Andrew Lippa, Kurt Ollmann to Judge 2017 American Traditions Vocal Competition in Savannah

The American Traditions Vocal Competition has announced its lineup for the 24th Annual singing competition, held in Savannah, Georgia. The competition week runs from February 20th through February 24, 2017.

The competition calls on performers to celebrate the diversity of the American music canon by singing from nine different genres of music written by American composers.

The judges of the 2017 American Traditions Vocal Competition will be Andrew Lippa, Sylvia McNair and Kurt Ollmann.

Broadway composer Andrew Lippa received a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award for his composition of cult-favorite The Wild Party. He is also the composer of such beloved works as I Am Harvey Milk, The Addams Family, and the revival of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Cross-genre performer Kurt Ollmann returns to judge the American Traditions Vocal Competition for the second year. Ollmann is often remembered for being a protégé of favorite composer of the American musical theatre, Leonard Bernstein. Ollmann can be heard as Riff and Maximillian, respectively, on what are known as the "definitive" cast recordings of West Side Story and Candide.

Sylvia McNair is best known as an operatic soprano, but has transitioned to the world of theatre, jazz and cabaret since the mid-1990's. For three years, Ms. McNair judged and mentored at Michael Feinstein's Songbook Academy - a summer intensive for high school students, operated in part by The Great American Songbook Foundation.

As part of their judging term, each adjudicator will select one singer who does not advance to work with in the free Master Class, offered as part of an educational component of the competition. Seating is limited, and the class will be presented Friday, February 24, from 3-5pm.

The quarterfinalists competing for the $12,000 Gold Medal and $35,000 in other prizes in the 2017 American Traditions Vocal Competition include Jessica Baldwin, Julie Benko, Jessica Best, Melissa Brobeck, Alexis Cole, Katie Dixon, Stephen Dobson, Jonathan Estabrooks, Erica Everett, Grace Field, Brian Giebler, Jocelyn Hansen, Gillian Hassert, Katherine Henly, Kisma Jordan, Suzanne Lorge, Sarah Mesko, Aundi Marie Moore, Christia Nastasi, Brittany Proia, Megan Schubert, Rachel Sparrow, Nikki Switzer, Dara Tucker, Brenda Turner, Missy Wise and Jordan Wolfe.

Pianists for the 2017 competition will be Annastasia Victory, Dan Gettinger and Wilson Southerland.

Past prizewinners have included Tituss Burgess, Morgan James, Phillip Boykin, Douglas Carpenter, Andrew Garland, Leenya Rideout, Vale Rideout, Mikki Sodergren and Michael Maliakel. Past judges have included Kristen Blodgette, Liz Callaway, Christine Pedi, Ysaye M. Barnwell, Charles Strouse, Marni Nixon, Marilyn Horne, Marilyn Maye and Jim Wann.

Tickets are available at www.americantraditionscompetition.com or by calling the box office of the Savannah Theatre at (912) 233-7764.




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