Local teen wins national songwriting contest

Courtesy photoTessa Barcelo

ANDOVER — The news was truly music to Tessa Barcelo’s ears.

Tessa, a sophomore at Andover High School, was recently chosen as the Region 6 winner of the 2019 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge.

She was selected as the region’s winner from 140 high school student applicants from 40 states.

Her victory means she will work with a coaching team made up of a musical theater mentor and music director. They will help refine all parts of the song she submitted to the competition, with the goal of getting it recorded professionally.

Her song is titled “Queen.’’

“‘Queen’ is about embracing yourself for everything that makes you unique, and not letting anyone tell you what you can or can’t do,” Tessa said. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity and to begin working with my coaching team.”

The team will meet with Tessa electronically and then in person, when the mentor and music director travel to Tessa’s Andover home for a three-day workshop.

The team will prepare her song to be recorded in the fall by professional musical theater artists in New York City.

The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is aimed at cultivating the next generation of musical theater songwriters through mentorship programs.

Barcelo is an honor roll student at Andover High and performs in the school’s show choir, From Start to Finish. She is also a member of the school’s Drama Guild, studies voice and drums at the Real School of Music, and plays in an all-girl band named Shifting Staircase.