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Rochester teen wins John Lennon Songwriting Contest

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Olivia Millerschin got flowers and a book from her boyfriend of two years for Valentine's Day.

And a different kind of valentine on Friday from the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

The Rochester Adams High School grad's light-hearted pop song "Screw Valentine's Day" was named the winning entry in the Lennon competition's special Love, Love, Love contest -- which Millerschin learned on Friday morning as she was exciting her English class at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

"They just tweeted it, and I was like, 'Oh, I guess I won...,' " Millerschin, 18, says with a laugh. "I had kind of forgotten about it. I was just coming out of class and was like, 'What?!' It was pretty cool."

The Love, Love, Love grand prize includes an Epiphone John Lennon Casino guitar, a Neutrik custom John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Cable and a JamHub BedRoom sound mixing system, which Millerschin says she's "looking forward to playing with." The song will automatically be entered in the main Lennon contest, which launched on Friday.

The victory gives a national boost to Millerschin's musical ambitions. The granddaughter of a professional opera singer, she's been playing guitar and writing songs she was 12. She released her first album, "Yes, No, Maybe" in 2013 and has just launched a PlegeMusic campaign to fund her upcoming "Over The Weather, which she plans to release in May.

Millerschin has also toured nationally with singer-songwriters such as Teddy Geiger and Howie Day. In Cincinnati she's studying commercial music production, but she "might have to leave school next year to go on a couple more tours and then come back to school."

And despite "Screw Valentine's Day's" sentiments, Millerschin has nothing against the holiday. "I really like Valentine's Day," she says. "There's chocolate and there's love. I don't know what there isn't to like about it."

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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