High school vocalists compete at songbook academy



High school vocalists from 11 states will arrive in Indianapolis today 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-20th 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, N.Y., Sage Melcher, Honeoye Falls, N.Y., Nick Angel, Haslett, Mich.; Jared Wells, Terre Haute, Ind.; Tony Ponella, Bloomington, Ind.; Jillian Slade, Dubuque, Iowa; Eleri Ward, Burr Ridge, Ill.; Kelly Muller, San Bernardino, Calif.; Genevieve Ellis, Corona, Calif.; and Tori Anna, Napa, Calif.

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. 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 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 843-3800 or visit TheCenterPresents.org for tickets.

The first-place winner wins $3,000 and a trip to sing in New York City with five-time Grammy Award nominee and co-founder of the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, Michael Feinstein. Second place will receive $2,000, and third place will receive $1,500 toward continuing music education.

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.