It is no secret Stardust Melodies supports the Great American Songbook. For a couple of years we've been keeping an eye on a wonderful project called the Songbook Academy (in the past known as the Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy & Competition) that brings young talented artists together to sing and celebrate the great music of the past.
This year marks the sixth year, the Songbook Academy provides high school singers in grades 9-12 with the life-changing opportunity to work with music industry professionals and educators from top college arts programs to experience firsthand the uniquely American and culturally significant music known as the Great American Songbook.
Forty students were invited to attend the Songbook Academy at the Songbook Foundation’s headquarters in Carmel, IN, July 18-25, 2015, to participate in a seven-day Academy on interpreting and performing the music of the Great American Songbook. This year's mentors included Michael Feinstein, Tony nominee and Broadway star Laura Osnes and Grammy winner Sylvia McNair.
2015 winner Lucas Debard
Lucas Debard is the 2015 winner of the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador Award. The 18-year-old is from Lebanon, Indiana. During the final concert on July 25, 2015, he sang American standards: “I'm Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” and a mash-up of “I'll See You in My Dreams” & "I Have Dreamed." As the first place winner, Debard gets the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to perform with two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominated entertainer and founder of The Great American Songbook Foundation, Michael Feinstein. The winner will serve as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador for one year and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year.
Cate Hayman of Mill Valley, California, was named Songbook Inspiration Award winner, and Hannah Vogelsang of Haslett, Michigan, was named Songbook Celebration Award winner, each receiving the opportunity to perform with Michael Feinstein.
The past Youth Ambassadors included Nick Ziobro, Julia Goodwin and last year's winner Maddie Baillio.
Songbook Academy Promo Reel
Finalists for the 2015 competition include:
Lucas DeBard: Senior at Lebanon High School (Lebanon, Indiana)
Cate Hayman: Junior at Tamalpais High School (Mill Valley, California)
Hannah Vogelsang: Junior at Haslett High School (Haslett, Michigan)
DeMar Jackson: Senior at Eisenhower High School (Decatur, Illinois)
Adam Kruschwitz: Senior at Brighton High School (Rochester, New York)
Drew Mabusth: Freshman at Dubuque Stephen Hempstead (Dubuque, Iowa)
Deirdre Pedersen: Sophmore at Westborough High School (Westborough, Massachusetts)
Joshua Reinier: Sophomore at the Nueva Upper School (San Francisco, California)
Madelyn Steurer: Junior at Assumption High School (Jeffersonville, Indiana)
Katie Swaney:: Junior at Center Grove High School (Greenwood, Indiana)
The Songbook Academy is a celebration of the Golden Age of American Popular music. This program is the only high school music intensive 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.
You will find more interesting info about Archives & Library, Songbook Academy, Songbook Hall of Fame and other projects on The Great American Songbook Foundation website www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org/Great-American-Songbook-Inititative