pátek 7. srpna 2015

Lucas Debard: "Something I will always remember from the Songbook Academy is that the text will always come first".

The 18-year-old Lucas Debard is the winner of 2015 Great American Songbook Competition! Last week we talked a little about 2015 competition and all talented students that were part of it. Lucas was kind to answer a couple of questions for our website...

Can you please us more about your singing begginings? Who was your musical inspiration while you were growing up and when was the fist time you were introduced to Great American Songbook?
I started music as a drum set player. I started playing when I was in kindergarten so music has been apart of my life ever since I can remember. I began to sing in middle school when I picked up guitar. I started by learning pop and rock music and singing to myself in my room. When I began high school, I found my favorite singer and inspiration, Mel Tormé through a simple YouTube video. When I started seriously singing my freshman year of high school, I started listening to his recordings daily. I developed a love of the Great American Songbook through his music. After listening to him and a lot of the songbook greats like Tony Bennett, Ella, Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Rosemary Clooney and Nat King Cole, I started listening to modern singers like Michael Feinstein, Gregory Porter and Kurt Elling. I took inspiration from these singers and they made me want to pursue a career in performance and education of the Songbook.

The Songbook Academy is a wonderful program that brings together many talented young artists to celebrate good old American popular music. How did you enjoy working with your fellow artists and mentors Michael Feinstein, Laura Osnes and Sylvia McNair? I had an amazing and unique experience with them. I loved that these people that I listen to so much were talking to me and helping me be a better singer and performer. Each one of them brought something different to the table and they all have so much to offer. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to be critiqued by someone you were inspired by through their performances and recordings.

 2015 Songbook Youth Ambassador, Lucas DeBard

What is the most important lesson you have learned from The Songbook Academy?
Something I will always remember from the Songbook Academy is that the text will always come first. These songs were meant to tell a story through music. Throughout the week, I started connecting more with the text in the songs that I worked on and heard from my peers. After learning what I did at the Songbook Academy, I will always think about the text before I sing. My goal now is to make people feel something when I sing. I want them to hear the story though the music and see it through my performance.

Who are your favorite vocalists / songs / movie musicals and why? Anyone you’d love to sing a duet with?
Lately one song I can’t stop listening to is Gregory Porter’s “When Love Was King”. Gregory Porter is someone I have always loved and have learned so much from. I’ve always enjoyed songs that speak to me and tell a story. That song in particular is one of my favorite songs because of how beautiful the text flows as a melody. The message of peace that he gives is something the world has always needed. There isn’t anything more beautiful than that. Although Gregory Porter’s and my voice are so different, I have been inspired by his way of phrasing and how each song is sung with so much care. I could definitely give you a large list of people I would love to sing with! Gregory Porter would be on that list. Our styles and voices are so different, but I am a huge fan of his music.

Being a fan of musical theatre myself, I was wondering if you go regulary to the theatre to see musicals or even dramas and comedies? If so, which event did you enjoy the most and what did you learn from it?
I haven’t attended as many shows as I would like, but I remember a trip to New York with my choir when we saw the Broadway production of Newsies. The first thing my eye was drawn to in the show was all of the athletic dancers doing things I could never dream of. One of the things that I loved watching was Jack singing Santa Fe. I was new to modern Broadway music and hadn’t experienced the genre of music live or really in recordings until I saw this show. I remember studying his posture and mannerisms as he performed. Watching the character of Jack in the show made me think about the way I walk and carry myself on and off the stage. I heard the emotion in his voice but I also saw it in his body.

Do you have other hobbies apart from singing and performing?
Although it is another musical activity I absolutely couldn’t live without playing drum set and percussion. I have played with my family and friends since I was in kindergarten and It is almost like a first love I will never stop doing. Other than music, I love being outside. Fishing is something I’ve always loved and will continue to do. I love being on the water in boats or riding wave runners with my friends. Shooting, fishing, and being out on the water are what an Ideal vacation or relaxation time looks like for me.

What are your goals for the future?
My goal is to be a performer and a teacher. I love both equally. My ideal career would be performing and teaching music from my favorite era. The Songbook is something that means so much to me that I want to make a career out of it. The majority of the most influential people in my life have been either teachers or performers. I would like to share my experiences that I have had and will have in the future with people who love music from the Songbook as much as I do. The Songbook Foundation has changed my life and I am honored and proud to be apart of it.

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