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thesandpaper.net - Barnegat Teen Wins ‘Shout Down Drugs’ Competition

April 8, 2020

Shannon Harrington (Supplied Photo)

Barnegat High School student Shannon Harrington has won first place for her original substance use prevention song created for the 16th annual New Jersey Shout Down Drugs high school music competition, sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, 95.9 WRAT and the New Jersey Broadcasters Association.

As the first-place winner, Harrington will receive a $5,000 music contract.

“I’m going to record more original songs,” she said. “And once the COVID-19 pandemic eases and people can get together again, I’ll be playing at some special events. This is such an incredible feeling. I look forward to getting (out) my message that you can enjoy a drug-free life.”

She and other contestants were initially scheduled to perform at a concert at Two Rivers Theater in Red Bank. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the concert has now be made available as an audio show on the Shout Down Drugs website (ShoutDownDrugs.com).

The competition challenged high school students to create original music and lyrics that contain peer-to-peer substance use prevention messages.  This year there were 13 finalists from six counties. Online voting took place through April 2.

“This is the 16th year we have held this competition,” said Angelo Valente, PDFNJ executive director.  “While we are sad that we are not able to hold the concert in person this year, we are really excited to offer the contestants a way to showcase their music. Each of these contestants is uniquely talented, and their anti-drug messages are so important to be heard, especially during this difficult time.”

Harrington’s song is “I’m Gonna Be Drug-Free.” A lyric sample:  Wakin’ up … gonna be a good day (ba-badda-bop). Cuz I know …  I won’t be led astray (ba-badda-bop). I’ll go my own way (ba-badda-bop). I won’t give in to that old cliché. I just wanna be … I wanna be drug free. Oh … I’m sure you will agree. I wanna be drug free. I know my parents taught me better. I wanna be a new trendsetter. I’ll pay attention to those flashin’ letters that say drugs are not for me.

Hear it at shoutdowndrugs.com/contestants/profile/351.  —E.E.

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