15th Annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project Will Proceed Online
Despite the cancellation of in-person gatherings because of COVID-19 concerns, The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) and the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University will proceed with plans for the 15th annual Songwriters Project. The week-long program, master classes and workshops will take place online from June 21 to 27.The Songwriters Project has been a catalyst to the careers of many artists. Among the program alumni are Tony, Oscar and Golden Globe Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ("La La Land," "Dear Evan Hansen"). Other alumni have been honored with a Latin Grammy Award, a Fred Ebb Award, a Lucille Lortel Award and 14 individual Jonathan Larson Awards.
More than 180 applicants, between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, applied for the 12 spots in the prestigious program.
The 2020 Songwriters Project participants and duos will include: Nick Butcher and Tom Ling (London); Nono Chen (Ruian, China); Kate Cosentino (Kansas City, Kansas); Calista Garcia (Arlington, Virginia); Joriah Kwame (Kalamazoo, Michigan); Samantha Margret (San Francisco); Ian Miller (New York); Juliette Reilly (Berkeley Heights, New Jersey); Max Runham (Hextable, England); Zach Seals (Baltimore); Devin Weitz and Oliver Labrador (Los Angeles and Miami); and songwriting duo The Gender Gnomes, Rachel Weisbart and Patrick Oberstaedt (Ossining, New York and Cherry Hill, New Jersey).
"Given the virtual format of this year's program, participants will be able to receive an even greater focus on lyric details," said Jonathan Brielle, executive vice president of JMF. "We are excited to be able to continue Johnny Mercer's gift of collaboration during these difficult times."
The 15 emerging songwriters will spend the week with Tony and Grammy Award-nominated master teachers Stephen Bray, Craig Carnelia, Andrew Lippa and Lindy Robbins. The program is free-of-charge to selected songwriters through the generosity of the Johnny Mercer Foundation.