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Valley Pre-Owned

Publish Date: 12/26/2006

Longmont resident Donna Galbraith works on writing a song in a sound studio at Olde Town Pickin’ Parlor in Arvada on Dec. 16. Galbraith, who mostly writes contemporary country music, has been increasingly successful this past year. Times-Call/Jamie Haverkamp

Ready for center stage
Local songwriter on track for success

LONGMONT — In one more year, Donna Galbraith will be where she wants to be: Nashville.

Since being interviewed in April, the Longmont songwriter has become increasingly successful. Two of her songs have been picked up by a professional “song plugger,” who pitches them in person to major record label artists and producers.

“I have never gotten that far before,” said Galbraith, 45.

Previously, she would drop off CDs at recording studios and publishers, but those discs were rarely heard, she said. She was not allowed to pitch the songs in person.

Since April, Galbraith also has won several songwriting contests and has developed a professional relationship with a prestigious music publisher.

In November, she and co-writer Mitch Townley won the 2006 songwriting contest at tunesmith.net, an online songwriting community. That winner, “Family Tree,” also is a contender for Song of the Year on the Muse’s Muse songwriting Web site, Townley said.

The tune recently was cut by DeWayne Spaw, an independent country artist in Nashville who tours nationwide and is close to a major record contract, Galbraith said. If he makes it big, her song could be played on the radio.

“He is one of those irons ready to strike,” Galbraith said. “He’s got the goods, and he could make it and take me with him.”

She is most excited that Windswept, an independent company on Nashville’s Music Row, has arranged for one of its songwriters to mentor her.

Though there are bigger publishers than Windswept, becoming a staff writer for the smaller independent is Galbraith’s dream.

She also was unanimously selected as SongU.com’s Student of the Month for the end of 2006 and start of 2007. On that educational Web site, faculty members nominate students. She recently started teaching a songwriting class through SongU.com.

Walt Aldridge, a staff songwriter for Sony/ATV music in Nashville, says he expects “big things” from Galbraith.

“Donna’s songs are being heard in the circles that could move her at any time into that circle of writers having hits in the Nashville market,” Aldridge said. “Windswept is a prestigious global publishing group that would not offer one of its writers’ time to mentor her if they did not feel she had a bright future. It’s now a matter of her being lucky enough to be heard by the right person at the right time.”

Galbraith continues as the coordinator for the Longmont chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International, for which she leads critique sessions of members’ songs.

Recently, she began receiving royalties from a national photography studio that uses her songs in multimedia presentations.

Though she is still several years from retirement as an air traffic controller, Galbraith plans to transfer from Longmont to the Nashville Tower next year, despite a large pay cut that will accompany the move. Her children are grown; her husband, a retired air traffic controller and current flight instructor, will move with her.

“I’m getting closer all the time,” she said.

Susan Glairon can be contacted at 303-684-5224 or sglairon@times-call.com.

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