EVANSTON, Il. — From June 22 through 28, 14 emerging professional songwriters will participate in The 2014 Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project at NorthwesternUniversity — an intensive weeklong no-fee program of master classes and workshops on the Evanston campus. The annual project has produced Tony Award-nominated songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Fred Ebb Award winner Sam Willmott, and Latin Grammy Award winners Obed Bermudez and Jennifer Pena.
Presented by The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at NorthwesternUniversity, the annual program will culminate in “Songwriters In Concert.” A public showcase of new works by the program’s participants, “Songwriters In Concert” will kick off the 2014 SummerStage season at Northwestern’s VirginiaWadsworthWirtzCenter for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at the JosephineLouisTheater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Single tickets are $10 to $30 and are available for purchase through the Wirtz Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.tic.northwestern.edu/summerstage.
Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project participants are Mike Braun, Shannon Campbell, Georgia English, Trish Hosein, Michael Jade, Andrew Maillet, Lauren Marcus, Madeline Myers, Jess Nolan, Alexander Sage Oyen, Kyle Scherrer, John Anthony Shahor, Mark Sonnenblick and Blake White. Chosen from a highly-competitive pool of applicants, this year’s participants will work with returning master teachers Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Andrew Lippa; Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Craig Carnelia; and three-time Grammy winning singer and songwriter Lari White. For bios, visit www.mercersongwriters.org.
All genres of music — folk, pop, music theatre, American roots, alternative/indie rock, rhythm and blues, Afro-soul, bluegrass and country — will be represented. Thanks to the generosity of The Johnny Mercer Foundation, participants attend the program at no charge and their housing and travel costs are covered.
The legendary Johnny Mercer (1909-1976) composed more than 1,500 tunes, including “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Accentuate the Positive” and “MoonRiver.” Throughout his long career, Mercer was dedicated to the development of young songwriters and singers.
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 Mercer’s life and work as a lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. The foundation continues Mercer’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginny Mercer championed. To learn more, visit www.johnnymercerfoundation.org.
American Music Theatre Project
The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at NorthwesternUniversity brings together leading artists in music theatre to work with Northwestern faculty and students. Its 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, visit www.amtp.northwestern.edu.
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