Young vocalists learn from industry pros

12/12/2017 11:44:30 AM

Grammy Award-winning opera and cabaret singer Sylvia McNair (right) leads a workshop during the Great American Songbook Foundation's 2017 Songbook Academy. Forty students from across the nation will be chosen to attend this year's Academy in July.


VIDEO: Michael Feinstein discusses the Songbook Academy®

Application process now open
for 2018 Songbook Academy

Summer program offers expert-led workshops, masterclasses and performance opportunities for high school vocalists from across the country

Info and application online at www.TheSongbook.org; deadline March 25

CARMEL, IN – The Great American Songbook Foundation has launched the nationwide application process for its 2018 Songbook Academy® summer intensive, a one-of-a-kind music and performance program for high school students led by Foundation founder and five-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein.

Now in its ninth year, the weeklong Songbook Academy® is the only high school intensive in the United States focused on the jazz standards and classic Broadway and Hollywood songs that have come to be known as the Great American Songbook. The 2018 academy is scheduled July 21-28 at the Songbook Foundation’s headquarters, the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

Only 40 students nationwide are selected each year for this life-changing opportunity to experience workshops, masterclasses and mentoring from music industry professionals, educators from respected university music and theater programs and Broadway performers such as Eden Espinosa and Tony Award nominees Jarrod Spector and Laura Osnes. Participants can network with peers and pros, perform before live audiences and join the Songbook Academy Alumni Network to stay connected and informed about college programs, auditions and performance opportunities.

“These young peoples’ lives are forever changed by the experience, and they stay bonded to each other,” Feinstein says. “Whether they become professional musicians or not is not the point. The goal is just to give them the joy of experiencing this music, and the eloquence and beauty of the emotions and feelings that are expressed in it, and to see what it can do for the soul and the spirit.”

The week culminates in the Songbook Academy Finals, a performance and competition presented by the Center for the Performing Arts in its acoustically superior 1,600-seat Palladium concert hall. Awards are presented for excellence in several categories, with the top performer earning the coveted title of Songbook Youth Ambassador.

This year’s Songbook Youth Ambassador, high school senior Finn Sagal of La CaƱada Flintridge, CA, has a performance schedule that includes performing at the annual Great American Songbook Hall of Fame gala, singing the National Anthem at an NFL game, and appearing with Feinstein in San Francisco and New York City. Previous ambassadors and alumni have performed at such venues as Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

How to apply
To be considered for the Songbook Academy, high school students living in the United States are invited to submit videos with performances of two contrasting songs from the Great American Songbook genre. Submissions are evaluated by a panel of music educators and industry professionals who provide written feedback to every applicant. This year’s application deadline is March 25, 2018.

More details and application information are available at TheSongbook.org, or by contacting Director of Programs Cathy Burton at SongbookAcademy@TheSongbook.org or (317) 844-9454.

About the Great American Songbook Foundation

The mission of the Great American Songbook Foundation, founded in 2007 by five-time Grammy® Award nominee Michael Feinstein, is to inspire and educate by celebrating the Great American Songbook – the timeless standards of pop, jazz, Broadway and Hollywood. Headquartered at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, IN, the Foundation advances this rich legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators, performers and publishers; operating a multimedia exhibit gallery; overseeing the Songbook Hall of Fame: offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars and artists; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive. The Foundation is a Cultural Affiliate of the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum®. More information is available at TheSongbook.org.
 

Songbook Foundation founder Michael Feinstein (right) introduces a performer during the 2017 Songbook Academy Finals at the Palladium.