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Johnny Mercer Foundation and AMTP announce 14th Songwriters Project lineup

Multi-platinum-selling and award-winning songwriter Lindy Robbins will join the roster of master teachers for the 14th annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project, a partnership between the Johnny Mercer Foundation and the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University. Hosted at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, this one-of-a-kind mentorship program covers program costs, housing and travel for all participants.

Robbins will join returning master teachers Stephen Bray, Craig Carnelia and Andrew Lippa in mentoring a new group of 15 songwriters for an intensive week of master classes and workshops June 23 to 29.

The residency will culminate with “Songwriters in Concert,” a public showcase of the songwriters’ new work at 8 p.m., June 29 at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston campus. 

Songwriters Project producer Brannon Bowers said they look forward to the addition of Robbins to the current team of master teachers.

“Lindy has a wide breadth of experience, having success in nearly every genre,” Bowers said. “Her songs have been recorded by many top artists in the music industry and have been streamed over 500 million times. Her versatility and recent success will greatly benefit the Project and the songwriters.”

Among this year’s participating songwriters are a Jonathan Larson Award-winner, a DJ-turned-songwriter, a jazz violinist, a Broadway actress, an alumnus of NBC “The Voice,” a current college student and a winner of the Sondheim Remix contest.

The 15 participants include Julia Appleton (Kitchener, Ontario), Ben Bonnema (New York, N.Y.), Jane Bruce (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Kristen Iverson (Richmond, Va.), Reid Jenkins (New York, N.Y.), Brianna Nelson (Boston, Mass.), Cheeyang Ng (Singapore), Nick Parker (Philadelphia, Pa.), Sam Robbins (Portsmouth, N.H.), Ellysa Rose (Burbank, Calif.), Eva B. Ross (Los Angeles, Calif.), Eric Sorrels (New York, N.Y.), Christopher Staskel (New York, N.Y.), JJ Warshaw (Philadelphia, Pa.) and TUCKER (New York, N.Y,). 

Single tickets for “Songwriters in Concert” are $30 general admission and $10 for students. Tickets are available on the Wirtz Center website, by phone at 847-491-7282 or in person at the box office at the Barber Theater lobby, 30 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston campus.

Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Since the project’s launch in 2005 it has been a catalyst to the careers of many artists including Tony, Oscar and Golden Globe Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; Fred Ebb Award winners Adam Gwon, Sam Willmott and Shaina Taub; Latin Grammy Award winners Obed Bermudez and singer/actress Jennifer Peña; and 10 individual Jonathan Larson Award winners.

Past master teachers include songwriting luminaries such as Marcy Heisler, Jon Lind, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Amanda McBroom, Shelly Peiken, Lari White and David Zippel.

More information about this year’s songwriters and master teachers is available on the Songwriters Project website.

Master Teacher Bio:

Songwriters Project Master Teacher Lindy RobbinsLindy Robbins is a multi-platinum-selling and award-winning songwriter from Los Angeles. She started her career in the New York City cabaret and theater community in the 90s, writing for numerous performers, such as Audra McDonald, Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein, Harvey Fierstein, Andrea Marcovicci, Ann Margret and Bruce Vilanch, as well as collaborating with legendary theater composers, including Stephen Schwartz and Adam Guettal. Robbins was a founding member and composer for the celebrated vocal group “The Tonics.” Robbins returned to Los Angeles in 1997 to pursue writing mainstream songs in pop, country, rock, EDM / music and dance, and rhythmic / R&B. Recent No. 1 radio hits include the worldwide smash “Want to Want Me” by Jason Derulo, “Dangerous” by David Guetta (featuring Sam Martin) and “Tonight, Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae. Chart toppers include “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato, “Classic” by MKTO, “Slow Down” by Selena Gomez, “It Girl” by Jason Derulo, “Miss Movin’ On” by Fifth Harmony, “Kiss Me” by Olly Murs, “Hurts so Good” by Astrid S and “Crybaby” by Paloma Faith. Robbins also is well known for the following top 5 hits: “Incomplete” by the Backstreet Boys, “What's Left of Me” by Nick Lachey and the 2006 Disney Song of the Year, “Cinderella,” performed by The Cheetah Girls. Her songs have been featured on recordings by Dua Lipa, One Direction, Zedd (featuring Julia Michaels), Jennifer Hudson, LeAnn Rimes, Rachel Platten, 5 Seconds of Summer, Jennifer Lopez, Idina Menzel, Leona Lewis (featuring One Republic), Faith Hill, Brandy, Britney Spears, Jason Mraz, Westlife, Jordin Sparks, Lisa Loeb, Pitbull, Clay Aiken, Shaggy, Mathew Morrison, David Cook, Toni Braxton and Monica.

About Johnny Mercer Foundation

The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed.

JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions to facilitate its goals including the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Accentuate The Positive Programs (New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami), The Musical Theater Program at NJPAC, Georgia State University Fellowship Program, Florida International University Fellowship Program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University. In addition, JMF supports various charitable causes including UCLA’s Art of The Brain, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Mark Taper and Johnny Mercer Artists Program) and the Braille Institute (Johnny Mercer Children and Adult Choirs).

The legendary Johnny Mercer (1900-1976) composed more than 1,400 songs, including “Accentuate the Positive,” “Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread”), “Any Place to Hang My Hat Is Home,” “Too Marvelous for Words” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.” He also wrote songs for 100 motion pictures and won four “Best Song” Academy Awards. A top radio personality and recording artist, he also was the co-founder and president of Capitol Records and established the Songwriters Hall of Fame with Abe Olman and Howie Richmond.

For more information, visit the Johnny Mercer Foundation website.

About American Music Theatre Project

The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University brings together the nation’s leading artists in music theater to work with Northwestern’s faculty and students. AMTP’s goal is to nourish and invigorate American music theater by developing and producing new musicals; increasing opportunities for education and training with Northwestern’s theater, music theater and dance programs and creating new connections between professional and academic communities. To learn more about AMTP, visit the American Music Theatre Project website.