The Songbook Academy, Michael Feinstein, & 3 teens who love the great old songs
Michael Feinstein with some of this year's Songbook Academy participants (image courtesy of Facebook/Songbook Academy)
Dear Michael Feinstein,
Had I been born 50 years earlier, I would have been a boy singer in a big band (that's what they called them! They were "boys" long before One Direction or - if you came along a smidge earlier - N'Sync or NKOTB). Shoot, if I magically had the voice to do so and Nick Hilscher came along and offered a spot in the current touring Glenn Miller Orchestra, my wife might have to threaten me in order for me to turn it down. That way, Mr. Feinstein, I could provide you with some assistance in your yeoman effort to make sure the greatest songs this country ever produced - some of the best the world ever produced - never go away. Judging by the young people I talk to every year at your Songbook Academy, that won't be an issue.
The finals for this year's Songbook Academy are tonight at The Palladium in Carmel. If you haven't gotten tickets by now, you might be out of luck! The Songbook Academy is where Michael invites teens from around the country who show a love and aptitude for performing songs written long before any of us were born for a week of rehearsals and master classes taught by himself and other great performers - Broadway star Laura Osnes this year. One of the teens will be chosen as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador for the coming year, getting a chance to perform with Feinstein several times across the country, though all of these young folks obviously have bright futures.
I got to chat with three of them near the end of their week. Logan Rains is 17 years old and is from San Ramon, California. Caitlyn Aloia is 17 and lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. And 18-year-old Noah Virgile is from Lexington, Massachusetts.
It's so fun to talk to the students who show up for Michael Feinstein's Songbook Academy every year, and this year was no exception. They perform Saturday night, 7pm at the Palladium in Carmel.