EVANSTON, Ill. – June 2, 2015 – The American Music Theatre Project and the Johnny Mercer Foundation will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project with 15 emerging professional songwriters from across the country, award-winning Master Teachers and Mercer Songwriters Project alumni guests. 

The Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project hosts the nation’s most promising songwriters in musical theatre, country, Latin, rock and contemporary pop music, and continues the legacy of legendary songwriter Johnny Mercer.  The program of master classes and workshops will culminate in “Songwriters In Concert.” This showcase of new works by the program’s participants will be a part of Northwestern University’s Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts’ 2015 SummerStage season at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Single tickets are $5 to $30 and are available for purchase through the Wirtz Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.wirtz.northwestern.edu

“In addition to being a wonderful songwriter and performer, Johnny Mercer was a mentor. There are many well-known songwriters whose careers were successful because Johnny took the time to help them hone their craft,” says Johnny Mercer Foundation Chairman of the Board and President, John D. Marshall, Jr. “Over the last ten-year period, 145 aspiring songwriters have worked with established songwriters to develop their skills. We are pleased that Johnny Mercer, through the Foundation, continues to mentor successful songwriters.”

The concert, will be hosted by Master Teachers Craig Carnelia, Andrew Lippa and Lari White,will feature the 2015 Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project participants Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead, Ty Defoe and Tidtaya Sinutoke, Bonnie Dymond, Emily Goldman and Sara Nicholson, Alana Grossman, Johann Hedemann, Anh Le, Madeline Myers, Zak Sandler, Heath Saunders, Jacob Snider, and Celeste Tauchar.  

For full bios, visit www.mercersongwriters.org

Also included in the concert as special alumni guests are Drama Desk-nominated Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, co-creators of the Joseph Jefferson “Jeff” Award-Winning Murder For Two (Second Stage Theatre, New World Stages, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre).  “Our week at the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project was truly one of the most inspiring experiences of our career,” say the Project alumni. “We couldn’t be more excited to be heading back to help celebrate this milestone!”

Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project alumni include Tony Award-nominated songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,Kleban Prize and Fred Ebb Award-winner Sam Willmott, Jonathan Larson Grant-recipients Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne, and Latin Grammy Award-winners Obed Bermudez and Jennifer Peña.

About the Johnny Mercer Foundation

The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer.  The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed.

JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions to facilitate our goals including; the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Accentuate The Positive Programs (New York-Kaufman Music Center, Los Angeles and Miami), The Musical Theater Program at NJPAC, Georgia State University Fellowship Program, Florida International University Fellowship Program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University, In addition, JMF also supports various charitable causes including UCLA’s Art of The Brain, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Mark Taper and Johnny Mercer Artists Program), Braille Institute (Johnny Mercer Children and Adult Choirs) and KCET TVs Cinema Series.

For more information please visit www.johnnymercer.org

American Music Theatre Project

The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University brings together the nation’s leading artists in music theatre to work with Northwestern’s faculty and students. AMTP’s goal is to nourish and invigorate American music theatre by developing and producing new musicals; increasing opportunities for education and training with Northwestern’s theatre, music theatre and dance programs; and creating new connections between professional and academic communities.

To learn more about AMTP, visit www.amtp.northwestern.edu

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/

Source contact: Ryan Garson, General Manager, Northwestern University’s American Music Theatre Project at (847) 467-1172 or ryan-garson@northwestern.edu


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