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Tunesmiths Wanted for Johnny Mercer No-Fee Songwriters Project

The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University are presenting the fourth annual Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project June 21 to 27.

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March 5, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University are presenting the fourth annual Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project on Northwestern's Evanston, Ill. campus, June 21 to 27. The no-fee, weeklong workshop led by Tony®- and Grammy® award-winning artists is seeking talented young songwriters or writing teams from all popular music genres to participate.

The legendary Johnny Mercer, master of the American song and award-winning composer of "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Accentuate the Positive" and "Moon River," was dedicated throughout his career to the development of young songwriters and singers. This year marks the centennial of his birth, with many events planned to celebrate his legacy.

This intensive weeklong songwriting program will be led by master teachers Craig Carnelia, Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist of the Broadway musical "Sweet Smell of Success"; Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Award-winning composer, lyricist, creator and star of the Broadway musical "In The Heights"; and Lari White, three-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter. It will include master classes and workshops, a master teacher cabaret and a student songwriter showcase. The week will culminate with the "Johnny Mercer Celebration Concert," featuring two special guest stars -- award-winning actress, singer and recording artist Liz Callaway and vocalist Capathia Jenkins -- along with performances by the Johnny Mercer program's master teachers and songwriters.

Last year's program featured emerging songwriters from across the country in the fields of pop, music theatre, hip-hop, folk, Latin and country. To qualify, writers must be between the ages of 18 to 30. For writing teams, 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 writers and writing teams selected, and a stipend will be offered to cover a portion of travel and boarding expenses.

All 2009 applications must be postmarked by April 6. To learn more and download an application, visit: http://www.amtp.northwestern.edu/mercer.html.

About The Johnny Mercer Foundation:
The Johnny Mercer Foundation is a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving and celebrating the work of Johnny Mercer and other great American songwriters, and introducing their music to a new generation through educational programs for students from elementary through college age. The Foundation also supports charitable organizations through royalties from Mercer's more than 1,500 songs. This year marks the centennial of Mercer's birth. To learn more about the Foundation, visit: http://johnnymercerfoundation.com/intro.html.

About The American Music Theatre Project:
The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) nourishes the vitality of American music theatre through the development and production of new musicals by music theatre's leading artists; increased opportunities for education and training with Northwestern's theatre, dance and opera programs; and the creation of new opportunities for intersections between the professional and academic communities. To learn more about AMTP, visit: http://www.amtp.northwestern.edu/index.html.