Labor Day Weekend! Summer got away from me, without many blog posts, but what an incredible summer it was! Here is a brief overview:
Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Competition- Amazing experience (see previous blogs;) reuniting with various contestants/mentors, including 3 times singing at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland, and one upcoming time this Monday with Nick Ziobro, the winner and Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador; and to top it all off, I've been invited to sing with Sylvia McNair on her Christmas concerts at the Palladium in December!
Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange Musical Theatre Project- Great online community experience, including feedback from Leslie Stifleman and Roger Rees, as well as being selected for a masterclass with Leslie, Roger and Tara Rubin. Upcoming project includes a recording session next week here in NYC. I will be recording “Different” from Honk! with Leslie Stifleman, Jeff Saver, Jay Berliner and Ed Salkin. Roger Rees will also join us, and there will be a video made for the Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange website.
iTheatrics- I was asked to participate in a workshop, creating a 1 hour version of “Bye Bye Birdie” for Tams Whitmark. I was cast as Albert Peterson, and got to perform the role for Charles Strouse (composer of “Bye, Bye Birdie” and “Annie”) It was a fabulous experience getting to work with the amazing iTheatrics team again!
Broadway Artists Alliance (BAA)- I was a work-study student/participant in all of the summer programs this year. Each session is worthy of its own lengthy blog post, and there is really no way to describe how incredible it was to work with all of the amazing people involved in this program. At this point, I’m just going to make a list of the professionals with whom I worked, and try to be more on top of specifics in the future.
BAA 2012 for me included: Chris Bailey, Michael Balderrama, Bridget Berger, Christian Borle, Norbert Leo Butz, Tiffany Little Canfield, Lou Castro, Adam Chanler-Berat, Karyn Casl, Bob Cline, Kristi Coombs, Kyle Dean Massey, Vince di Mura, Eden Espinosa, Lisa Gajda, Alex Gemignani, Diane Hamilton, Christopher J. Hanke, Megan Hilty, Andi Hopkins, Christopher Jackson, Jennifer Johns, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Adam Kantor, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Tom Kitt, Joe Langworth, Beth Leavel, Michael Orland, Alice Ripley, Alexander Rovang, Seth Rudetsky, Holly-Anne Ruggiero, Jeff Shade, Celeste Simone, Lisa Stevens, Kevin Wallace, and Leslie Zaslower
Needless to say, I had an incredible summer, and learned so much! Now I’m looking forward to my first fall living in New York City and all it has to offer. Stay tuned…
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!