EDGEWATER — Chicago area songwriters and producers have a chance to become part of an upstart soccer club’s team identity — and get a cash prize and free studio time in the process.
Edgewater Castle FC, or football club, has launched a contest seeking a new team anthem. The semi-professional soccer team is calling on local artists to submit original songs to the contest, with the winning song becoming part of team tradition.
The chosen song will be sung by Edgewater Castle players and supporters at games and used in club promotional events. The winner will receive a $250 cash prize, four hours of free studio time with a professional engineer at any of Experimental Sound Studio’s Chicago locations, a professional recording of the anthem and other prizes.
Entries must be original compositions, and all kinds of music genres and forms will be considered for the contest, said Michael Hamilton, Edgewater Castle’s club manager. As the club represents the diverse community of Edgewater, it wanted to place no limits on the types of song entries it receives, he said.
“As quickly as we’re progressing on the field, we’re really working ward to connect with the community and really reflect the community we represent,” Hamilton said. “The anthem for the club is super important. It’s part of the team’s identity, and it helps unify the fans.”
To submit a song, click here. The contest is open Monday-April 8.
The winner will be chosen by a jury composed of club staff, players, sponsors, fans and the club’s community owners.
Edgewater Castle FC was formed in 2017 as a nonprofit, semi-professional soccer team. The nonprofit model is not that common in semi-professional sports, which often charge players to join.
Edgewater Castle, whose team nickname is “The Rooks,” doesn’t charge its players and seeks to make the game more accessible to the North Side’s immigrant community, Hamilton said. This year’s team is comprised of players from 17 home countries, he said.
This spring, Edgewater Castle will make its debut in the Midwest Premier League, a step up from the Premier League of Chicagoland it has played in since its inception. With the promotion to an upper league, the club is hoping to grow its following in Chicago.
The club plays home games at Winnemac Stadium, 5105 N. Leavitt St. Games have amassed a following, and the club even has its own brass band — Edgewater’s Hip Young Gunslingers — to play at games.
“We just want to spread the word and bring the community together through the game of soccer,” Hamilton said.
The club has worked to become apart of the community it represents, Hamilton said. It has held soccer camps for 1,200 kids and adults and helped install soccer goals at Swift Elementary School.
A volunteer staffer at the club said it needed an anthem and floated the idea of the contest, having seen a club he follows in Germany do something similar, Hamilton said. Songs and song-based chants are central to soccer culture internationally as well as locally.
“It was so obvious,” Hamilton said. “The more we can involve the people of Chicago, we want to be doing that.”
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