One of the highlights of the Songbook Academy experience is the opportunity to connect with world-class guest artists who serve as mentors throughout the week. This is no different in the virtual space. Our star-studded line-up of visiting artists throughout the week is still being finalized, but we promise, this year's mentor team is going to be unbelievable. Read about a few of our recently confirmed celebrity guest mentors, as well as our core teaching staff.
Celebrity Guest Mentors
Michael Feinstein, founder of the Great American Songbook Foundation - the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace. More than simply a performer, Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual Songbook Academy summer music intensive. Michael also serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.
Scott Bradlee, creator of the multimedia Postmodern Jukebox empire - is a musician, pianist and arranger best known for his viral videos on YouTube. Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox began as a series of online videos featuring a collective of musicians and vocalists performing contemporary pop hits in various vintage musical styles while wearing period fashions. The ever-growing collection of viral videos has amassed nearly 1.4 billion views and 4.5 million subscribers to the project’s YouTube channel, and the PMJ brand now encompasses recordings, merchandise and multiple touring ensembles. Many of the performers have become stars in their own right. “My own musical education began with American jazz standards, and to this day I come back to them time and time again for inspiration. When I learned about the mission of the Songbook Foundation and the Songbook Academy, I wanted to be a part of it,” Bradlee said. “I'm excited to share my knowledge with the next generation to help them craft compelling musical performances that will stand the test of time."
Ashley Park, Broadway and television actress - originated and starred as ‘Gretchen Wieners’ in “Mean Girls” on Broadway in 2018, which garnered her a Tony Award nomination, as well as Drama League, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Chita Rivera Award nominations. In the same season, she starred in the award winning “KPOP” and won the esteemed Lucille Lortel award for Lead Actress in a Musical, and second Drama League and Drama Desk nominations. Park was Lincoln Center Theater's ‘Tuptim' in the Tony-Award-winning Broadway revival of “The King and I,” originated the national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's “Cinderella” as stepsister 'Gabrielle,’ appeared in Broadway's recent revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday in the Park With George,” and made her Broadway debut in "MAMMA MIA!” On screen, Park can next be seen in Paramount’s upcoming television series “Emily in Paris,” starring opposite Lily Collins, and created by Darren Star. Park is the proud recipient of Actor Equity Association's 2018 Clarence Derwent Award, and in 2019 was honored the inaugural Marin Mazzie Award for Empowerment by the Cancer Support Community. Park graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Musical Theatre.
Faith Prince, Tony-winning Broadway actress - has been dazzling Broadway audiences since winning the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance as “Ms. Adelaide” in Guys and Dolls. As one of Broadway’s best-loved leading ladies, Faith most recently starred on Broadway in Disaster! the musical. In a role she was born to play, she starred as “Miss Hannigan” in the Broadway revival of Annie and was nominated in 2008 for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for A Catered Affair. Other Broadway credits include The Little Mermaid, Bells Are Ringing (Tony, DD, OCC noms), Nick & Nora (OCC Award), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Tony, DD noms) Little Me, The Dead, and Noises Off. Faith had a recurring role on the ABC hit series Modern Family. Faith’s new album, Total Faith, was recently released by Broadway Records, and her award-winning album, A Leap of Faith, was recorded at Joe’s Pub.
Janis Siegel, a nine-time Grammy winner and a 17-time
Grammy nominee - has been an undeniable force in The Manhattan Transfer’s diverse musical catalog. Alongside her career as a founding member of this musical institution, Siegel has also sustained a solo career that has spawned more than a half-dozen finely crafted solo albums and numerous collaborative projects, amassed a large international fan base and garnered consistently high critical praise. She sang lead on some of the Transfer’s biggest hits, such as “Operator,” “Chanson D’Amour,” “Twilight Zone,” “Birdland,” and co-wrote and sang lead on the Grammy-winning “Sassy.” She also gained a reputation as a vocal arranger by writing five of the charts for the group’s acclaimed masterwork, Vocalese, seven charts for the group’s Grammy-winning album Brasil, and won a Grammy herself in 1980 for her arrangement of “Birdland.”
Our vocal coaches have served as music educators at top universities which have included educators that have served as faculty at University of Michigan’s Music Theatre Program, University of Indianapolis’ Vocal Studies and Music Programs, Western Michigan University, Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Heritage Music Festival, North American Music Festival, and Indiana State School Music Association. They’ve even performed on opera, concert, and Musical Theatre stages from New York City’s Lincoln Center to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing! Read their individual bios.
Last but certainly not least, students are paired with a Music Director throughout the Songbook Academy week. Far more than accompanists, the Songbook Academy Music Directors craft unique arrangements and provide expert musical coaching that enhances each finalist’s musical performance. They have worked with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra, Rita Moreno, Liza Minnelli, Lea Salonga, Chaka Khan, Marilyn Maye, and many more. They have served as conductors and Musical Directors for Broadway, National Tours, and have written orchestrations for various concert and television series with some of the country’s leading symphony orchestras. Read their individual bios.
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