Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Jonatan Barahona is soon to be the owner of a brand new 2012 Honda Civic, his prize for winning the Sounds of Civic songwriting competition.
He’ll also get to perform his winning song, Forever, during the upcoming Honda Civic Tour, thanks in large part to the thousands of votes he received in the online contest designed to promote the new 2012 Honda Civic vehicles.
The competition gave Facebook users a chance to submit and vote on original songs inspired by one of the five 2012 Honda Civic models; the Sedan, Coupe, Si, HF or Hybrid.
The musician and piano instructor said he didn’t think he stood much of a chance against some of his competitors. "I think it’s a miraculous act of God," said Barahona, whose song was inspired by the Honda Civic Hybrid.
Barahona, who graduated from PBA in 2009, majored in popular music and minored in biblical studies. The Boynton Beach resident recently toured with Spanish-language gospel singer Ingrid Rosario.
He said he called on all of his friends and contacts to vote for him in the contest. "I have a lot of people I’ve met on the road," he said. "I had so many people from all over the world helping me out."
At one point, he said, he began reading about the great Winston Churchill for motivation. "I was definitely rallying the troops for this," he said.
"Somehow a lot of people were emotionally invested in making sure this video won. I can only thank God for people wanting to help me."
In all, it took less than four days for Barahona to record and shoot the music video for Forever. He said that he is new to songwriting, although he enjoys arranging.
"This is definitely a huge encouragement," he said.
Barahona said he also has been encouraged by his music professors at PBA. He said he especially enjoyed studying under Dr. Geoffrey Holland, associate professor of music and director of choral activities at the University.
"He has been a very big inspiration," he said.
As part of his prize, Barahona is scheduled to perform on Oct. 1 in Anaheim, Calif., as part of the Honda Civic Tour. The tour’s headlining bands this year are Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance.
All eight finalists in the competition will receive $2,500 in music gear from Sam Ash Music Stores. Barahona said he expects to receive his new car in the next two weeks or so.
In a news release, Kurt Antonius, assistant vice president of public relations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., said, "There were so many wonderful contributions to The Sounds of Civic, but his entry stood out on production, originality, and best captured the spirit of the Honda Civic. Congratulations to Jonatan."