Live performance from Indiana's Songbook Youth Ambassador 

Lucas DeBard, this year’s winner, will perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

click to enlarge lucas_debard.jpg
Lucas DeBard, this year’s Songbook Youth Ambassador, will perform at the Kennedy Center as part of their Millennium Stage series. Joining him are the three most recent Youth Ambassadors – Madelyn Baillio, Julia Goodwin and Nick Ziobro. The quartet will be accompanied by members of The American Pops Orchestra for the performance that will be streamed live online and become part of a permanent archive of daily free performances on the Millennium Stage.

DeBard, a graduate of Lebanon High School was crowned Songbook Youth Ambassador July 25 after a week-long Songbook Academy attended by 40 high school students from around the country at Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts. During the final concert on July 25, 2015, he sang “I'm Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” and a mash-up of “I'll See You in My Dreams” and "I Have Dreamed."

DeBard currently is attending Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music majoring in music education with a minor in Jazz Studies.

“This incredible experience at the Kennedy Center is actually the first official performance for Lucas and a great opportunity for him,” said Michael Feinstein, the creator of the Great American Songbook Foundation and Songbook Academy, in a press release. “But just as important, this is an opportunity for us to highlight on a national stage the work we are doing with students across the country, teaching an important part of our cultural history – known as the Great American Songbook.”

Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, President and CEO of the Center for the Performing Arts and the Great American Songbook Foundation, will join the four Songbook Youth Ambassadors on stage and speak about the important work being done in Carmel, IN, including the Songbook Academy and annual inductions into the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.

“The Songbook Academy provides high school vocalists with the life-changing opportunity to work with music industry professionals and educators. Our mission is to inspire and educate by celebrating The Great American Songbook and we do that best through the Vocal Academy, a weeklong program at The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The first place winner of the Academy serves as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador for one year, and we are thrilled that our current Ambassador, Lucas DeBard, will have his debut at the Kennedy Center,” said Moskalenko.

Michael Feinstein filmed a special video introduction about the work of the foundation to air at the Kennedy Center.

The special program will be streamed live online on September 3 and then remain archived on the Kennedy Center website.

The newest interactive Songbook Gallery exhibit at the Center for the Performing Arts features "Gus Kahn: The Man Behind the Music." Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., and one hour before Songbook and Jazz Series performances at the Palladium. There is no charge to visit the gallery.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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