California teen wins top honor as Songbook Ambassador  

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On July 23, Brighton Thomas was named the 2016 winner of the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador Award. The 17-year-old is from Burbank, C al . During the final concert she sang American standards: “It Had to be You” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

As the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador, Thomas 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. She will serve as the Songbook Youth Ambassador for one year and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year. Past Youth Ambassador performance opportunities have included: Multiple appearances with Michael Feinstein – including Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall; Kennedy Center; Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Gala – with Barry Manilow, Liza Minnelli, Johnny Mathis, Jimmy Webb; National Anthem at NFL game; and an appearance with Pasadena Pops.

Thomas is a senior at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, C al . She was introduced to the music of the American Songbook at a young age by her Grandfather, who produced a Songbook-themed show on the radio. Thomas claims Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland as her musical inspirations. She is active in the show choir and musical theatre programs at her high school. Thomas plans to study musical theatre in college.

Samual Mulligan of Mt. Zion, I ll. , was named Songbook Inspiration Award winner, and Matt Hoffman of Stony Brook, N ew York, was named Songbook Celebration Award winner, each receiving the opportunity to perform with Michael Feinstein.

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