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thesandpaper.villagesoup.com: Vote Online for Ocean County Songwriter in ‘Shout Down Drugs’ Competition

March 29, 2018

Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Songwriter and Shout Down Drugs finalist Lily Targett is a ninth-grader at Southern Regional High School who recently transferred from the Ocean County Vocational-Technical Schools’ Performing Arts Academy in Lakehurst. She sings and plays guitar, is a student at Starlight Academy in Manahawkin and is doing “Anything Goes” with Bellarine Theater Co. Her dream is to be one of the dancers in “SpongeBob the Musical” on Broadway.

Targett said her musical inclinations come from her mom – as did the encouragement to enter the Partnership for a Drug-Free America’s statewide competition. Created in 2005, New Jersey Shout Down Drugs challenges high school students to create original music and lyrics with substance use prevention messages to allow teens to promote a healthy lifestyle through their favorite music styles.

PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente described the competition as “a wonderful opportunity for these teens to inspire their peers, as well as adults, with their crucial messages of substance use prevention.”

Because Targett personally knows people who use drugs and are caught up in that lifestyle, the challenge was personally meaningful to her.

Her song “Don’t Do It” has a simple message, telling the story of two kids who choose different paths and how the one who chooses drugs has a bad outcome and the one who avoids drugs is successful.

Targett is one of 22 finalists from 13 counties, and the only one from Ocean County. She and the other finalists will perform their original songs at the Prevention Concert 2018, to be held Friday, April 27, at the Daytop residential substance abuse treatment facility in Mendham. The concert starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are free. Order at shoutdowndrugs.com or call 973-467-2100.

It’s her first experience in songwriting, but Targett is “definitely going to do more.” She added it’s been a great learning experience. Putting herself out there with an original song makes her feel more nervous about the upcoming concert than if she were performing another artist’s song, she said, “just because I wrote it.”

Now through April 26, the public can listen to Targett’s song and cast votes at shoutdowndrugs.com. The votes collected online will combine with the judges’ scores at the Prevention Concert to determine the first-, second- and third-place winners. The 18 musical acts stand to win music contracts with PDFNJ worth a total of $10,000.  —V.F.

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