čtvrtek 7. srpna 2014

The Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy & Competition just keeps rollin' along...

Last year I introduced a wonderful project called The Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy & Competition. Talented artists and wonderful people met together again to work with young students from all over the US. And what else to say? 2014 has been a great year! And not only for Maddie Baillio who is the winner of this year's competition. The 18-year-old is from League City, TX. During the finals concert on July 25, she sang two American standards: “Misty,” and “Murder, He Says.” 

As the first place winner, Baillio receives $3,000 and the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to perform with two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominated entertainer and founder of the The Great American Songbook Foundation, Michael Feinstein. The winner will serve as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador (Nick Ziobro was 2012 Youth Ambassador, last year's Youth Ambassador was Julia Goodwin) for one year and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year.

Baillio is a recent graduate from Clear Falls High School in League City, Texas. Her musical interest was sparked when she realized that she was not going to succeed in athletics. Since that moment, she has kept her life busy with choir, theatre, and dance in and out of the school setting. She participates in musicals and plays at regional theatres in Houston, while teaching private vocal lessons to students. Her goal in life is to continue to share her gift of performing and music whether it is performing on the stage or educating others.

Maddie Baillio - the winner of this year's competition

Baillio joined 11 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 Great American Songbook Foundation 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.

Nia Savoy, Shreveport, LA, was named Songbook Inspiration Award, and Grayson Samuels, St. Petersburg, FL, was named Songbook Celebration Award, each receiving $1000 toward continuing music education. Mentors this year included Cheryl Bentyne, Grammy Award-winning jazz singer from Manhattan Transfer; Marc Cherry, “Desperate Housewives” creator, television producer, and Songbook aficionado; Michael Feinstein, competition founder and five-time Grammy nominee; Sylvia McNair, two-time Grammy Award winner and regional Emmy Award winner. The mentors selected the Youth Ambassador at the end of the final performance.

Michael Feinstein with all finalists

Finalists for the 2014 competition include:

Paige Brown (Indianapolis, Indiana), Maddie Baillio (League City, Texas)Jacob Stuckert: (Grove City, Ohio), Nick Drivas (Palmetto, Florida), Nia Savoy (Shreveport, Louisiana), Grayson Samuels (St. Petersburg, Florida), Milla Guerra (Chicago, Illinois), Molly Hernandez (Glen Ellyn, Illinois), Merissa Beddows (Yonkers, New York), Claire Dickson (Medford, Massachusetts), Jordan Plutzer (San Carlos, California), Christina Euphrat (San Anselmo, California)

The mission of The Great American Songbook Foundation, Michael Feinstein, Founder, is to inspire and educate by celebrating the Great American Songbook... 

And that's what we try to do on Stardust Melodies as well...