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Finalists announced for national Songbook Academy

5/24/2023 12AM

The Top 40 finalists for this year's Songbook Academy summer intensive hail from 16 states. The judging panel reviewed video auditions from students in 24 states.

Tickets for performances and livestreams on sale now at


CARMEL, Ind. – From hundreds of applications nationwide, 40 finalists from 16 states have been selected to participate in this year’s Songbook Academy® summer intensive, an acclaimed preprofessional music program for young singers focusing on the timeless standards of jazz, pop, Broadway and Hollywood.


Now in its 14th year, the Songbook Academy is the flagship education initiative of the Great American Songbook Foundation, providing an opportunity for talented high school performers to experience a life-changing week of classes, workshops and performances under the guidance of arts and entertainment professionals and leading university educators.


This year’s Songbook Academy will take place July 15-22 at the Foundation’s headquarters, the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The week includes three public performance events at the Center’s Palladium concert hall, which will take place before a live audience and also will be livestreamed for viewers worldwide:

  • Public Masterclass – 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, July 19
    Ten randomly selected participants will perform and receive real-time critiques from Songbook Foundation Founder Michael Feinstein and a special guest mentor to be announced.
  • Songbook Showcase – 2-5 p.m. Thursday, July 20
    Each of the 40 national finalists will have a turn in the spotlight to perform a selected song.
  • Songbook Academy in Concert – 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22
    Michael Feinstein will emcee as all 40 singers perform in choral numbers, small group ensembles and featured solos to celebrate their growth over the course of the week. The dynamic musical revue also includes tributes to legendary songwriters, interview clips gathered during the week and guest performances by Songbook Academy alumni.


For the July 19-20 events, on-site tickets and livestream registration are pay-what-you-can with no minimum price. For the final concert, on-site tickets start at just $25, and the livestream option is pay-what-you-can with a $10 minimum. Tickets are on sale now at, by phone at (317) 843-3800 or toll-free at (877) 909-2787.


The Songbook Academy is an opportunity to see tomorrow’s stars just as their careers begin to blossom. Alumni from previous years include Nina White (2016), now starring in the original cast of the Tony-nominated Kimberly Akimbo on Broadway; Isabel Robin (2016) and Yardén Barr (2017), currently on the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof: Morgan Taylor (2019), who appeared on the last season of NBC's The Voice; and Eleri Ward (2012), who is soon to release her third album of Stephen Sondheim songs and is currently on a solo tour after touring as a support act for Josh Groban.


The Songbook Academy receives generous support from the City of Carmel, Salon 01 and the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Mentor Champions, individual donors who support the Songbook Academy with a specific focus on expanding program awareness and providing support to students who financial assistance. The Songbook Academy in Concert performance is part of the Hoosier Village & The Barrington of Carmel Songbook Series and the 2023-2024 Center Presents Season sponsored by Allied Solutions.



2023 Songbook Academy Top 40 Finalists

After receiving hundreds of video auditions from students in 24 states, the judging panel selected these 40 finalists to attend this year’s Songbook Academy:

Natalie Barker, Shreveport, Louisiana; Caddo Magnet High School

Sophia Beers, Glendale, California; Village Christian High School

Maddie Begin, Wellington, Florida; The King’s Academy

Elizabeth Buening, Indianapolis, Indiana; Roncalli High School

Madeleine Burnett-Caballero, Taylor, Alabama; Laurel Springs School

Emily Chavez, Los Angeles, California; Van Nuys High School

Elle Cohen, Exeter, New Hampshire; Phillips Exeter Academy

Stella Cushing, Mill Valley, California; Tamalpais High School

Jane Delahoussaye, Sugar Land, Texas; Logos Preparatory Academy

Eve Hodges, Zionsville, Indiana; Zionsville Community High School

Emma Hornbecker, Lebanon, Indiana; Lebanon High School

Emma Hudson, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Greenhills School

Seth Jacobsen, Carmel, Indiana; Carmel High School

Ananya Kaushal, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania; Baldwin School

Edin Kebede, New Albany, Ohio; New Albany High School

Grace Kiamie, Pelham Manor, New York; Pelham Memorial High School

Alexander Kim, Laguna Niguel, California; St. Margaret’s Episcopal School

Elana Kirwan, Reston, Virginia; South Lakes High School

Ava Lee, Avon, Indiana; Avon High School

Jackson Manning, Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Central Bucks High School West

Dean Marino, Sugar Land, Texas; William P. Clements High School

Alvina Mastakar, Terre Haute, Indiana; Terre Haute South Vigo High School

Clara Grace McGough, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania; Bethel Park High School

Hawkins Meek, Los Angeles, California; Village Christian High School

Sophia Parigi, Gretna, Louisiana; Thomas Jefferson High School

Ella Patras, Furlong, Pennsylvania; Central Bucks High School West

Jordan Pecar, Carmel, Indiana; Park Tudor School

Amanda Phifer, Lansdale, Pennsylvania; Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School

Luke Pirruccello, Los Angeles, California; John Burroughs High School

Craig Reynolds, Lebanon, Indiana; Lebanon High School

Emerson Riley, Burbank, California; John Burroughs High School

William Daniel Russell, Westwood, Massachusetts; Westwood High School

Lily Schloss, North Liberty, Iowa; Clear Creek/Amana High School

Trevor Schonman, River Forest, Illinois; Oak Park & River Forest High School

Vivienne Smith, Indianapolis, Indiana; Lawrence North High School

Tyler Steffen, Madisonville, Louisiana; Mandeville High School

J’lan Stewart, Kokomo, Indiana; Kokomo High School

Abigayle Kate Gatton Stokes, Lexington, Kentucky; Lafayette Senior High School

Cooper Trigg, Monrovia, Indiana; Avon High School

Sophia Yen, Burr Ridge, Illinois; Hinsdale South High School



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 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 in the Songbook Library & Archives; 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