Teenage novice songwriter wins talent contest

Published 9:32 am Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chelsea eighth–grader Kelli Corbell began taking guitar lessons two years ago.

Last month she placed first in a talent competition against other junior high students, playing and singing a song she wrote.

Corbell, 14, had first won a competition sponsored by Talented Nazarene Teens (TNT) at the Nazarene camp in Calera. She then went on to enter TNT Regionals at Trevecca College in Nashville, where she won first place.

After taking piano lessons for four years, Corbell decided she wanted to play the guitar, too. She got a “Teach-Yourself-Guitar” DVD, but that didn’t work for her, she said, so she began taking guitar lessons at the Guitar Gallery in Pelham, where her teacher is Gregg Thorson.

Soon after beginning guitar lessons, she started writing her own lyrics and music, and now has a notebook full of songs she wrote.

Corbell’s notebook is filled with lyrics like these from her prize–winning song, “Take Him In”: “…Afraid to touch your pain, so you just do it again.”

“Take Him In” speaks to someone who is trying to drive away emotional pain by hurting herself physically with cutting and drugs. It assures the person that God can take away the reason for the pills and razor blade.

Corbell said she does not know anyone personally who has the problems her song speaks about. But she has heard of a lot of teens who do and her lyrics are something “people need to hear.”

“This is a popular topic,” she said. “And I wanted to write something that would stand out.”

Her favor with the judges proved that “Take Him In” accomplished this goal.

Corbell said she hopes to attend Trevecca College and study pharmacy after she finishes high school in four years.

She is the daughter of Joanna and Chris Corbell.