What a great week!
On Wednesday, I got to be a part of an online masterclass through the Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange! I had my video of "Different" reviewed by Leslie Stifleman (Musical Director of Chicago), Roger Rees (Tony nominated director of Peter and the Starcatcher), and Tara Rubin (Tara Rubin Casting). They had such valuable feedback for the video, and were so nice and fun!
Then, over the weekend, I participated in the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Regional Competition. Saturday started very early on the campus of The University of Michigan. The day was comprised of masterclasses ranging from phrasing to mic technique. That evening, all of the regional finalists performed at the Kerrytown Concert House in downtown Ann Arbor. All ten finalists did a fantastic job, but only three of us would be sent to the finals. After the Judges deliberated, they had us all gather on stage for the winners to be announced. The whole day, I had ended up being first to do things (which rarely happens!): I was the first one to sing in the masterclass, I was first up in the performance, and I was the first person to be announced as a winner! I will be participating in the finals at the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana on June 15th! I am so excited to work with Michael Feinstein, Sylvia McNair, Sandi Patty, and all the other amazing instructors at the four day boot camp prior to the finals!
For more information on the Finals, and to puchase tickets online, go to: http://www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org/tickets/production.aspx?PID=1668 (Price: $25-$50)
The best part of the weekend was the fact that my family was there, including my grandparents from Kansas. They saw the performance and then stuck around in Ann Arbor for Mothers Day. It was so neat to be able to share that with them!
Later this week, I'll be in NYC! I'm so excited to head back to the city and possibly see some shows! More on that soon!
Hey there! My name is Tony Ponella, and I am so excited to start my first blog! I cannot wait to chronicle what I anticipate to be an exciting chapter of my life. This summer I will be moving from Bloomington, Indiana to New York City. I plan to take as many performing arts related classes as I can, while finishing my senior year of high school. As a Homeschooled seventeen year old, it will also be amazing to have the opportunity to study all of the history and culture the Big Apple has to offer.
Before moving, I still have some exciting upcoming events. Right now my focus is on the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook High School Vocal Competition. The regional competition will take place this weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I will be singing the same two songs I recorded for the first round: "Orange Colored Sky" and "Beyond the Sea".
Here is the recording of "Orange Colored Sky" that was submitted for the first round of the Feinstein competition, as well as footage from a masterclass with extraordinary jazz musician Vince di Mura, where we played around with stylistic choices in "Beyond the Sea".
I hope this blog can give a glimpse into my journey as an aspiring singer/actor. I'm excited to share my experiences along the way! I will keep things updated here, but I can also be followed on Twitter @TonyPonella, and can be seen on YouTube on my tonyponella channel.
Stay tuned over the weekend for coverage of the Feinstein competition regionals, and feel free to leave comments below. I will be back soon!