way people discover music:

  • 48% discover music most often through the radio
  • 10% discover music most often through friends/relatives
  • 7% discover music most often through YouTube

YouTube is the most popular source when listening to music

  • 64% of teens listen to music through YouTube
  • 56% of teens listen to music on the radio
  • 53% of teens listen to music through iTunes
  • 50% of teens listen to music on CD

Positive recommendations from friends are still the factor most likely to influence a decision to purchase.

  • 54% are more likely to make a purchase based off a positive recommendation from a friend
  • 25% are more likely to make a purchase based off a music blog/chat rooms
  • 12% are more likely to make a purchase based off an endorsement from a brand
  • 8% of all respondents share music on social networking sites, while 6% upload music.

Gender differences: Males purchase rock music most often, while females prefer top 40

  • 38% of males purchase rock most often
  • 15% of females (compared to 9% of males) purchase top 40 most often

Digital and Physical

Digital music is seen as a slightly better value than a physical CD

  • 63% of purchasers identified digital albums as a very or fairly good value
  • 61% identified digital tracks as a very or fairly good value
  • 55% identified physical CDs as a very or fairly good value

Younger consumers who do buy digital tracks, are more likely to buy new music just after it is released

  • 33% of teens purchased a digital track within one week of release
  • 21% of persons 18+ purchased a digital track within one week of release

36% of teens have bought a CD in the last year

51% of teens have purchased some kind of music download

Events and Merchandise

18-24 year olds are most likely to attend a music event (among those who attend any type of live event)

  • 7% attending once a week or more
  • 30% attending once a month

18-24 year olds attend more live events, BUT teens are more likely to purchase T-shirts and posters while there.

  • 54% of teen attendees buy concert tees
  • 46% of 18-24 year old attendees buy concert tees


  • 14% of teen attendees buy concert posters
  • 7% of 18-24 year old attendees buy concert posters

It makes for some interesting reading, and for eggs-one-basket indie musicians it won't all be particularly welcome news. The conclusions that can be drawn just from this overview information could significantly affect where inidie bands spend their effort.

Nielsen is a global measurement and information company providing precise marketing and consumer information across diverse markets including television, on-line and mobile commerce. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Read the press release

Finn Arilds long awaited second album is now on general release.

Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and composer Finn Arild takes a big bite on his second album. This time it is nothing less than an epic progressive rock concept album telling the creation of the universe, life and - almost everything. The answer is not 42, but over 60 minutes of non-stop listening experience - no pauses included.

After finishing his art-rock debut album Serendipity, Finn Arild wanted to create something that would really honour his progressive rock roots. The album, which has taken five years to perfect, covers the modern story of the creation of the universe starting with the Big Bang,the creation of stars and planets, the emergence of life on planet earth - and the human race - discussing the mark we put on the world.

Testament features the seasoned Stockholm based drummer Mikael Wikman who recorded all the tracks in his Stockholm drumstudio in online cooperation with Finn Arild. Also featured is his old friend Reidar Wiik doing some excellent piano work and tasteful background vocals of Finn Arilds wife Elin. Testament is thoughtfully written, elaborately produced and skillfully mixed by Finn Arild in his Oslo based home studio.

- “An incredible start to the prog-year of 2011” says Scream Magazine. - “On Testament Finn Arild is truly revealed as a prog-artist where inspirations from Genesis a-la “Wind and Wuthering”, Eloy and Pendragon comes to mind when I listen to this beautiful Album.”

In addition to being available in quality indie record stores, Testament can also be purchased in lossless downloadable formats in the artists own webshop. Here you can also purchase special single-versions of all songs.

MyWerx and ASCAP have joined forces to provide ASCAP members with 600 MB of FREE Copyright Protection through its WerxProof service.

MyWerx copyright management platform provides songwriters with WerxPost, a free database for managing their creative work, and WerxConnect, a social network connecting Creators and their collaborators to their work. The MyWerx web application and iPhone application deliver the best possible proof that you are the creator of your works. The evidence includes geolocation (where you were when you created it), dates and time stamps, who you created it with, and multiple copies of the work are easily stored and shared as the work develops.

MyWerx provides Life Cycle Copyright Management solutions. MyWerx patent pending technology is a platform that makes it simple for creators to manage their works in one location for free, coupled with a subscription based copyright protection service. The platform keeps all interested parties in a work up-to-date in real time.


IK Multimedia is pleased to introduce SampleTank FREE - a full-featured version of SampleTank 2.5, with a 500MB specially selected sound library. Musicians may now experience for FREE the full power and flexibility of the industry’s leading sound sample playback engine and build their compositions to perfection.

Players can now start with SampleTank Free and its 500 MB library of studio quality sounds and grooves, and then expand their sonic palette by choosing from more than 24,000 multi-sampled sounds and loops, totaling almost 60GB of samples.

Samples include: Acoustic, electric, electronic and loop sounds from SampleTank 2.5 L or XL, furthermore, users can add sounds from existing “Powered by SampleTank” sound modules such as the orchestral workstation - Miroslav Philharmonik™, the synth workstation - Sonik Synth 2™, the official Moog® anthology – SampleMoog™, the vintage “Tron” collection of SampleTron™ or the 30 available Xpansion Tank 2™ style and instrument-based sound collections.

SampleTank FREE features:

· 500 MB of FREE studio-quality sounds

· 16 part multi-timbral sound module with layerable/mixable parts

· 3 synth engines:

- STRETCH™ (formant preserving pitch-shift/time-stretch)

- Polyphonic Pitch-Shift/Time-Stretch (PS/TS)

- Resampling

· The most powerful Multi-Effects section in a software workstation with:

- 5 insert effects per Part

- 5 Send effects

- 5 Master effects

· 33 built-in DSP effects to choose from, with DSP derived from award-winning audio processors like T-RackS and AmpliTube

· Part and Master Loop Sync

· Can be expanded with: SampleTank 2.5 L and XL sounds and any Powered by SampleTank sound modules, including Miroslav Philharmonik, Sonik Synth 2, SampleMoog and SampleTron

· Can be expanded with any Xpansion Tank 2 sounds

· Imports WAV, AIFF, SDII, AKAI S-1000/3000 and SAMPLECELL instruments directly from the plug-in

· Available both as a standalone application as well as a plug-in

· Supported plug-in formats: VST, RTAS, and AU on MacOSX/Windows

SampleTank FREE is a unique virtual instrument suitable for studio and live use and as it is light on CPU it can easily run on laptops. Additionally, it is one of the few virtual instruments that allows users to make full compositions from start to finish right out of the box - with full producing power using IK’s award-winning built-in effects. SampleTank has been used on countless Grammy® and Oscar® winning hit records from Eminem, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nickelback, Serj Tankian, Nelly Furtado, Genesis, Asia, The Hollies, Gary Numan and countless others.

Pricing and availability

SampleTank FREE is a free software download. All currently registered users of IK products can download it right now from their IK Website User Area. New users may visit:


Or for more information, please go to:


ASCAP has just released their 2009 financial results showing continuing growth for the performing rights organization.

In 2009 ASCAP reports that it collected more than $995 million, an almost $50 million increase from the $946.7 million collected in 2008. Their foreign revenue grew to nearly $302 million. ASCAP made royalty payments to their 380,000-plus members during 2009 totalling more than $863 million, a significant increase than the $818.9 million distributed to members during 2008.

“Music is performed more often, in more places, in more ways by more businesses than ever before. That expanded music use, combined with dramatic ASCAP Membership growth, market share increases and effective strategic management have led to stunning revenue and distribution growth for 2009.” stated ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento.

According to LoFrumento “Looking to 2010 and beyond, our challenge is to obtain fair rates for the increasingly valuable public performance right over Internet and wireless devices. Because we are an organization of and for songwriters, composers and publishers, ASCAP is taking the leadership role in advocating for copyright and the livelihood it makes possible for music creators.”

The operating results were delivered by Mr LoFrumento during the General Annual Meeting, which launched their “I Create Music” EXPO. Video of the ASCAP General Anual Meeting 2010.

Hot off the presses, First Playback and Music Notation Tool Designed Specifically for use with IK Multimedia’s Miroslav Philharmonik

IK Multimedia in cooperation with NOTION Musichave released NOTION SLE for Miroslav Philharmonik™. Notion SLE is a special version of the award-winning NOTION3 scoring software that is customized for use with IK Multimedia's award-winning Miroslav Philharmonik orchestral library.


NOTION SLE for Miroslav Philharmonik features instrumentation and articulation presets that automatically handle all articulation changes in the background, allowing for very realistic playback directly out of the score. Songwriters, composers and music arrangers no longer need to spend hours programming presets, templates and articulation changes — they can now focus on creating compositions.

As you write and articulate your score, NOTION SLE will follow your instructions and automatically change to the appropriate Miroslav Philharmonik articulation patch during playback to accurately and realistically perform your score. You can also take full advantage of NOTION’s live performance features and conduct the full orchestra with an unmatched level of control.

Also included is a 32 stereo channel. Virtual, full mixing console that facilitates mixdown of the score, eliminating the need for an additional DAW. Full export controls are included for producing MusicXML, audio and MIDI.

For more information please visit:


To view videos of Notion SLE:


IK Multimedia is pleased to announce that its GrooveMaker® range of remixing apps is now available for the iPad.

Released for the iPhone and iPod touch in August 2009, GrooveMaker has become one of the most popular mobile loop remixing apps. The GrooveMaker Free version has consistently been in the top 100 music apps with over 600,000 downloads, and the entire GrooveMaker family features 11 style-based apps for the most popular genres of music.

GrooveMaker for the new iPad offers the same smart features and streamlined workflow as the iPhone/iPod version for making music with loops, but also takes advantage of the new larger multi-touch surface to provide enhanced operation with an integrated, advanced controller.

Users will find a convenient mixer-like environment with large slider controls for volume, pan and master volume of the 8 controllable loop tracks, plus instant access to tempo, solo and mute functions all on the same screen.

Also, GrooveMaker for iPad adds even more control when working with loops, providing a new level of creative flexibility. Users can now switch “snapped” grooves with a single touch, plus control the number of loops that are automatically combined during a random mix. GrooveMaker iPad is the perfect addition to a DJ set, providing unlimited creative flexibility in live remixing and DJ applications.

There are 4 GrooveMaker packs for the iPad available now:

• Free (a 120-loop pack with a mix of House and Hip-Hop)

• House

• Hip-Hop

• D’n’B (Drum & Bass)

GrooveMaker House, Hip-Hop and D’n’B contain over 300 loops each and are only $9.99/€7.99 from the iTunes App Store.

For more information on the new GrooveMaker for iPad apps, please visit:


GrooveMaker for iPad on YouTube:

GrooveMaker Free for iPad:

GrooveMaker Hip-Hop for iPad:

GrooveMaker House for iPad:

AmpliTube 3 Now Shipping!

The New King of Tone

More Gear, More Feel, More Power, More Tone

March 2010, Modena, Italy – IK Multimedia is proud to announce that AmpliTube 3, a massive upgrade of the leading guitar and bass tone gear-modeling software, is now shipping! AmpliTube 3 raises the industry standard of sound variety, realism and creative power - with over 160 precisely modeled pieces of vintage and modern gear available in one package - it is the ultimate gear tone collection for players, producers and engineers.

More Gear, More Feel, More Power, More Tone. AmpliTube 3 gives you More!

More Gear. In fact, twice as much gear!

- Over 160 gear models included (with nearly 100 added models), more than double the amount of other packages, from the most sought-after vintage collections to modern-day workhorses

- 51 Stompbox effects, 31 Amps, 46 Cabinets, 15 Studio Mics and 17 Rack effects

- 30 brand new models for the most complete anthology of gear, ever

- 70 re-worked and superior sounding models from packages like AmpliTube Metal™ and AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix™

- A new collection of bass gear models also makes it the most complete package for recording and performance of bass by the engineer or musician

- Can be directly expanded with packages like AmpliTube Fender™, Ampeg® SVX™ and future packages

- New preset management and keyword system allows you to organize and quickly recall the massive library of included and custom preset tones

More Feel. Nothing even comes close.

- New cabinet module inside now provides double miking per cabinet, with freely movable microphones thanks to IK’s VRM™ (Volumetric Response Modeling) technology, giving you a level of control and sound accuracy never experienced before in software

- All models in AmpliTube 3 have been ultra-accurately “remastered” with our new 3rd generation modeling technology (the same found in AmpliTube Fender™), using IK’s exclusive DSM™ technology (Dynamic Saturation Modeling), then painstakingly compared with the originals in “A/B” style to ensure that the sound you hear from the software is the same sound you’ll be hearing from the gear.

- New impulse-based reverbs are now used in the entire chain, from spring reverb to room ambience, which ensures the most realistic possible representation of your recording environment

- New rotary speaker module sets the new standard for accurate emulation of these types of cabinets – until now, there had never been such a great sounding rotary cabinet in software

More Power. Unleash more creative power.

- New creative Effects: featuring the new Step Filter, Step Slicer, TapDelay, Rezo and Swell stomp and rack effects that allow you to sculpt your sound and create inspiring rhythmic patterns or amazing drone and pad-like effects

- New full-stereo path allows you to use the huge collection of analog and digital effects on your vocal tracks, keyboards and drums

- New Drag & Drop functions in the stomp and rack modules make experimenting with effects’ combinations a breeze

- New “MIDI Learn” feature allows you to assign any software control or parameter to an external controller with a simple click on the parameter’s knob

- New, integrated 4-track recorder/player allows you to capture and layer your ideas quickly and easily - right at the moment of inspiration!

More Tone. Every Sound You Can Imagine.

AmpliTube 3 is the voice for your soul. With the largest collection of ultra-accurately modeled gear, creative effects and flexible routing features, you’ll never run out of sonic possibilities. Every sound you’ve heard before, and even new ones you haven’t dreamed of yet…find them here in AmpliTube 3.

Pricing and Availability:

AmpliTube 3 is now shipping as VST, RTAS and Audio Unit plug-in formats, and also as stand-alone software for Mac OSX® and Windows®, currently available in the following versions and MSRP prices*:

• AmpliTube 3 $349.99/€269.99

• AmpliTube 3 Crossgrade $269.99/€199.99 (available to any IK registered user)

• AmpliTube 3 Upgrade $199.99/€149.99 (available to all previous AmpliTube 2, AmpliTube Metal, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix™, AmpliTube Fender™ or Ampeg® SVX™ registered users)

• AmpliTube 3 Pedal $399.99/€299.99 (AmpliTube 3 bundled with StealthPedal™ USB/MIDI controller and audio interface)

These products are already available in the IK Online Store, and through our network of dealers and distributors worldwide.

* All prices excluding taxes.

For more information on AmpliTube 3, please visit:



The Infinity Circuit

The Daze of Mother Earth


Out Monday Feb 8th 2010

The Infinity Circuits' debut release is a dark combination of abrasive breaks and sinister bass lines with a wickedly fresh and complex vibe. New to the scene, but very hard to categorise, the Infinity circuit originally began as a purely drum n bass project, but grew into something quite different from the commercial scene with its darker tinges and political undertones. If you are into something truly cutting edge, give this a listen.

Available to download from the abr website and your favourite digital download store now.

Mastering with T-RackS 3

IK Multimedia's new T-RackS 3 mastering software provides all of the essential tools required to create superb quality, transparent and compelling masters.

Here is your chance to book your place on our special T-RackS 3 Masterclass featuring guest engineer/producer Ben Fenner, whose credits include Radiohead, The Feeling, Brian Eno and many more. Ben will be using T-RackS 3 Deluxe to illustrate how its key features can be used in production and mastering scenarios. He will be using its superb emulations of the vintage Fairchild 670 and Pulteq EQP-1 modules together with the other features of T-RackS 3.

There will be opportunities to talk to Ben and have your questions answered as well as to meet the IK team.

Every registered participant will receive a free copy of the T-RackS 3 Shell module following each session.

Special offers will be available on the day, courtesy of Digital Village.


Saturday, 27th February 2010

London School of Sound

(South Campus)

16 Bromells Road, Clapham

London SW4 0BG

Tel. 020 7720 6183

BMI has released its 2009 Annual Review highlighting several aspects of their operations, admitting that it had been perhaps the most challenging in the organizations 70-year history.

According to the report, BMI realized revenues in the 2008-2009 fiscal year of over $905 million with royalty distributions totaling more than $788 million, both figures higher than BMI's results from the previous year. An operating expense of approximately 13% was recorded for the year 2008-2009.

The report states that BMI recognized that the opportunities in the digital shift in its very early stages. They go on to reveal that more songwriters affiliate online than via any other method, with more than 30,000 affiliates being added to the BMI roster over the past year.

The figures published include a categorized breakdown of domestic licensing income of:

Cable and Satellite: 29%

Broadcast Television: 17%

Radio: 36%

General Licensing: 16%

New Media: 2%

International revenue was dominated by income from Western Europe:

Western Europe: 68.8%

Asia Pacific: 13.6%

Other: 17.6%

The organization’s New Media and Strategic Development grew revenues by 11%, with a portfolio of 6,700 digital media properties under license to BMI.

“As BMI marks its 70th anniversary in the year ahead,” said BMI’s President & CEO Del Bryant, “we know we will be looking at an extremely difficult economic environment. We will maintain our intense focus on efficiency and cost containment. We anticipate tough discussions as we negotiate new agreements for the use of our repertoire. However, we are encouraged by the steady growth in our market share, and by the expanded use of music by both traditional and digital media, two dynamics that drive our licensing revenues. These factors reinforce our ability to meet the challenges of this volatile economic landscape, provide a point of stability to our songwriters, and produce added value to our customers as the economy works its way toward recovery.”

Follow the link to read the full BMI Annual Review 2008 - 2009.

Celtic Connections 2010 comes to a close tonight, after an extremely successful 17th year. For the third year running, attendances topped 100,000 with gross ticket sales reaching over £1 million. This was the festival’s fourth successful year of working with principal sponsor ScottishPower.

Music fans attended approximately 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops, which took place in 18 venues across Glasgow over 18 days in January and February.

The festival’s final night sees performances from The Peatbog Faeries, Saltfishforty, a very special 15th birthday bash for Chemikal Underground ­– headlined by The Phantom Band – and the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final.

The diverse and ambitious programme explored the links between Celtic and world music and brought musicians from all over the world to Glasgow, with acts from as far afield as Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, India, Africa, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Norway, Serbia, Romania, Canada and the USA visiting the city.

Festival highlights have included an extraordinary performance by Bobby McFerrin, with the singer also holding a workshop for local choirs and entertaining school children from all over Scotland in a Celtic Connections schools concert as part of the festival’s Education Programme. Other highlights have included the ScottishPower Pipe Band joining The Chieftains and Ry Cooder on stage at their show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and The Treacherous Orchestra performing around Glasgow on an open-top bus to celebrate their sold-out show in the Old Fruitmarket.

Other sold-out shows have included The Chieftains with Ry Cooder, Danny Thompson and Friends, Natalie Merchant and the hugely popular Transatlantic Sessions, which will go on tour immediately after the festival bringing a dazzling international cast of Celtic and Americana musicians to concert halls across the UK following its sell-out success in Glasgow.

The final weekend of the festival also featured a major showcase of Scottish music, with over 150 international music industry delegates in town to sample the cream of Scottish musical talent performing as part of Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections. The largest gathering of the international music community in Scotland, Showcase Scotland provides acts with the opportunity to perform in front of promoters, record labels and agents from over 20 different countries. The exposure that artists gain leads to record deals and overseas touring contracts, promoting Scottish music and artists to new audiences around the world.

Showcase Scotland works with an international partner each year and in 2010 shared the stage with Norway, with top Norwegian acts Majorstuen, Synnøve S. Bjørset, Gjermund Larsen Trio, Unni Boksasp Ensemble, Skaidi and Valkyrien Allstars appearing over Celtic Connections’ final weekend.

The Celtic Connections Education Programme celebrated an extremely successful 12th year, with the schools concert strand featuring its most high profile line-up ever as Bobby McFerrin, Naturally 7, The Treacherous Orchestra and Le Vent du Nord gave free concerts for school children across Scotland in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

For the first time ever, the Celtic Connections Education Programme worked in partnership with Culture and Sport Glasgow to take the festival out of the city centre and into local areas with the Celtic Connections Community Concerts as BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners Bodega performed in Barlanark, Knightswood, Penilee and Langside.

Every year at Celtic Connections the cream of new musical talent perform at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. A diverse panel of judges – from industry stalwarts to members of the general public – then pick six winners from the eighty acts which took part. The Danny Kyle Open Stage 2010 finalists – all of whom will perform a support slot at next year’s festival – are Ben Powell, Seonaid Aitken, Kilairum, Michael Clark Trio, Rachel Sermanni and Lurach. The Open Stage was broadcast live on Celtic Music Radio, which also broadcast Iain Anderson In Conversation, the Gordon Hotchkiss Afternoon Session as well as New Voices from the Strathclyde Suite.

Celtic Connections continues to attract visitors from all over the world, expanding the international profile of the city as a tourist destination and affirming Glasgow’s place on the cultural map. The results of an economic impact survey carried out at the 2009 festival revealed that Celtic Connections generated a total of £6.6 million of new output to Scotland in 2009.

Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Artistic Director, said:

“We’re delighted with the continued success of Celtic Connections. This year we had some really amazing acts on the bill, and fans and performers came to Glasgow from all over the world to enjoy two and a half weeks of great music.”

“A personal highlight was Bobby McFerrin’s phenomenal show in the Concert Hall – it was a really special night. We were so thrilled that he agreed to give a concert as part of our Education Programme too, it was a real coup for us.”

Celtic Connections 2011 will run from Thursday 20th January - Sunday 6th February.

(Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA) January 29, 2010 – Teen phenom Sarah Lonsert won the Overall Grand Prize of the 14th Annual USA Songwriting Competition along with co-writers Jonathan George and Jami Templeton. Her winning song “Dancing Through Life” will be on the USA Songwriting Competition's compilation CD this year. Sarah is only 17 years old and she not only broke the first prize record of being the youngest winner but also the overall grand prize winner of being the youngest winner ever. The previous youngest first prize winner was Kate Voegele, who won in 2005 at 18 years old. Adrianne Gonzalez was the youngest overall grand prize winner at 22 years old when she won in 1999. Sarah also won first prize in the Dance/Electronica category, making her the first from that category to ever win the overall grand prize. Sarah Lonsert will be releasing a full length CD this year. Although Sarah suffers from autism, she is a budding singer-songwriter and has also won an award at the L.A. Music Awards last year.

Eric Colville (from Ipswich, MA) won the overall second prize and Anne Simoni (from Brazil) won the overall third prize. This year also marks the first time that USA Songwriting Competition had two winners from Spain. Ariel Queupumil from Guadalajara, Spain won the first prize in the Latin Category while Eduardo de la Iglesia Nieto from Madrid, Spain won the First Prize in the instrumental category. Nicole Morier and Fabien Waltman from Los Angeles won the first prize in the Pop category. Nicole is has written songs for Britney Spears and is also an artist. Other winners came from Indonesia, Canada, Australia, Norway and Denmark.

Entries are currently being accepted for the 2010 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. Winning songs of the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition will receive airplay on a nationally syndicated radio program “Acoustic Café” as well as Sirius XM Satellite Radio. This is the first Songwriting Competition that gives airplay to the winning songs, giving deserving bands, songwriters the recognition and exposure they deserve. Entrants stand to win a grand prize of over US$50,000 in cash and music gear from sponsors such as Sony, D’Addario Strings, Ibanez Guitars, Audio-Technica, IK Multimedia, and more, making this the largest prize package for any annual songwriting competition.

Many USA Songwriting Competition winners in the past have received recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television. 2005 First Prize winner (Pop) Kate Voegele was signed to Myspace/Interscope Records the year after she won and had her winning song hit top 40 on the Billboard Charts, her latest album hit Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Album charts this summer. 2007 Overall Grand Prize Winner Ari Gold had his winning song “Where The Music Takes You” hit #10 on the Billboard Dance Charts. Darrell Scott, winner of the country category of the 2005 USA Song writing Competition had his winning song "Good Ol USA" cut by award winning country singer Faith Hill and the song was renamed “We've Got Nothing But Love to Prove.” Also, Kyler England, 2009 first prize winner just got signed to Universal Records. Judges include A&R managers from record labels such as Warner, Capitol Records, Universal, BMG/SONY Music. "It seems to be a competition that draws a solid talent base", said Kirk Boyer, A&R director at Lyric Street Records. "A healthy and important competition, good outlet for creative people", said Andy Karp, Executive VP/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records.

Sponsors include Sony, Audio-Technica, Ibanez Guitars, D'Addario Strings, New Music Weekly, and Guitar Player Magazine. Songs may be entered in 15 different categories including Pop, Rock/Alternative, R&B and Country. Entries are accepted from now through May 28, 2010. For more information, visit: