4 Avon vocalists selected for Songbook Academy; music mentoring to be virtual
By Lindsay Doty
17-year-old Alexa Margolius started singing as soon as she could talk, performing for her parents using a wooden stool and plastic microphone. She calls music her “happy place.”
The Avon High School student was recently selected as one of the top 40 high school vocalists in the nation to participate in the 2020 Songbook Academy, a summer music intensive for young singers who have an interest in classic Broadway shows and jazz. Three other young vocalists from Avon received the opportunity, including Jonathan Grimes, Samantha Shelton, and Camden Zetty.
“When I got the email that I was accepted into the Songbook Academy I was outside, so I ran inside and obviously screamed,” said Margolius.
“I am so honored to be a part of such a talented group of people, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”
Samantha Shelton, a Herron High School (Indianapolis) graduation from Avon, is a Songbook veteran.
“I am profoundly grateful for the Great American Songbook Foundation, not only because of its preservation of music, but because it gives me a place to do what I love and be authentically myself,” said Shelton.
During the summer intensive, young vocalists will get a week of personal instruction and mentoring from arts and entertainment professionals led by five-time Grammy Award nominee and Songbook Foundation Founder Michael Feinstein.
However, this year, the coaching will be done virtually due to the threat of COVID-19. It’s typically held at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, where the Songbook Foundation is headquartered.
“While we are saddened we can’t gather on campus this year, we are guided by our first priority: ensuring the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, volunteers, guests and the entire Songbook Academy community,” said Christopher Lewis, Executive Director of the Great American Songbook Foundation.
“I was very bummed to not be able to meet everyone in person and have the full experience, but Songbook is really taking care of us,” said Alexa Margolius.
The online intensive runs the week of July 11 and will wrap up July 18 with an all-day performance showcase hosted by Feinstein. Other mentor guests this year will include Scott Bradlee, creator of the multimedia Postmodern Jukebox empire, and Broadway and television actress, Ashley Park.