Talented young songwriters and writing teams working in any popular music genre are encouraged to apply for a no-fee program presented by The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University this summer.

Talented young songwriters and writing teams working in any popular music genre are encouraged to apply for a no-fee program presented by The Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University this summer.

The fifth annual Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project will be held Aug. 1 to 7. Applications, available online, must be postmarked no later than May 14.

The intensive weeklong songwriting program will be led by master teachers Craig Carnelia, Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist of “Sweet Smell of Success”; Andrew Lippa, Grammy-nominated artist and composer of the current Broadway musical “The Addams Family”; and three-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Lari White.

The seven-day program of master classes, workshops and a student songwriter showcase will culminate Aug. 7 in a spectacular star-studded ticketed concert, “The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project: A Celebration of Stephen Schwartz,” at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus.

Tony Award-winning composer Schwartz will be honored for his mentorship of young songwriters in the tradition of the legendary Johnny Mercer. Broadway performer Shoshana Bean, whose credits include “Wicked” and “Hairspray,” will be featured along with performances by the program’s master teachers and songwriters.

Emerging songwriters in pop, music theatre, hip hop, folk, Latin and country music must be between the ages of 18 and 30; writing teams must include at least one member in that age range to meet this criterion.

Past alumni include Christy Altomare, Jordan Beck and Jonathan May, Obed Bermudez and Jennifer Pena, Adam Gwon, Michael Cooper and Hyeyoung Kim, Michael Kooman and Christoper Dimond, Peter Lerman, and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Thanks to the generosity of The Johnny Mercer Foundation, there is no fee for the writers and writing teams selected to participate in this workshop. On-campus housing is provided, and a stipend covers a portion of travel expenses.

Mercer (1909-1976) composed more than 1,500 tunes, including the classics “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Accentuate the Positive” and “Moon River.” Throughout his long career he was dedicated to the development of young songwriters and singers.

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