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Borderless Arts Tennessee is a statewide organization committed to inclusive and accessible arts programs for people with disabilities to enhance educational curriculum, enrich creative expression, empower career development, and encourage community engagement.


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Featured News & Events

Young Soloist Music Program

Photo by Randy Dorman

Vanessa Cox – 2019 Winner

The Young Soloist Competition for Borderless Arts will be run very differently this year with some new and exciting twists!  The competition will be entirely virtual including the final event with the announcement of the winners.   


Format and Schedule

1) Instrumentalists and vocalists in Tennessee of any musical genre ages 14-25 by Dec. 31, 2020 are invited to participate.

2) Participants must email a completed application and video no later than 5pm on Sept. 11, 2020. Please email Borderless Arts TN and the application and instructions on how to create the video will be emailed to you.

3) On Sept. 18, all participants will be notified with the information on the 5-7 participants who have been selected as finalists.  Finalists will be paired with a mentor who will provide critique regarding the participant’s song choice and technique. Finalists will have the opportunity to resubmit a video based on the critique provided by their mentors.

4)  Oct. 9 at 5pm is the deadline for the finalists to turn in their final video. 

5) Oct. 12 ALL videos of ALL participants (top contenders and others) posted on Website,, for Fan Favorite vote which will last until Oct. 16.  There will be no special mention that some are finalists.  Participants will be listed alphabetically. A Participant does NOT have to have been selected as a finalist to have his/her video posted and to be eligible to be selected as a fan favorite.

6) Ray Boone will create a video that will look similar to the past Young Soloist competitions.  The video will feature a host, the performances videos of the finalists, a special guest and the announcement of the top 3 Young Soloist winners and of the Fan Favorite.  This video will be posted on the Borderless Arts website on Oct. 30, 2020.


Schedule at a Glance

Sept. 11      Deadline for Entries

Sept.  18     Announcement of Finalists

Oct. 9        Deadline for Finalists’ Final Videos

Oct. 12        All videos posted on Website and Fan Favorite voting begins

Oct. 16        Fan Favorite voting ends

Oct. 30        Final Performance Video on website with Announcement of Winners


Mentors for Finalists:

Alison Brazil

Les Kerr

Joe Loesch

Lizzie McAvoy

Elliott McClain

Serg Sanchez

Tammy Vice



Judging will be conducted by Omnisound Studios. In 1955, the American Federation of Musicians constructed this building for its offices and a music practice room. It changed hands twice (once to country singer Marty Robbins) before it was purchased in 1985 by a local group of musicians and producers. In 2015, it was awarded Top Studio of the Year. Omnisound Studios is open for tours. Who recorded here: Faith Hill, Jewel, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and more.


Guest Host for the Digital Young Soloist Performance

Pete Weber will be the guest host for the digital performance. For the seventh time in the last nine years, Pete Weber, the Voice of the Predators, has been named the Tennessee Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. Weber, who has been with the Preds franchise since Day One, also received the accolade in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Weber spent time following the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team, and served as host of a weekly video on demand show about the team available on Comcast in the Nashville metropolitan area. Weber also called the 2003 and 2004 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl for WWTN radio. He served as co-host of “SportsNight” on WWTN & WNFN radio from July 2003 to August 2005.


Guest Performer in the Digital Young Soloist Performance

The special guest performer for the event will be Gaelynn Lea.  Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2016, and she’s been on the road ever since playing her unique mix of haunting original songs and traditional fiddle tunes. So far the singer-songwriter and violinist has appeared in 45 states and 9 countries, and has been featured in festivals like SXSW and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Gaelynn has also opened for several well-known bands such as Wilco, The Decemberists and the industrial rock supergroup Pigface. She has released four albums to date. In addition to performing and recording, Gaelynn also does speaking engagements about disability rights, finding inner freedom, and accessibility in the arts. In recent years, she has used her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change. So far she’s been able to share her perspective on PBS NewsHour, BBC World News, The Moth Radio Hour, and through two widely-viewed TEDx Talks. Gaelynn is currently working on a memoir about her touring adventures and disability advocacy that she plans to release in 2022.    


Special Announcement

The Oak Ridge Boys will be seen in the digital performance with their own special message to the Young Soloist participants.


1st Place:

Submitted to the International Young Soloist competition representing Borderless Arts TN

2 hours at Omnisound Studios to record

$500 Cash



2nd Place

Submitted to the International Young Soloist competition representing Borderless Arts TN

$250 Cash



3rd Place

Submitted to the International Young Soloist competition representing Borderless Arts TN

$100 Cash



Fan Favorite





Dr. David and Diane Black

First Horizon Bank Foundation


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