Cheektowaga Native Wins International Songwriting Competition

June 21, 2011 Updated Jun 21, 2011 at 7:11 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Cheektowaga Native Wins International Songwriting Competition

June 21, 2011 Updated Jun 21, 2011 at 7:11 PM EDT

(WKBW) A Cheektowaga native earned international recognition this week when her song was chosen as the winner in a worldwide competition.

Lisa Barrett's song "When You Look at Me" was the winning entry in the international Best Original Song Competition at bestoriginalsong.com. The song was written in memory of her late nephew, Austin Bielanin, who died of cancer just shy of his second birthday.

"I've only half absorbed the news of winning the 2011 Best Original Song ... it's tough to grasp those words 'in the world,'" Barrett wrote in an email. "I'm overwhelmed with so many emotions ... I'm thrilled, deeply touched, and completely honored. There were some really great songs I was competing against."

"When You Look at Me" was one of three finalists for the top spot, with the winner determined via voting on bestoriginalsong.com. As the winner, Barrett will now receive her own page on the web site, and her song will be submitted to recording companies, music labels, producers and agents.

"I'm grateful to all the people who voted, many of them voting the entire 5 months," Barrett wrote. "I wouldn't be here without them. I'm also thankful to the Best Original Song Site for giving songwriters this amazing opportunity."

Barrett aims to help people through the song and an album she composed. A portion of the sales of Barrett’s CD benefits the Essential Care Program for Children, an affiliate of Hospice that helped her family and allowed Austin to stay home as often as possible while battling the disease.

Memories of her nephew also continue to inspire Barrett.

"Who would have thought, that from so much pain would emerge so much joy," Barrett wrote. "I always had a clear goal ... to touch people's lives, through the music, in Austin's memory. I never knew it would end up being globally! Wow, just Wow!"

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