High School Vocalists Set for Michael Feinstein's 2014 Great American Songbook Competition Tonight

High School Vocalists Set for Michael Feinstein's 2014 Great American Songbook Competition Tonight

High school vocalists from around the United States will compete tonight at the Center for the Performing Arts for the 2014 Great American Songbook Vocal Academy & Competition.

After five days of workshops and master classes, the 12 teen vocalists compete in a final performance on Friday, July 25 on the stage of the 1,600 seat Palladium concert hall. Tickets for the 7 p.m. performance are available for purchase at www.TheCenterPresents.org.

One student will be awarded the title of Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador, $3000, and the chance of a lifetime: The opportunity to perform with five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein. Produced by The Great American Songbook Foundation, the annual endeavor 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. The Youth Ambassador will serve for one year, with opportunities to perform throughout the year. Other awards include Songbook Inspiration Award, and Songbook Celebration Award, each receiving $1000 toward continuing music education.

Mentors this year include 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 will select the Youth Ambassador at the end of the final performance.

Master classes with the mentors are Wednesday, July 23 (2-5 p.m.) featuring Michael Feinstein and Cheryl Bentyne, and Thursday, July 24 (2-5pm) with Michael Feinstein and Marc Cherry. Finalists perform songs from the Great American Songbook and receive feedback from the mentors. These classes are free and open to the public. The location is the Palladium concert hall.

Finalists for the 2014 competition include:

  • Paige Brown: Senior at Franklin Central High School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  • Maddie Baillio: 2014 Clear Falls High School graduate (League City, Texas)
  • Jacob Stuckert: Junior at Grove City High School (Grove City, Ohio)
  • Nick Drivas: Senior at the Manatee School for the Arts (Palmetto, Florida)
  • Nia Savoy: Senior at Caddo Magnet High School (Shreveport, Louisiana)
  • Grayson Samuels: Senior at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  • Milla Guerra: Senior at the ChiArts School (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Molly Hernandez: Senior at Glenbord West High School (Glen Ellyn, Illinois)
  • Merissa Beddows: Junior year at Yonkers Montessori Academy (Yonkers, New York)
  • Claire Dickson: Home school student (Medford, Massachusetts)
  • Jordan Plutzer: 2014 graduate from St. Francis High School (Mountain View, California)
  • Christina Euphrat: 2014 graduate from Sir Francis Drake High School (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.

For more information, visit www.FeinsteinInitiative.org and www.TheCenterPresents.org.

Pictured: Michael Feinstein with Nick Drivas

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