Chords of Courage Songwriting Competition and FREE Song Writing Workshops

The YMCA is proud to sponsor and support the Chords of Courage 5th Annual Student Songwriting Contest.

  • Open to middle and high school students in Frederick County, MD. Submit original songs you wrote on your own or with a friend.
  • Winning songs will be presented at the Awards Concert Sunday, March 19, 2023, 7:00 PM at JBK Theater, Frederick Community College.

Take part in FREE Songwriting Workshops

We offer 4 free songwriting sessions led by award-winning songwriter and STEP UP! Frederick workshop leader par excellence Andrew McKnight. Attend as many as you can, and be sure to secure your spot.

Saturdays, 10am – 1pm, January 7, 14, and 21, 28, 2023 at the following locations:

  • Saturday, January 7 at the Natelli Family Y, 3481 Campus Dr, Ijamsville,
    Saturdays, January 14, 21, 28 at the Y Arts Center, 115 E Church St, Frederick

Lunch and snacks included.

Space is limited, so secure yours: RSVP here and show up ready to write! OR RSVP to

Chords of Courage Album on Spotify

Chords of Courage Spotify AlbumAs the 5th STEP UP! Frederick Student Songwriting Contest kicks off, we are thrilled to tell you that seven songs will be featured on Spotify beginning Friday, Dec 2.

On Fri. Dec. 2, Chords of Courage is releasing its first-ever benefit album, featuring songs written by Frederick County teens who won in STEP UP! Frederick Student Songwriting Contests. Each song is fully arranged and performed by the band ilyAIMY, and every single dollar raised will support more socially conscious teen songwriters, but only if you download it on Bandcamp Friday!