The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre
Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University will
present the 9th Annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters
Project. The weeklong songwriting workshop for emerging
songwriters and writing teams will take place from June 22
through 28, on Northwestern's Evanston campus.
The no-fee program is accepting applications from aspiring
young songwriters and songwriting teams working in any
popular music style through Friday, March 28. An
online application, application guidelines and information
are available at www.mercersongwriters.org.
Led by award-winning master teachers Craig Carnelia, Andrew
Lippa and Lari White, the week will culminate with a public
concert showcasing the talents of the program participants,
master teachers and the soon-to-be-announced recipient of
the Artist of Distinction award.
Through the generosity of the Johnny Mercer Foundation, the
program is free-of-charge to selected songwriters who are
housed on Northwestern's Evanston campus
and receive a stipend for travel expenses and meals.
The Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project hosts the
nation's most promising songwriters in musical theatre,
country, Latin, rock and contemporary pop music, and
continues the legacy of legendary songwriter Johnny Mercer.
Mercer was a dedicated mentor to young singers and
songwriters throughout his career.
Last year, more than 100 applicants applied for one of the
12 spots in the prestigious program, which has been a
catalyst to the careers of many artists. Among them are
Latin Grammy-winner Obed Bermudez, singer/actress Jennifer
Pena, songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Michael Koomin
and Chris Dimond, Joe Kinosian and Kellan Blair, Adam Gwon,
Carrie Manolakos and Morgan Karr.
The foundation is designed to support the discipline of
songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook,
as exemplified by the life and work of Johnny Mercer. It
continues Mercer's legacy by partnering with individuals and
organizations that celebrate and nourish the disciplines
Mercer mastered and the causes he championed.
The Johnny Mercer Foundation partners with the Kaufman Music Center in New
Arts Center and the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University's
American Music Theater Project to nurture and encourage
young talent. The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed
Musicals is the first of its kind in the country dedicated
solely to the creation of new musicals.
The legendary Johnny Mercer (1900-1976) composed more than
1,400 songs, including 'Accentuate The Positive,' 'Fools
Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread'); 'Any Place To Hang My
Hat Is Home,' 'Too Marvelous For Words' and 'Come Rain Or
Come Shine.' He also wrote songs for 100 motion pictures and
won four 'Best Song' Academy Awards. A top radio personality
and recording artist, he also was the co-founder and
president of Capitol Records and established the Songwriters
Hall of Fame with Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. For more on
Mercer, visit www.johnnymercerfoundation.org/johnny-mercer/.
Craig Carnelia has
had four shows produced on Broadway. Working with composer
Marvin Hamlisch, he wrote the lyrics for 'Sweet Smell of
Success,' with book by John Guare, and 'Imaginary Friends'
with Nora Ephron. As both composer and lyricist, Carnelia
wrote the score for 'Is There Life After High School' and
contributed four songs to the musical 'Working,' for which
he received his first Tony nomination. Regional premieres
include 'The Good War' at Chicago's Northlight Theatre and
'Actor, Lawyer, Indian Chief' at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in Connecticut,
both written with playwright, director and Northwestern
University Professor David H. Bell. Bell is
the School of Communication's
Donald G. Robertson Director of Music Theatre. For more on Carnelia, visit www.musicalschwartz.com/recordings/carnelia.htm.
Andrew Lippa wrote
the words and music to the original oratorio 'I am Harvey
Milk' which received its world premiere in San Francisco
last June with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, and in
which Lippa starred as Harvey Milk. The recording, released
in October 2013, reached No. 2 on the iTunes classical
chart. Lippa also wrote
the Tony-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical
'The Addams Family,' as well as the music for the Broadway
production of Aaron Sorkin's 'The Farnsworth Invention.' He
also worked on the Drama Desk award-winning 'The Wild Party'
(book, music and lyrics), 'A Little Princess' (music), 'john
& jen' (music and book), 'AsphaltBeach'
(music and lyrics) and 'You're
A Good Man, Charlie Brown' (additional music, lyrics and
more on Lippa, visit http://andrewlippa.com/.
Lari White is
an award-winning recording artist, hit songwriter and
producer, indie record label owner and actress. Her music
has earned three Grammy Awards ('The Apostle' soundtrack and
'Amazing Grace 1 and 2: A Country Tribute' and Recording
Industry Association of America ( RIAA) Gold status for
'Wishes,' RCA Records. Her most recent studio albums include
'Green Eyed Soul,' hailed by the London Times as best soul
album of the year, and 'My First Affair.' For more on White, visit http://www.cmt.com/artists/lari-white/.
AMERICAN MUSIC THEATRE PROJECT
The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University brings
together the nation's leading artists in music theatre to
work with Northwestern's faculty and students. AMTP's 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 about AMTP, visit www.amtp.northwestern.edu.