Resident tops folk song-writing test

The Family Folk Chorale has announced the winners of its 2015 songwriting competition, and in first place is Chris Nauman of Arlington, with his "We Stand Our Ground."

Taking second was Terry Kitchen, with "Sequel," and in third was Susanna Rose, with "Benediction."

"We Stand Our Ground" will be arranged for chorus by Artistic Director Chris Eastburn, of Arlington, and performed by the Family Folk Chorale on Sunday, April 10, at the Regent Theater.

The Arlington-based Family Folk Chorale brings fun and meaningful songs, performed by singers ages 3 to 80, and shares them with an audience of all ages.

"Chris Nauman's 'We Stand Our Ground' is a beautifully crafted folk rock song with singable melodic lines and inspiring lyrics," Eastburn said in a news release. "It gets you moving and leaves you feeling uplifted."

Now in its fourth year, the chorale's songwriting competition has created an opportunity for collaboration among songwriter, arranger, conductor and chorus.

Most songwriters rarely get to hear their songs performed by other singers. Yet in this competition, the winning song is professionally arranged and performed with a 60-voice, multigenerational ensemble. No wonder the competition has attracted the attention of songwriters throughout the United States.

Nauman is an award-winning singer/songwriter who pumps passion into his performance with his dynamic guitar work and expressive vocals. He commands the stage with a keen sense of honesty and freshness. Drawing inspiration from Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger, among many others, Nauman channels his Midwestern sensibilities into a spirited blend of folk rock. Sometimes caressing, sometimes kinetic, his music is always sure to please.

Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, Nauman would sit at his father's feet listening to him play the accordion. Pumped to make music himself, Nauman first picked up the accordion and then the guitar.

He cut his teeth playing the local music scene in Dayton, Ohio, during college. He was caught up in political activism in the 1980s while living in the San Francisco Bay Area. One would find him frequently playing at local rallies and antiwar protests with local activist and folk artist, Francisco Herrera. Medical school and training derailed Nauman's musical ambitions for more than a decade. He also needed time to raise three awesome kids, who are now making their own waves and music in the world. He lives in town with his wife, Suzy.

Nauman can be found frequently at venues in the Boston area or busking in Harvard Square. He has opened for such notable musicians as Vance Gilbert, an Arlington resident, and he is a member of the People's Music Network.

More information about Chris Nauman can be found at

The Family Folk Chorale was founded in 1999 with the belief that everyone can sing and that people of all ages singing together is powerful music. The chorale is a multigenerational group of more than 60 singers of all ages and a band composed of some of Boston's most versatile musicians. Skillful and sensitive arrangements by director Eastburn provide opportunities to hear individual voices in solo and small groups as well as harmonically rich, full group refrains.

More information about the Family Folk Chorale is available here >>

This story was published Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.

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