Michael Feinstein Launches Search for 2013 Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador; Deadline 3/31

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Michael Feinstein Launches Search for 2013 Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador; Deadline 3/31

The Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative hosts the only high school vocal academy and competition 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. The Great American Songbook Vocal Academy and Competition has proven to be one of the Michael Feinstein Initiative's most exciting education programs.

"The competition this year was a tremendous success, and we are excited to announce that our plan to expand the event nationally continues with the addition of 11 states in 2013 for a total of 22 states," said Chris Lewis, Director of the Vocal Academy & Competition.

Judges will select students for regional competitions held in five cities across the country. The regional competitions, held May-June 2013, include a full day of workshops followed by an evening performance. Two finalists will be selected in each region.

The ten regional finalists will be invited to the Feinstein Initiative's headquarters in Carmel, IN, July 21-26, 2013, to participate in a five-day "boot-camp" on interpreting and performing the music of the Great American Songbook. Five-time Grammy nominee, Michael Feinstein, and other top music industry professionals will conduct workshops and master classes throughout the week. The final competition performance will be held in the 1,600 seat Palladium Concert Hall at the Center for the Performing Arts.

The first place winner 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 Feinstein Initiative, Michael Feinstein. The first place winner will serve as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador for one year and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year.

"This year's competition was the most exciting and fulfilling yet. With the expansion and addition of regionals around the country, there was greater national participation and consequently the greatest level of talent we've ever had," said Michael Feinstein, founder of the Feinstein Initiative and Songbook Vocal Competition.

Second place will receive $2,000 and third place will receive $1,500 toward continuing music education.

Regional finalists for the 2013 competition will be selected from the following eligible states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

Interested students can apply at www.FeinsteinInitiative.org.

The Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy & Competition is a celebration of the Golden Age of American Popular music. This program is the only high school vocal competition 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. The Vocal Academy & Competition was created to provide an opportunity for young people to experience firsthand this uniquely American music and its cultural significance.

The Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy & Competition is designed to be a collaborative, rewarding, and fun experience for all participants. Regional competitions consist of one-day intensives focused on singing and interpreting the music of the Great American Songbook, led by music educators and industry professionals. Two winners from each of the five regional events proceed to the final competition week at the Feinstein Initiative's headquarters at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, IN. Students will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, and master classes with celebrity performers and music industry professionals. The final week's events will culminate in a live show on July 26, 2013, at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, where the top three winners will be selected. The first place winner will become the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year representing the Michael Feinstein Initiative.

World-class performers have served as coaches and mentors for the Academy & Competition. These talented individuals have shared a wealth of encouragement, inspiration, and performance techniques with students, for an amazing once in a lifetime experience. Competition mentors for the 2012 Vocal Competition included two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominee, Michael Feinstein; Five-time Grammy winner, Sandi Patty; Two-time Grammy winner and Emmy winner, Sylvia McNair.

How to apply

Eligibility: Applicant must be a U.S. citizen. Applicant must be a resident of one of the 22 eligible states. Applications accepted December 15, 2012 - March 31, 2013.

- Complete online application [www.FeinsteinInitiative.org]
- Upload audio files of two contrasting songs from the Great American Songbook
- Upload recent photo
- Pay the application fee [scholarships available for students with financial need]
- Prize Information

1st place: $3,000 and the title of Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador

Past Youth Ambassador performance opportunities have included:

- Appearances with Michael Feinstein
- Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Gala - with Barry Manilow
- National Anthem at NFL game
- Appearance with Pasadena Pops - with Marvin Hamlisch
- 2nd place: $2,000
- 3rd place: $1,500

Michael Feinstein founded the Great American Songbook Initiative in 2007 in order to preserve, promote, and perpetuate the music of the Great American Songbook. The mission of the Initiative is to bring the music of the Great American Songbook to young people today and to preserve it for future generations. The work of the Feinstein Initiative includes:

- High School Vocal Competition
- Educational programming
- Library, Archive, and Gallery
- Great American Songbook Hall of Fame

Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook," is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.

More than simply a performer, Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America's popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. In 2007, he founded the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition, which awards prizes to students across the country. Michael serves on the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board; an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America's sound recording heritage.

Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The Center is home to the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative Archive and museum. Starting in 2010, he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2013, he will replace the late Marvin Hamlisch as the lead conductor of the Pasadena Pops.

Feinstein can be seen on PBS in his award winning series, Michael Feinstein's American Songbook. He can also be heard on NPR in his current show, Song Travels with Michael Feinstein. His new book, The Gershwins and Me, which is combined with a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano, was released by Simon & Schuster in October 2012.

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