40 outstanding high school singers representing 16 states have been in Carmel since Saturday for highly concentrated musical education which has included workshops and competition. The top ten of those young vocalists were chosen Thursday. Now, one of them will be selected to win the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador Award Saturday, July 25 at the Great American Songbook Academy Finals on the Palladium stage at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.
The 2015 Songbook Academy Top Ten Finalists are:
Lucas DeBard: Senior at Lebanon High School (Lebanon, Ind,)
Cate Hayman: Junior at Tamalpais High School (Mill Valley, Calif.)
DeMar Jackson: Senior at Eisenhower High School (Decatur, Ill.)
Adam Kruschwitz: Senior at Brighton High School (Rochester, N.Y.)
Drew Mabusth: Freshman at Dubuque Stephen Hempstead (Dubuque, Iowa)
Deirdre Pedersen: Sophmore at Westborough High School (Westborough, Mass.)
Joshua Reinier: Sophomore at the Nueva Upper School (San Francisco, Calif.)
Madelyn Steurer: Junior at Assumption High School (Jeffersonville, Ind.)
Katie Swaney: Junior at Center Grove High School (Greenwood, Ind.)
Hannah Vogelsang: Junior at Haslett High School (Haslett, Mich.)
The winner of the Youth Ambassador title will have the opportunity to perform with Michael Feinstein, a two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominee and founder of the Songbook Foundation. The Youth Ambassador will serve for one year and will have opportunities to perform with Feinstein throughout the year at a variety of events
Since arriving in the area, the Songbook Academy participants have been working with mentors that have included Michael Feinstein, Tony nominee and Broadway performer Laura Osnes and Grammy award winner Sylvia McNair, a senior lecturer in music at the Jacobs School of Music at I.U. Other mentors were music industry professionals and educators who conducted workshops and master classes throughout the week.
Feinstein founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, sponsor of the Academy, in 2007 in order to preserve, promote, and perpetuate the music of the Great American Songbook. The mission of the Foundation is to bring the music of the Great American Songbook to young people today and to preserve it for future generations.
atombash.com was present for both Wednesday’s engrossing masterclass conducted by Feinstein and Osnes and for the showcases that featured all 40 vocalists singing two songs each, held Thursday morning and afternoon. As a result, this writer can attest to not only the high performance quality of the competition participants but also the exceptional entertainment they provided as they sang many of the most beloved songs in the American Songbook. If you attend the finals you may well see some of the future Broadway, concert, cabaret and recording stars of tomorrow.
Tickets for Saturday’s the Great American Songbook Academy Finals are available at www.thecenterpresents.org