Texas Singer Maddie Baillio Wins Michael Feinstein's 2014 Great American Songbook Competition

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Texas Singer Maddie Baillio Wins Michael Feinstein's 2014 Great American Songbook Competition

Maddie Baillio is the 2014 winner of the Great American Songbook Vocal Academy and Competition. The 18-year-old is from League City, TX. During the finals concert tonight, 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 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.

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.

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 (San Carlos, 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 or www.TheCenterPresents.org.

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