Masterclasses will take place Saturday morning at the Needles Lodge on the upper mountain. Sessions will be led by veteran songwriters who will share insights on the art of storytelling, melody vs. harmony, and lyric crafting by sharing various tips and tricks of the trade with an emphasis on rhyme schemes, alliteration, assonance, rhythmic phrasing and much more.



Music Composition

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Needles Lodge - Upper Mountain

This master class will shine a light on basic music theory, melody and chords structures as well as discussing characteristics of melodic forms and common chord progressions used in hit song.
Jeff Franzel is the Director of the New York chapter of The Songwriting Academy.  He is a multi-talented composer and jazz pianist with over 35 years of experience in the music business, and has had more than 250 of his songs recorded, sold over 30 million records, and has 20 plus top ten singles.

He began as a jazz pianist and toured with many groups including The Hues Corporation (Rock The Boat) and Les Brown’s Big Band. Additionally, Jeff has accompanied such iconic artists as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Mel Torme.  His first big hit was “Don’t Rush Me” by Taylor Dayne which was a #2 pop hit.  He has written songs for such diverse artists as Josh Groban, Placido Domingo, “NSYNC (2 Christmas songs), Shawn Colvin (two film songs including Never Saw Blue Like That), Clay Aiken, The Temptations and Dianne Reeves.

Over his 40 plus year career he has had a number of songs featured in Film and TV including Runaway Bride, Serendipity, De Ja Vu, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Barbershop II.  Most recently, he has songs set for release with Rhys Lewis on Decca Records, Hayley Westenra, Persons of Interest, Elvis Blue (South Africa), Falipa (South Africa), and BoA (Japan).

Jeff is a Yamaha artist and performs as a solo pianist regularly in NYC.



Songwriting From A to B

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Needles Lodge - Upper Mountain

10 - 10:50 am 
This master class gives an insider’s, behind the curtain, lens to the tricks, tips, and shortcuts that Gary and Georgia have amassed over their collective forty years of songwriting.  They will teach attendees how to unlearn bad habits and replace them with proven technique, overcome writer's block and raise their game whether they are a novice looking to learn or an established writer looking to revitalize their passion.
Gary and Georgia will be performing at the festival.  Married for six years now, GARY BURR and GEORGIA MIDDLEMAN perform for audiences all over the country. With harmony and humor, they weave an evening to remember featuring their songs as well as the stories behind them. Gary is a Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member and has been an ASCAP, Billboard and NSAI Country Songwriter of the Year. He has written fourteen #1’s and has had songs recorded by Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Carole King, Ringo Starr, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson and many others.
Georgia is an award-winning songwriter as well who has had songs recorded by Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Joe Nichols, Martina McBride, Sheila E., Radney Foster and Maia Sharp, among many others. Her song “When The Right One Comes Along” was featured on the ABC television show “Nashville.” When not performing solo or as Middleman Burr, Gary and Georgia are also two thirds of the trio, Blue Sky Riders along with Kenny Loggins.



Saturday, August 4, 2018

Needles Lodge - Upper Mountain

11 - 11:50 am 
This workshop will look at how to use “harmony” to make a song more interesting and what chords best support melody choices.  Additionally, she will analyze hit songs and discuss how harmonic rhythm and chord choices impact the feel of a song.
Scarlet Keys has been a full time professor in the Songwriting Department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA since 2003, teaching songwriting, lyric writing, performance and upper division songwriting courses. She has had a storied career which began as a staff songwriter for Warner Chappell Music in Nashville, TN.  Following her Nashville stead, Keys went on to write theme songs for national commercials, including Our Time and Zulily, and has had song placements in The Greening of Whitney Brown, starring Kris Kristofferson and Brooke Shields.  Additionally, her tunes have charted on Billboard's Jazz Chart on critically acclaimed jazz artist, Anna Wilson's holiday album Yule Swing!, and reached the #1 single spot on the British Country Chart with artist Lucie Diamond, and #2 on the European Country Chart with the single and title track to Diamond's record I Wanna Be Rich.

Most recently completed her brand new book which will be released in May, 2018, called “The Craft of Songwriting: Music, Meaning and Emotion.”  In her own words, Scarlet reflects on her work as a songwriting professor and says, "The thing I love the most about teaching is helping students discover themselves, helping them tell the stories of their lives through music, and encouraging them to grow as artists.


Attendees can sign up online or at festival registration to reserve a tent on the upper mountain.  All tents will be set up as a songwriting space, fully equipped with guitars, keyboard and a creative atmosphere. The purpose is to meet up with other troubadours that you know or might be meeting for the first time, to create a song in real time as part of your T-Fest experience! Limit (1)/customer. Limit of (3) people in a tent/session slot.

Sessions are 120 minutes (1 hr./45 min). $150/session


Songwriters who would like a critique of their work can purchase song evaluations by qualified music industry pros who will provide feedback and an evaluation of your song. Sign up online prior to the festival and submit your song here to receive your evaluation on-site at festival registration.  Submissions will be accepted between now and July 16, 2018. Sign up online and reserve your song evaluation here.

$40/song (Limit 2 songs)


After a day of great concert performances, chill out at the Cinnabar Lounge in Earl’s Lodge for late night impromptu acoustic jam sessions and song sharing. Friday and Saturday night of the festival.  You never know who is gonna show up!



Think you are a singer/songwriter who has what it takes to win? Enter the TrouBeliever Fest Singer/Songwriter Competition. Submit your application with a lyric and one live video of you performing your original song (can be documented on an iPhone or similar device).  The submission deadline is July 1, 2018. Your video submission will be evaluated by vetted industry singer/songwriters. The GRAND PRIZE winner will be announced the afternoon of the festival and perform their song on the Mainstage, Saturday, August 4, 2018.  The GRAND PRIZE winner will also receive a complimentary one-year membership to the NSAI ($200 value), a Godin Guitar, and (2) VIP passes to the 2019 TrouBeliever Fest

$25.00 Application Fee