Read Mercer%20Brochure%202008(2).pdf text version


The American Music Theatre Project is currently seeking talented songwriters or writing teams, ages 18-30, from all popular music genres to participate in the workshops and master classes of The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project! Located on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University, the project will take place August 9-16, 2008, and will be led by a number of America's leading songwriters, including Craig Carnelia (Sweet Smell of Success), Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), Amanda McBroom ("The Rose") and Lari White (Green Eyed Soul). Last year's program included emerging songwriters from all over the country representing the worlds of music theatre, pop, folk and country. Writers must be between the ages of 18-30. If a writing team, at least one member must meet this criterion. Through the generosity of The Johnny Mercer Foundation, there is no fee for this workshop for the 12 writers/writing teams selected, and some stipends will be offered to cover travel and boarding expenses. For more information or to download an application, please visit us online at mercer.html. You may also call 847-467-0333. All applications must be postmarked by May 16.

Please note that this project is devoted specifically to the legacy of the American popular song. This is not a musical theatre development workshop.

Master Teacher Amanda McBroom

"The Rose"


"My experience with the Mercer Foundation Songwriters' Program at Northwestern was uplifting and truly inspiring. It was beautifully produced. The range of talent of the students, the enthusiastic faculty and total support of the staff all made this conference one of the best I have participated in. They're doing something wonderful here. The world of songwriting needs more programs like this one."




Student Songwriters Benj Pasek & Justin Paul


"We found the Johnny Mercer Workshop to be amazingly helpful in learning about songwriting and craft. But even more valuable was the opportunity to meet fantastic professional writers who have now become mentors and friends, and bond with other writers who are our peers, allowing us to build a strong network of people within the industry. We are really grateful for the entire experience."

uly Inspirin "Tr



Following the success of last year's program, The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project returns to Northwestern University for its third exciting year! This week-long project will feature some of America's most prominent songwriters and singers working in the tradition of the legendary Johnny Mercer. A master of the American song, Mercer composed such classics as "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Accentuate the Positive" and "Black Magic." Throughout his career, he was dedicated to the development of young songwriters and singers. The 2008 guest artists will serve as faculty for a weeklong educational program, including: · Master Classes and Workshops · Guests Artist Cabarets · Student Songwriter Showcase The project will culminate in a series of special events featuring guest artists, master teachers, student songwriters and performers from the Northwestern Music Theatre program.


Craig Carnelia is known primarily for his work as a songwriter in the theatre, having 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. Hamlisch and Carnelia received Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations for their score for Sweet Smell of Success, and Carnelia received a Drama Desk nomination for his lyrics in Imaginary Friends. As both composer and lyricist, he wrote the score for the Broadway musical Is There Life After High School? and contributed four songs to Studs Terkel's Working, for which he received his first Tony nomination. Other honors include the Johnny Mercer Award as "Emerging American Songwriter," the first annual Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Award and the prestigious Kleban Award. Carnelia also serves as a mentor to young writers through the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, the Dramatists Guild Musical Theatre Fellowship and the Eugene O'Neill Musical Theatre Conference. Andrew Lippa wrote the book, music and lyrics for The Wild Party, which was given its world premiere in 2000 at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City and which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for best Off-Broadway musical of the season and the 2000 Drama Desk Award for best music. Lippa also wrote the music for A Little Princess, which received its premiere in the summer of 2006 at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, California. In 1999, he contributed three new songs to the Broadway version of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and created all new arrangements. He wrote the music and co-wrote the book for john & jen, which played in New York City in 1995 at The Lamb's Theater. In the fall of 2006, his musical, Asphalt Beach, premiered as the third production of the American Music Theatre Project. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Lippa is the resident artist at the Ars Nova theatre in New York City.

Amanda McBroom has been called "...the greatest cabaret performer of her generation." Her name first came to the attention of the music public when Bette Midler's version of McBroom's first song "The Rose" hit number one in 1979. But it was McBroom's own performance of this song at the 37th Golden Globe Awards (where it received "Best Original Song"), the Grammys and The Tonight Show that launched her career as a singer as well as a songwriter. Her songs have been recorded by many notable artists such as Bette Midler, LeAnne Rimes, Barry Manilow and Judy Collins. Her love of and background in musical theatre compelled her to create a musical based on her songs. Heartbeats made its debut in 1989 in Los Angeles and has enjoyed more than 15 regional theatre productions around the United States. McBroom also is the lyricist of the new work, Dangerous Beauty, which the American Music Theatre Project will present in the summer of 2008. Lari White made her critically-acclaimed Broadway debut in the spring of 2006 in Ring of Fire, setting off a chain reaction of appearances that shows no sign of stopping. She received rave reviews for her performance in the Marilyn and Alan Bergman Tribute with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall and returned to perform for the Bergmans in their Lincoln Center tribute in February. Broadway By The Year® audiences have enjoyed her in the Jerome Kern Tribute and Broadway Originals, as well as The Broadway Musicals of 1928 and The Broadway Musicals of 1978. She recently debuted with a week-long run at the Algonquin Oak Room, Manhattan's legendary supper club that has served as a launching pad for talented musicians, including Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Peter Cincotti and others. As a recording artist, White has earned three Grammys for best Southern Gospel and a Gold Album. She recently made music history as the first female producer of a male superstar by producing Toby Keith's platinum album, White Trash with Money. Her last studio album, the R&B-flavored Green Eyed Soul, was hailed by the London Times as "...the best soul album this year." Her film credits include Cast Away with Tom Hanks and the Lifetime Television Movie, No Regrets, with Kate Jackson and Janine Turner.


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