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Instructor honored in international songwriting contest


Phillip E. Mitchell, an instructor at the University of North Georgia, has had seven songs place in the semi-finals and one song place in the finals at this year's UK Songwriting Competition, an international contest that gives winners the opportunity to work with top names in London's music business.

Mitchell taught as an assistant professor of English at Gainesville State College for four years. In fall 2012, he left to pursue a doctoral degree in creative writing at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, but continues to teach remotely as an adjunct for UNG.

In addition to his seven semi-finalist songs, Mitchell's song "Love" received a score of nine out of 10 at the prestigious competition, qualifying it for a spot in the finals – a noteworthy accomplishment for this self-taught singer-songwriter and pianist.

Produced with the help of acclaimed local musicians, Mitchell's first album, "Therapy," combines heartfelt lyrics with sultry vocals and soulful-yet-upbeat piano melodies reminiscent of artists like Elton John and Billy Joel, whom he cites as influences. Between his studies, Mitchell is working on an official release of "Therapy" and making plans for his second studio project, "Outdated."

The UK Songwriting Competition is widely known as one of the most prestigious competitions for aspiring songwriters. Every year, the event accepts submissions from writers all over the world in a variety of genres. With judges including successful producers and artists in the music industry and prizes including production packages, mentoring from top producers, and even publishing or recording contracts, the contest is a valuable opportunity for aspiring songwriters to break into the music industry.

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