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Songbook Academy Announces 2018 Finalists

Songbook Academy Announces 2018 Finalists

They rank among the top high school-age vocalists in the nation, hailing from Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York City, Washington, D.C., and right here in central Indiana. For one week this summer, they will experience a rigorous, exciting, expert-led introduction to the world of professional performing arts.

Founded by five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein and now in its ninth year, the Great American Songbook Foundation's annual Songbook Academy® is the only high school intensive in the United States focused on the timeless pop, jazz, Broadway and Hollywood standards that have come to be known as the Great American Songbook. The 2018 Academy, sponsored nationally by the Central Indiana Community Foundation's Efroymson Family Fund, is scheduled July 21-28 at the Songbook Foundation's headquarters, the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

To apply, hundreds of young hopefuls submit audition videos for review by a panel of judges, who provide detailed personal feedback to every applicant. Only 40 students nationwide are selected each year to attend the Academy, a life-changing opportunity to experience workshops, master classes and mentoring from music industry professionals and respected university educators. Along with Feinstein, past mentors have included Broadway stars Laura Osnes, Jarrod Spector and Eden Espinosa, Grammy-nominated jazz singer Jane Monheit and the Manhattan Transfer's Cheryl Bentyne and Janis Siegel.

Participants are able to network with peers and pros, perform before live audiences and join the Songbook Academy Alumni Network to stay connected and informed about college programs, auditions and performance opportunities. The week culminates in the July 28 Songbook Academy Finals, a performance and competition presented by the Center for the Performing Arts in its acoustically superior 1,600-seat Palladium concert hall. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 15, at (317) 843-3800 or

Awards are presented for excellence in several categories, and top performers are invited to represent the Songbook Foundation and sing with Michael Feinstein at such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the nation's top cabaret clubs. One alumna of the program is Maddie Baillio of League City, Texas, who claimed the 2014 Songbook Youth Ambassador title. Among other career steps since then, she appeared on national television last year as Tracy Turnblad in NBC's Hairspray Live! broadcast.

The 2018 finalists are:

Abigail Marotta, Ocoee, FL

West Orange High School

Aggie Williams, Overland Park, KS

Shawnee Mission East High School

Aisley Wallace Harper, Napa, CA

Napa High School

Alec Melosini, Trabuco Canyon, CA

Santa Margarita Catholic High School

Amia Shavaun, Wayne, PA


Anais Reno, New York, NY

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art

Ariana Prappas, San Marino, CA

San Marino High School

Brooke Lambert, Seattle, WA

Roosevelt High School

Coen Sosa, Burbank, CA

John Burroughs High School

Eevie Perez, San Diego, CA

Canyon Crest Academy

Elena Flauto, Akron, OH

Hathaway Brown School

Ella Marcus, New York, NY

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

Emily Song, Sunnyvale, CA

Homestead High School

Emma Hackworth, Pittsburgh, PA

North Allegheny Senior High School

Gabriel Schonman, River Forest, IL

Oak Part and River Forest High School

Grace Mozitis, Linwood, NJ

Mainland Regional High School

Griffin Scott, Carmel, IN

Carmel High School

Ian Berlin, Chevy Chase, MD

Maret School, Washington, D.C.

Isabella Shiff, Glendale, CA

Lycée International de Los Angeles

Jennie Rupp, Ann Arbor, MI

Skyline High School

Johnny Rabe, Naperville, IL

The Chicago Academy for the Arts

Kai Alivia Koren, Lake Worth, FL

Park Vista High School

Lili Shires, Florence, KY

School for Creative and Performing Arts (Cincinnati)

Lily Rasmussen, Lexington, KY

Lafayette Senior High School

Logan Branch, East Greenwich, RI

East Greenwich High School

Lucy Breedlove, Vienna, VA

James Madison High School

Marissa Tappy, Noblesville, IN

Noblesville High School

Morgan Demetre, Portland, OR

Cleveland High School

Olivia Broadwater, Zionsville, IN

Zionsville Community High School

Peter Fulton, Fishers, IN

Colonial Christian High School

Reed Gnepper, Cincinnati, OH

School for Creative and Performing Arts

Ryan Peter Murphy, Hamden, CT

ACES Educational Center for the Arts and Hamden High School

Sadie Fridley, Fayetteville, NY

Fayetteville Manlius High School

Sean Hodges, Sterling Heights, MI

Troy High School

Shawn Naumann, Pleasant Grove, UT

Pleasant Grove High School

Sophia Miller, Carmel, IN

Carmel High School

Tara Lacy, Carmel, IN

Carmel High School

Valentina Shelton, Los Angeles, CA

Windward School

Zach Connolly, Greentown, IN

Eastern High School

Zoe Stewart, Mendon, MA


About the Great American Songbook Foundation
The mission of the Great American Songbook Foundation, founded in 2007 by five-time Grammy® Award nominee Michael Feinstein, is to inspire and educate by celebrating the Great American Songbook - the timeless standards of pop, jazz, Broadway and Hollywood. Headquartered at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, the Foundation advances this rich legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators, performers and publishers; operating a multimedia exhibit gallery; overseeing the Songbook Hall of Fame; offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars and artists; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive. The Foundation is a Cultural Affiliate of the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum®. More information is available at

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