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Submit your original songs to SPR's Firehouse Sessions

Spokane Public Radio has begun accepting applications for its first-ever Firehouse Sessions. It’s a competition patterned after NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, but with a focus on local artists.

"We’re asking people to submit three original song recordings to and then we will have them fill out an online application form that they can find at our website," SPR Marketing Director Savanna Rothe.

The application deadline is October 15. The entries will be evaluated by a panel that includes Savanna, announcer and operations assistant Aiden Cook, a yet-to-be-determined guest judge and S-P-R’s Arts and Music Director E.J. Iannelli.

“It’s a fantastic platform for Spokane bands, not only to be recognized locally, but also to make that leap to the national stage, because, ideally, this will equip them with the materials and the resources they need to move on to the N-P-R Tiny Desk level. But it’s also a way to provide them with that recognition when we do that concert in the spring," Iannelli said.

That concert in the spring will feature two winners. The date and venue for the show have yet to be determined.

The Firehouse Sessions are inspired by two local collaborators. Iannelli says one of them is hip-hop artist Devonte Pearson, also known as T.S. The Solution.

“He owns and runs Panoramic Dreams recording studio. He is a major force in the hip hop community, the local hip hop community specifically, but also just within the music community as well. He is also involved as an event organizer and many other things, so he is a fantastic get when it came to our launch collaborators," Iannelli said.

The other collaborator is singer/songwriter Olivia Brownlee, who recently performed three of her own compositions in our studio.

“I admit I’m a little melancholic today. My baby’s growing up and I’m not sure what to say," she croons during the opening of one song.

The Firehouse Sessions are a way to showcase the work of local musicians and to increase awareness of Spokane Public Radio among people who don't listen.

“For me, from a marketing perspective, this is really an opportunity for us to reach an audience that we haven’t typically reached in the past, new demographics and age groups and that’s something I’m really excited about bringing to SPR," Rothe said.

Musicians from a variety of genres are eligible to enter between now and October 15. Find the contest rules here. Send your musical entries to Firehouse

Besides playing a concert next spring, the two winners will also be featured on one of E.J. Iannelli’s upcoming Thursday Arts (P)review programs.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.