Northwestern University: Songwriters Project participants and new master teacher announced

The Johnny Mercer Foundation’s (JMF) Songwriters Project will convene in-person June 19 to 25 at Northwestern University, continuing a 17-year partnership with the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP).

Fifteen participants, selected from a record-breaking pool of 220 international applicants, will take part in an intensive week-long program of master classes and workshops led by returning master teachers Craig Carnelia, Andrew Lippa, Lindy Robbins and first-time master teacher Autumn Rowe.

Rowe is a songwriter, vocal coach, DJ and activist who won a 2022 Grammy Award for best album with Jon Batiste for “We Are” and was nominated for record of the year for one of the five songs she co-wrote on that album. Rowe has collaborated with artists such as Dua Lipa, Pitbull, Zendaya and Tori Kelly, making her an ideal mentor for the next generation of popular songwriters.

“We are thrilled Autumn is taking time from her incredible career to help mentor the writers selected for this year’s Songwriters Project,” said JMF Executive Vice President Jonathan Brielle. “We are very grateful she is joining our other fabulous teachers.”

This year’s songwriters, hailing from the U.S., U.K. and Canada, will participate in the prestigious program, which has been a catalyst to the careers of artists such as Tony, Oscar and Golden Globe award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land” and “Dear Evan Hansen”).

The 2022 Songwriters Project participants include Cooper Baldwin (Burbank, California), Clare Bierman (Pasadena, California), Sophia DeLeo (New York) Anna DeNoia (Chicago), Jack Doyle (Baltimore), Ben Ginsberg (Oxnard, California.), Erika Ji (Palo Alto, California.), Dia Morgan (Highland Park, Illinois), Gracie Nash (New York), Alex Petti (New York), Moyana Olivia (Minneapolis), Jasmine Power (Pembrokeshire, Wales), Thalia Ranjbar (Newmarket, Ontario), Fermin Suero, Jr. (Perth Amboy, New Jersey) and Joshua Villa (Virginia Beach, Virginia).

“Once again we had an unprecedented number of applications and these 15 writers surpassed our expectations,” said Brannon Bowers, producer of the annual Songwriters Project at Northwestern. “We are pleased to welcome this great group of diverse artists to our campus for the first time in more than two years.”

Program tuition, travel and housing for the songwriters is generously underwritten by the Johnny Mercer Foundation. The project will conclude with the Songwriters in (Virtual) Concert event at the end of July, which will stream for free on the Songwriters Project YouTube channel. For more information visit the Songwriters in Concert page of the AMTP website.

The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation 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.