Noblesville High School graduate eager to grow as vocalist


Addie McMillan views the Songbook Academy as the perfect way to expand her talents and confidence.

“I’m excited about growing my voice and learning new things that can help me grow and get better, especially with my singing,” she said. “A lot of it is showing your feelings through the music and fully expressing how the music should make you feel. That’s a big thing with the Great American Songbook, it’s just singing the notes. It’s putting yourself out there fully. It’s exposing yourself as a singer and a musician to show what the music means.”

The 2024 Noblesville High School graduate is one of the 40 national finalists for the Songbook Academy, an intensive program set for July 13-20 at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. There will be a Songbook Showcase at 7 p.m. July 18 and a Songbook Academy concert at 7 p.m. July 20, both at the Palladium.

After hearing about the benefits of the Songbook Academy from a former finalist, Peter Fulton, McMillan started working with her voice coach in January 2023 to prepare an audition. She was selected as an alternate but didn’t get to participate because no one dropped out. So, she practiced on her own to prepare for this year.

“I got better vocally and got stronger,” McMillan said.

She sang “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” for the audition.

“I was really excited I got in,” she said. “I got really good feedback from the judges. They leave comments and each of them has great feedback. I was excited and proud and felt a lot more confident about going into it.”

She is looking to improve her ability to sing jazz.

McMillan said it’s a great way to make connections at the Academy and with the audience.

“I’ll be a Songbook Academy alum, which is really cool,” she said.

McMillan will major in theater education at Ball State University. She also will likely minor in vocal music.

“I am definitely going to try to do some performances up there,” she said. “I love to perform. If I gain confidence, I think I’m going to try to perform and do more musical theater because I love it so much. I want to get more into acting as well. We’ll see where my future leads me.”

McMillan has acted at The Belfry Theatre and in school productions.

“I think if I gain more confidence, I can do the bigger production shows like Summer Stock Stage, Eclipse or Civic (Theatre) or professional or pre-professional shows,” she said.

A Public Masterclass, featuring Broadway star Joshua Henry and 10 randomly selected vocalists, is set for 2 p.m. July 16.

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