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High school students invited to share their musical talents in statewide competition

NEW JERSEY- Student musicians and singers across New Jersey – you are invited to use your talent to help shout down drugs in the state.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is again striking a powerful chord with its 20th annual Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey competition. High school students with a passion for music are invited to compose an original piece centered around a crucial theme: substance use prevention.

The competition celebrates the diversity and potency of music, so all genres and voices are welcome. Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, April 10. 2024 to be eligible.

“The voices of our young people play a pivotal role in guiding others toward a healthy, drug-free lifestyle,” said Angelo Valente, executive director of Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.  “And music is not just about notes and rhythms; it’s a language that transcends barriers. Because the message behind each song is substance use prevention, the students’ voices become powerful agents of change to their peers. This contest not only amplifies an important message but also showcases their talents to millions while offering them the chance to earn recognition and rewards.”

PDFNJ’s Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey competition is supported by the New Jersey Broadcaster Association (NJBA) and 95.9 WRAT, which will host the virtual Prevention Concert featuring Creative Services Director of WRAT, Jimmy Steal. An esteemed panel of judges will select the finalists whose songs will be broadcast on 95.9 FM during the concert on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. The competition winners will be announced live on 95.9 FM at the concert’s conclusion.

“It’s truly inspiring to see the talents of these young artists shine,” Steal said. “Teaming up with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and the New Jersey Broadcaster Association to highlight New Jersey’s gifted student musicians and their life-affirming messages is an honor. We can’t wait to broadcast their impactful songs.”

“This competition not only addresses the crucial societal issue of substance use by our youth through the universal language of music but also offers our youth a platform to express themselves and share their narratives. To watch them channel their creativity for such a vital cause is essential and the New Jersey Broadcaster’s Association and our members are proud to be a partner in this initiative,” said Jordan Walton, the executive director of the NJBA.

Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third-place winning songs in the competition. The top performer will secure a $5,000 music contract, while the second and third-place recipients will be awarded music contracts valued at $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

For competition rules and entry details, visit

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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