Center for the Performing Arts announces $1 million gift

11/15/2012 3:41:58 PM

Michael Feinstein donates $1 million to Songbook Initiative

Carmel, IN (November 16, 2012) - The Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative has received a $1 million gift from Michael Feinstein and his spouse Terrence Flannery. The gift will provide funding to support the Initiative’s mission to bring the music of the Great American Songbook to young people today, and to preserve it for future generations.

“Michael and Terrence are tireless supporters of the Initiative,” said Jeff McDermott, chairman of the Initiative’s board. “We are honored to have their commitment and support. The partnership allows the Initiative’s guests to discover the timeless appeal of the Great American Songbook. I look forward to continuing to work with Michael and Terrence during the Initiative’s rapid expansion period.”

In addition to the $1 million gift, Feinstein and Flannery are donating their proceeds from the book The Gershwins and Me by Michael Feinstein (Simon & Schuster) to the organization. The Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative hosts the only high school vocal academy and competition in the U.S. dedicated solely to the music from Broadway, Hollywood musicals and the Tin Pan Alley era of the early to mid-twentieth century. The Great American Songbook Vocal Academy and Competition has proven to be one of the Initiative’s most exciting education programs.

Michael Feinstein founded the Great American Songbook Initiative in 2007 in order to preserve and promote the music of the Great American Songbook. The two-fold mission of the Initiative is to bring the music of the Great American Songbook to young people today and to preserve it for future generations.

The work of the Feinstein Initiative includes:

• High School Vocal Competition
• Educational programming
• Library, archive and gallery
• Hall of Fame
To learn more, visit:

About Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.

More than simply a performer, Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. In 2007, he founded the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition, which awards scholarships and prizes to students across the country. Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The center is home to the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative Archive and Gallery. Starting in 2010, he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2013, he will replace the late Marvin Hamlisch as the lead conductor of the Pasadena Pops.

Feinstein can be seen on PBS in his award winning series, Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook. He can also be heard on NPR in his current show, Song Travels with Michael Feinstein. His new book, The Gershwins and Me, which is combined with a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano, was released by Simon & Schuster in October 2012.

The Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative is an archive, gallery and education center at the Center for the Performing Arts, in Carmel City Center. The performing arts campus includes the 1,600-seat Palladium concert hall, the Tarkington 500-seat proscenium theater and the 200-seat Studio Theater. The Center is a permanent fixture on the Central Indiana landscape and will provide an extraordinary listening experience for audiences, acting as a museum and education center by day and a concert venue by night.