Lovers of timeless popular music can watch online this week as 40 talented high school vocalists from across the country perform in three concerts hosted by the Ambassador of the Great American Songbook, Michael Feinstein.
The Great American Songbook Foundation’s annual Songbook Academy is taking place this week at the Foundation’s headquarters, the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana. Participants from 19 states were selected from among hundreds of applicants to attend the annual music intensive, in which entertainment industry professionals and leading arts educators school them in the history and performance of timeless popular songs, jazz standards and classic show tunes. This year’s mentors include Feinstein, the Foundation’s founder, along with Broadway/TV actor Shereen Ahmed, jazz and blues singer Nicole Henry, Broadway performer James T. Lane, jazz singer-musician Aubrey Logan and crossover singer Anthony Nunziata.
Now in its 13th year, the Songbook Academy is returning to an in-person format after being conducted virtually for the past two years due to pandemic concerns. In addition to the many classes and other activities for the students, the schedule includes three public performances at the Center’s 1,500-seat Palladium concert hall that will be livestreamed – two of them free of charge. More information and livestream registration are available at TheCenterPresents.org or toll-free at (877)-909-ARTS (2787).
Ten randomly selected participants will perform and receive real-time critiques from artists Michael Feinstein and Nicole Henry.
2-5 p.m. ET Wednesday, July 20
Cost: Pay-what-you-can, no minimum
Each of the 40 national finalists will have a turn in the spotlight to perform a selected song.
2-5 p.m. ET Thursday, July 21
Cost: Pay-what-you-can, no minimum
Songbook Academy in Concert
7 p.m. ET Saturday, July 23
Cost: Pay-what-you-can, $10 minimum
The Saturday concert will be an expanded multimedia production featuring all 40 singers in solo and ensemble performances to celebrate their growth over the course of the week, including a tribute to late Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim led by Feinstein. Awards and honors will be presented throughout the evening, and a giant video screen will display interview clips and behind-the-scenes footage from this year’s academy. A performance by 2013 Songbook Academy alumna Melinda Rodriguez – winner of the annual Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition and competitor on Season 17 of NBC’s The Voice – will welcome the new class to the Songbook Alumni Network.
The Songbook Academy is sponsored nationally by the Efroymson Family Fund and also supported by the City of Carmel and Salon 01. The Songbook Academy in Concert performance is part of the Center for the Performing Arts’ Hoosier Village & The Barrington of Carmel Songbook Series and the 2022-2023 Center Presents Season in partnership with Allied Solutions. The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Mentor Champions support the involvement of the national faculty teams who guide and support the students throughout the week.
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 timeless standards of pop, jazz, Broadway and Hollywood. Headquartered at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, the Foundation advances this rich legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators, performers and publishers in the Songbook Library & Archives; 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.