WHY JOIN THE CONNECTICUT
SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION ?
A Perspective from Executive Director, Bill Pere, who has
been a member of CSA
from its very first year in 1979
There are not many songwriter organizations which have been
around for almost 30 years. Aside from the national groups like SGA, NSAI, etc, CSA
is perhaps the only regional organization with such longevity and national
reputation. We are well integrated into both the mainstream
music industry and the Indie Music community.
Aside from many statewide press articles, CSA was the subject of a
feature article in the internationally distributed Songwriters Market book
as early as 1991. On page 260 of Sheila Davis' book "Successful
Lyric Writing" (one of the classic songwriter reference books of all time)
you will find a case study of CSA as an example of a highly successful
regional songwriter organization. We are known in New York, Nashville, and
L.A and we attract well known industry pros from these music centers.
In today's music scene, anyone can produce their own CD and get
international distribution with little difficulty. CSA has been
helping folks achieve that goal for many years. The key to
making your music stand out from the tens of thousands of other new artists
is ultimately the quality of the songs. That is where CSA really
shines - in helping artists make their songs be the best they can be, while
maintaining individual style, creativity, and artistry. The
organization has also saved lots of money for many artists by educating them
about the differences between fair deals and scams, how to get
the best music production for the lowest cost, how to find good
collaborators, and how to understand contracts.
How does CSA achieve this ? Over the years, we've had hundreds of top industry professionals
volunteer their time to come and speak to our members. Grammy Award winners,
Emmy Award Winners, Tony Award winners, Immie Award winners, platinum hit songwriters, and
legends in various musical circles have all passed through our doors ( a
list of many of them is on our website). Imagine having quality time to sit
down with each of these professionals and learn from them. Over the course
of 25 years, the education that one would have is something that could not
be purchased from any school at any price.
As a lifetime member of CSA, I consider myself extremely fortunate and
blessed to have had the opportunity from Year One to meet all these great
individuals, share dinner with many of them, conduct one-on-one interviews,
experience their critiques, hear their personal stories, and attend their
presentations. Their incredibly deep well of experience, expertise, and
personal insight, across a wide range of perspectives, creates a body of
knowledge about the craft and business of songwriting that simply does not
exist in any books, college curricula, or programs anywhere -- the only way
to absorb this knowledge is to be there, consistently, month after month,
over the course of time.
I've seen it happen time and time again, where new songwriters would
start coming to meetings, and those who attended consistently and faithfully
would show steady improvement, see doors open, and go on to become
exceptional writers and performers, winning national awards and securing
many publishing and licensing deals. Those who expected quick stardom, or
who could not make the time in their lives to be regular participants
perhaps missed out on what could have been the best path to achieving their
goals ever available to them.
For newer CSA members, you will not have the opportunity to learn first
hand from the same legends that shared their time with us in the first 25
years, as many of them are now fully retired or unable to travel -- there
will not be presentations and workshops from immortals like George David
Weiss or Pete Seeger or Sheila Davis, but there will be new shining stars
who will share with us, and the knowledge given us by that first generation
of towering figures lives on in those CSA members who are still active and
familiar faces in the CSA community.
Now in our third decade, CSA remains a thriving and growing organization
offering tremendous opportunities for those who choose to take them. We held
a statewide songwriting conference which received rave reviews from those in
attendance, and will do more. We are a major sponsor of the New
England Musicians Expo. We've raised hundreds of thousands of dollars
for social services through our many benefit events, showing artists how to
partner with other organizations for greater success. We have held hundreds
of songwriter showcases and special performance events, and will continue to
do so. And we will continue to provide monthly networking potential
and learning opportunities for anyone who wishes to take advantage of them.
And that is the key to unlock the door to your chosen goals. It is
completely up to you to choose or not choose to be an active participant in
your own development as a writer and artist. CSA only provides the
opportunities -- it is you who must make them your
opportunities. If your life is busy, if it's too far to drive, if you're
feeling too tired, the choice is always yours. You set the priority for how
important your music is in your life. You choose your own goals and
direction. All we can do is to continue to offer the best possible
opportunities, and make it clear that you will get out of it as much as you
put into it. We value the participation of each and every member, and we
will do whatever we can to help you get where you want to go. Your regular
involvement, becoming a familiar face, and making yourself known shows that
you are serious about wanting to learn and develop your craft, and this is a
key to open doors for you.
An investment in CSA is an investment in yourself, and we hope to see you
as a familiar face this year and beyond.
President and Executive Director, CSA
Founder and Chair, L.U.N.C.H.
IMC Indie Artist of the Year
Official CT State Troubadour
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