Rockford's Tom Mac honored for songwriting

Musician honored by Pacific Songwriting Competition

Tom Mac, a local acoustic guitarist, won the Pacific Songwriting Competition in the “instrumental” category.

The Pacific Songwriting Competition is an international competition based in New Zealand, but open to anyone in the world.

“Song for Jack” was the song that won him the award. It was written for Mac’s friend Jack Fryjoff, who passed away from cancer.

The song was written a couple of days after Jack passed and was composed inside a bathroom in Chicago due to the great acoustics.

The Pacific Songwriting Competition was the first contest Mac had ever entered.

He heard about the competition through a network of artists in Los Angeles to whom he is linked. Since he already had the song recorded, he decided to submit it for review.

“I really didn’t anticipate winning anything,” Mac said. “It was a nice surprise.”

With years of experience under his belt, Mac has been on stage with Kenny Rogers, opened up for the Beach Boys, and has sung at Carnegie Hall. He is also known to routinely sing classical music in Italian, German, Latin and Spanish.

Mac received a few Best of Rockford awards from the On The Waterfront Festival and a RAMI Award in 2003 for Best Acoustic Rock Band.

Mac played mostly solo acts when he first became a musician. It wasn’t until he moved to Rockford 18 years ago that he become serious about playing with other performers.

Currently, Mac plays solo or with the Tom Mac Group, who plays a unique mixture of originals and cover tunes in a style of their own.

Their albums—One to Three Hundred and Upper Palette—can be purchased at or at Borders, CD Source and Media Play in Rockford.

The Tom Mac Group will be playing from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday, July 2, at the Milwaukee Ale House in Milwaukee. For more information about the show, call 414/226-2337.

For more information on Tom Mac, visit his Web site at

From the June 29-July 5, 2005, issue

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