sobota 27. července 2013

The Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy & Competition - everything old is new and alive again!

What exactly is The Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy & Competition? A true celebration of the Golden Age of American Popular music!

Every year ten regional finalists are invited to the Feinstein Initiative’s headquarters at Palladium Concert Hall at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, IN to participate in a five-day “boot-camp” on interpreting and performing the music of the Great American Songbook.

2013 Winners: Kyrie Courter, Julia Goodwin, 
Melinda Rodriguez and Sam Pomales

I would like to introduce a wonderful competition, tell you more about the winners and people who are associated with such fantastic organization; people who work very hard to preserve The Great American Songbook and its future. Most of the winners continue with their education and perform around the United States. Some of them are ready to record their favorite songs. And much more. All of them have had the great oportunity to meet and study with popular vocalists who have shared their knowledge and experiences with them.

2009 Winner: Julia Bonnett (more info on

2010 Winner: Annie Yokom

Annie is going to be a junior at Carnegie Mellon university in their musical theatre BFA program. Last summer she worked at the wagon wheel theatre in Warsaw Indiana where she played multiple different roles including Julie Jordan in Carousel. This summer she has been dancing, doing gymnastics, a class at second city, working two jobs and of course singing. Annie is also hoping to start recording sometime soon and looking forward to seeing Michael, watching the competition and being surrounded by people who love the American Songbook as much as I do.

 Annie Yokom

2011 competition was on hiatus – no event

2012 Winner: Nick Ziobro (more info on

Nick received $3,000 and the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to perform with Michael Feinstein. For more info check out Nick's facebook page where you can find nice photos, all about his current projects and other interesting things.

Nick Ziobro and his version of All Of Me (2012)

Second place winner was our favorite Tony Ponella. You can find our interview with Tony HERE (English original text is below Czech translation). Third place winner was talented Tori Anna who sang one of my favorite songs called Nature Boy. She continues to perform and tour around the United States.

Tori Anna sings Nature Boy (2012)

2013 Winner: Julia Goodwin

Julia is the 2013 winner of the Great American Songbook Vocal Academy and Competition. The 15-year-old is from Baldwinsville, New York. During the finals concert she sang two American standards: Dream A Little Dream of Me and Feeling Good.

Julia Goodwin

As the first place winner she also receives $3,000 and the chance to perform with two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominated entertainer and founder of the Feinstein Initiative, Michael Feinstein. The first place winner will serve as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador for one year and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year.

Goodwin joined nine other high school vocalists at the week-long academy and competition, held in the Indiana city of Carmel. The annual event is sponsored by the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative and is the only U.S. competition dedicated solely to the music from Broadway, Hollywood musicals and the Tin Pan Alley era of the early to mid-twentieth century.

Julia's version of Dream A Little Dream of Me

The second place winner, Kyrie Courter, Chicago, will receive $2000. The third place position was a tie, with winners, Sam Pomales, Springboro, Ohio, and, Melinda Rodriguez, Miami, FL, both receiving $1,500 toward continuing music education.

G.I. Jive: The Music and Entertainers of World War II

High School Vocal Competition is not the only event that is part of The Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Iniciate. There is so much more! Songbook Hall of Fame Awards, archive and gallery where people can come and view various exhibits such as Blast from the Past: Roaring Hot '20s Jazz or previous G.I. Jive: The Music and Entertainers of World War II.

Its goals are to bring the music of the Great American Songbook to young people today and to preserve it for future generations.

I say S'wonderful!

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