ISS History

In the Press

Some Early Fliers and Programs

Thanks, Rob, for digging these up.

The Island Songwriter Showcase (ISS) is a Long Island-based organization of songwriters, lyricists, and performers. We get together to share and develop our passion for the art and craft of songwriting. Our goal is become better songwriters and help others do the same.

Free Membership, Volunteer-based

We welcome songwriters from all musical backgrounds, styles, genres, and levels of accomplishment. We welcome professionals and non-professionals. Membership is free. The ISS is self-sustaining through volunteer effort. We receive no grants or external funding. However, Five Towns College has generously provided the space for our workshops since 1994, if not longer

Rob Baranello

The ISS offers a range of opportunities from workshops, peer reviews, and competitions, to collaborations, promotions and showcases. However, it may be associating with fellow songwriters that inspires us to produce our best work.

Harry Chapin

The ISS was founded in 1990 by Rob Baranello and Todd Suprina inspired largely by the songwriting circles of the seventies. Both Rob and Sonny Speed and attended Harry Chapin’s songwriting circle and similar groups in Manhatten and wanted to see it continue. The first ISS meeting was held at what used to be called "the Village Meeting Room" at the Huntington Public Library on Main Street in January 1990.

Sonny Speed

After about a year, Rob handed the ISS over to Mike Hogan. After about a year, Rob and Mike asked Sonny Speed to lead the group. Sonny Speed led the ISS and built it up from the early nineties up until 2009, when he retired. For almost 17 years, Sonny was a tireless facillitator, supporter and promoter of all songwriters and original musicians on Long Island. Thank you, Sonny!

Bill Ryan, Pedro Periera, Vin Crici

Bill Ryan started the ISS website in 1999. He did it all: design, hosting, content, maintenance, etc. Thank you, Bill!

Vin Crici and Bill Ryan produced the Borders Showcase for many years until Borders closed its doors. They provided an open mic for the public and exposure for ISS members. Thank you, Vin and Bill!

The ISS has had several Newsletter editors, including Shari Diamond, James Yarsky, Gerry Dantone, Tony Tedesci, Pedro Periera and now Sid Cherry. No one endured the task longer than Pedro, a consummate professional editor. Seven years and ten or eleven newsletters per year is over 70 newsletters. Thank you, Pedro!

Gerry Dantone, Sonny Meadows and Turtlehead
Gerry and Turtlehead did public relations work for the ISS, writing and sending press releases for showcases and events. Gerry and Sonny M. occassionaly facilitate a workshop also. Thank you, Gerry, Sonny M. and Turtle!

Estelle Henrich and Mike Svezia

Estelle and Mike have been successfully producing and facilitating the Bellmore Showcase for a couple of years. They also provide an open mic for the public and exposure for ISS members. Thank you, Estelle and Mike!

Walt Sargent

When Sonny retired in ’09, I was asked to keep the ISS going. I had been attending fairly regularly since 1994, contributed to the newsletter, counted a lot of votes and took over managing the website since about 2003.

20+ Years of Helping Songwriters

This is the story of the Island Songwriters - songwriters helping songwriters. For over twenty years now, the ISS has enjoyed, benefitted from and hopefully nourished the talents of hundreds of fine songwriters. Our mission is to develop and support songwriters and the art of songwriting.

Walt Sargent
August 2012

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