Incoming freshman Lucas Debard, majoring in Music Education with a minor in Jazz Studies, is the 2015 winner of the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador Award. The 18-year-old is from Lebanon, Ind. During the final concert, on July 25, he sang American standards “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.”
As the first place winner, Debard gets the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to perform with two-time Emmy- and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer and founder of The Great American Songbook Foundation, Michael Feinstein. The winner will serve as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador for one year and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year.
DeBard is a 2015 graduate of Lebanon High School. He was very active in the Lebanon High School Music Department as a member of Madrigals, Charisma Show Choir, musical casts, musical pit orchestras, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and marching band. He plays weekly at Lebanon Christian Church at the youth service “4:12.” He has been a featured performer at Lebanon’s Back to the Fifties, fourth of July events, and Thorntown Festival of the Turning Leaves. This year, he received three Grand Champion awards at show choir solo competitions and received numerous music scholarships and awards. He teaches private lessons at the Little Black Box Theatre in Lebanon.
The Great American Songbook Foundation selected 40 students from across the country to participate in the 2015 Great American Songbook Academy from July 19-25 on the campus of the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind. High school vocalists representing 16 states have worked with mentors that included Michael Feinstein, Tony-nominee and Broadway star Laura Osnes, and Grammy- winner Sylvia McNair. The mentors selected the Youth Ambassador at the end of the final performance.