Laura Osnes, Melissa Manchester Among Star Mentors At Feinstein's Songbook Academy

Laura Osnes, Melissa Manchester Among Star Mentors At Feinstein's Songbook Academy

Singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester and Broadway stars Laura Osnes and Michael McElroy will join Michael Feinstein as professional mentors at this year's Songbook Academy summer intensive, the nation's only youth music program focused on the timeless standards of jazz, pop, Broadway and Hollywood.

In the 10th year of the Great American Songbook Foundation's flagship education program, 40 top high school vocalists from 16 states coast to coast will spend the week of July 13-20 at the Foundation's home, the campus of the Center for the Performing Arts. In classes, workshops and rehearsals led by professional mentors, music directors and vocal coaches, they will learn music history as well as performance technique and song selection and interpretation, all in preparation for the Songbook Academy Finals concert, where they will compete for titles and opportunities to perform at prestigious venues across the nation.

This year's mentors are:

  • Michael Feinstein, five-time Grammy Award nominee and founder of the Great American Songbook Foundation who also emcees the week's public performances;
  • Melissa Manchester, actress and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter known for such hits as "Midnight Blue," "Don't Cry Out Loud" and "Through The Eyes Of Love";
  • Michael McElroy, Tony-nominated performer, composer and arranger whose Broadway resume includes roles in Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, Big River and Miss Saigon;
  • Sylvia McNair, two-time Grammy-winning vocalist whose globe-trotting career spans the worlds of opera, oratorio, cabaret and musical theater;
  • Laura Osnes, Tony-nominated star of Broadway shows including Grease, Bonnie and Clyde, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella and the Tony-winning Bandstand;
  • Nat Zegree, New York-based pianist, composer, music director, actor and son of the late Indiana University music Professor Stephen Zegree.

Tickets are now available for all of this year's public performances:

  • Public Masterclass - 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, The Palladium

Before a live audience, 10 randomly selected participants perform and undergo critiques from Michael Feinstein and Laura Osnes. Admission is free, but general admission tickets are required.

  • Songbook Showcases - 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 2:30-5 p.m. Thursday, July 18, The Palladium

All 40 national finalists perform solo, with 10 chosen by judges to compete for awards at the Saturday finals. Admission is free, but general admission tickets are required.

  • Songbook Academy Finals - 7 p.m. Saturday, July 20, The Palladium

Michael Feinstein hosts as all 40 singers perform, and the Top 10 compete for awards before a panel of judges including Manchester, McElroy, McNair and Zegree. Tickets start at $25.

Free tickets for the weekday events can be reserved at (317) 843-3800 and claimed at the Palladium Box Office, 1 Center Green, Carmel. Tickets for the Finals concert are available by phone at (317) 843-3800, online at and in person at the Box Office.

The Songbook Academy is sponsored nationally by the Efroymson Family Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, with additional support from the City of Carmel. The Public Masterclass and Songbook Showcases are sponsored by Ruth's Chris Steak House. The Finals concert is presented by the Center for the Performing Arts and sponsored by Salon 01 and Current Publishing LLC.

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