Songbook Vocal Academy & Competition

Exciting changes are in the works for the 2015 Songbook Competition! Stay tuned for details – coming soon.  We expect to launch the application process by January, 2015.

What it is:

 The Great American Songbook High School Vocal Competition provides young singers with the life-changing opportunity to work with music industry professionals to experience firsthand the uniquely American and culturally significant music known as the Great American Songbook.

The Songbook Vocal Competition is a celebration of the Golden Age of American Popular music. This program is the only high school vocal competition in the U.S. dedicated solely to the music from Broadway, Hollywood musicals and the Tin Pan Alley era of the early to mid-twentieth century. (1920’s – 1960’s)

The songwriters of the Great American Songbook translated positive values and an optimistic spirit into the soundtrack of American life. These values are as true and applicable today as they ever have been. 

How it works:

High school students from across the country are invited to submit audio recordings of two contrasting songs from the Great American Songbook genre. See FAQs  for Great American Songbook resources. Every applicant will receive written feedback on their audition submission from the initial panel of judges, made up of music educators and industry professionals.

Selected finalists will be invited to the Songbook Foundation’s headquarters in Carmel, IN, July 19-25, 2015, to participate in a five-day academy on interpreting and performing the music of the Great American Songbook. Five-time Grammy nominee, Michael Feinstein, and other top music industry professionals will conduct workshops and master classes throughout the week. The final competition performance will be held in the 1,600 seat Palladium Concert Hall at the Center for the Performing Arts.


Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador will receive $3,000 and the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to perform with two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominated entertainer and founder of the Songbook Foundation, Michael Feinstein. The Youth Ambassador will serve for one year and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year.

Songbook Inspiration Award Winner will receive $1,000.

Songbook Celebration Award Winner will receive $1,000.

Examples of Great American Songbook songwriters:
[Please note: these are only a few examples of the many appropriate composers.  See FAQs for links to other resources.]

Harold Arlen * Irving Berlin * Sammy Cahn * Hoagy Carmichael * Vernon Duke * Duke Ellington * George and Ira Gershwin * Jerome Kern * Burton Lane * Frank Loesser * Lerner and Loewe * Hugh Martin * Johnny Mercer * Cole Porter * Rodgers and Hart * Rodgers and Hammerstein * Rodgers and Hart *Arthur Schwartz * Jule Styne * Johnny Burke * Jimmy Van Heusen * Fats Waller * Harry Warren * Vincent Youmans * Gus Kahn and many other composers from this era. 

For questions about song selection, feel free to contact us at:



Please read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), click HERE.

Please read and accept the Official Rules of the competition, click HERE.


For questions about the application and competition, please contact Chris Lewis, Director of Programs, at or 317-844-9446.