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The Great American Songbook Foundation
The Great American Songbook Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and educate by celebrating the Great American Songbook.
The Songbook Academy selects 40 singers to attend the intensive week in Carmel, Indiana, through a national application process open November 15, 2023, through March 24, 2024. What sets this process apart is that every student, regardless of acceptance status, receives high-quality written feedback from a national panel of screeners to support their growth and future musical development. We can’t wait to experience your story!
Age/Grade range: This program is open to students who are currently in the 9th through 12th grades (including graduating seniors). Students must be U.S. legal residents to apply.
Apply Online: All applications for the Songbook Academy are submitted online via the GetAcceptd platform. In addition to filling out the application form, this program requires uploading two recorded audition videos.
- Step 1: Create an Acceptd profile (if you don’t have one already) and open a Songbook Academy application. This will help our staff stay in touch with application updates and important reminders. You can save your progress and exit at any time.
- Step 2: Our application asks for basic student and family demographic and contact information.
- Step 3: Upload a recent color photo (or headshot) and your audition videos.
- Step 4: If eligible, request a fee waiver and/or financial aid. Learn more about this process and scholarship opportunities.
- Step 5: Review your application, pay the application fee of $50 (unless waived) and submit.
Acceptance Notifications: All applications will be reviewed after the mid-March deadline. Acceptance notifications will be sent by April 17, 2024, followed closely by written feedback from screeners.
Audition Materials: Applicants should submit two contrasting songs (i.e. one up-tempo and one ballad) from the era of the Great American Songbook written between the 1920s and 1960s. Explore the Songbook if you are unfamiliar with this term or looking for repertoire resources.
- We prefer songs to be written pre-1970. While submitting repertoire outside of the recommended date range (1920s-1960s) will not necessarily disqualify your application, we highly recommend singing the type of repertoire that you will focus on if accepted to the program.
- If you are new to the Songbook and have limited repertoire prepared, submit what will best demonstrate your vocal abilities and storytelling capacity.
- Full songs performances are recommended to best showcase vocal, physical and/or emotional range. Our screeners focus on musicality and interpretation, so an excerpt of a song may not provide enough information for their assessment.
- We strongly encourage live piano or recorded accompaniment. Please pay close attention to your sound balance, so that our screeners can hear both you and your accompaniment. If accompaniment is not accessible, we will accept unaccompanied (a cappella) auditions if necessary.
- Recordings of past performances are acceptable if they meet our repertoire requirements.
- Please do NOT use any audio enhancement tools to modify your recordings.
- Be aware of lighting – make sure your face is well lit. We recommend a mid to full-body shot that will showcase facial and physical expression clearly.
- We have no preference on “slating” – introducing yourself/song before you sing. Please do what works best for you!
Screening Criteria: Applications will be assessed by a panel of qualified adjudicators composed of music industry professionals and educators who will review applicants based upon the following equally weighted criteria: (1) intonation; (2) tone quality; (3) rhythm; (4) song interpretation; and (5) presentation. ALL applicants will receive written feedback on their submissions from the adjudicators.
Music is a universal language.
The Great American Songbook Foundation strives to be a model and leader in its field by providing a welcoming environment in which all visitors, audiences, and employees feel safe, supported, respected, and valued. The Foundation’s programming celebrates the richness and diversity of American culture through the lens of popular music, finding lessons for the future in an unbiased exploration of the past.
Our mission to inspire and educate leaves no room for exclusion or discrimination of any kind, whether based on race, color, age, sex, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, socioeconomic status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. Equity, inclusion, and empowerment are essential principles that guide our decisions as an employer and as proponents of the humanizing power of music.
Ready to apply?
Start your application now at songbookacademy.getacceptd.com.
For additional questions, please contact our staff at SongbookAcademy@TheSongbook.org or 317-844-2251.