Michael Feinstein, Sylvia McNair, et al. to Judge Songbook Vocal Competition, 6/12


High school vocalists from 11 states will arrive in Indianapolis on June 12 for the Great American Songbook Vocal Academy and Competition. The four-day academy and competition is sponsored by the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative. 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.

“Through this competition, we are reaching a new generation to teach this music and the American history that inspired and influenced these composers,” said Michael Feinstein, the Initiative’s founder and noted American Songbook ambassador.

The 2012 Great American Songbook High School Academy and Competition finalists are:

· Nick Ziobro, Manlius, NY

· Sage Melcher, Honeoye Falls, NY

· Nick Angel, Haslett, MI

· Jared Wells, Terre Haute, IN

· Tony Ponella, Bloomington, IN

· Jillian Slade, Dubuque, IA

· Eleri Ward, Burr Ridge, IL

· Kelly Muller, San Bernardino, CA

· Genevieve Ellis, Corona, CA

· Tori Anna, Napa, CA

From June 12-15, the finalists will participate in a comprehensive “boot camp” on interpreting and performing American standards. The sessions will be held at the University of Indianapolis. Master classes will be open to the general public (see schedule below). The classes are intended to prepare finalists for the final competition performance at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts. Led by local and national celebrity performers and professionals, workshops will cover topics ranging from breathing and microphone techniques to one-on-one coaching and master-classes.

The final performance is at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 15 and is open to the public. Tickets for the final performance are $10/student, $25/general admission, $50/preferred seating (includes a $25 donation). Call the box office at 317-843-3800 or TheCenterPresents.org.

The first place winner wins $3000 and the chance of a lifetime: a trip to sing in New York City with five-time Grammy Award nominee, world-renowned performer and recording artist, and co-founder of the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, Michael Feinstein. Second place will receive $2000 and third place will receive $1500 towards continuing music education.

Regional finalists for the 2012 competition were selected from the following eligible states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Wisconsin and Iowa.

For additional information, visit www.feinsteininitiative.org. The mission of the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative is to bring the music of the Great American Songbook to our young people today and to preserve it for the generations to come.

Free and open to the public. Location: University of Indianapolis, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall
Wednesday, June 13 (1:30 to 4:30 p.m.) – Sylvia McNair and Michael Feinstein
Thursday, June 14 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) – Sandi Patty and Michael Feinstein

The 2012 Vocal Academy and Competition implemented the first step in a three year expansion plan to become a national education initiative. 2012 saw the addition of four states to the competition including Arizona, California, Nevada, and New York. Students from eleven states auditioned to participate in regional academies. Winners from each region were selected to attend the final academy and competition in Carmel, Indiana, June 12-16, 2012. The structure of the final academy and competition includes a partnership with the University of Indianapolis. Students will be housed in campus dorms and the workshops and master classes will be conducted in campus facilities. The final performance will be held at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

Jim Caruso: His Broadway debut - alongside Liza Minnelli in “Liza’s At The Palace!” - was honored with a 2009 Tony Award for Best Special Event and the recording was nominated for a Grammy. For his nightclub work, Caruso has won six MAC Awards and two BackStage Magazine Bistro Awards for sold-out shows at Birdland, Arci’s Place, The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel and The Russian Tea Room. He has also performed in runs at the Cinegrill and Gardenia in Los Angeles, The Vic Theater and Davenport’s in Chicago, Libby’s in Atlanta, the Colony Palm Beach Hotel in Florida and the Connaught Room in London.

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