Grace Kiamie attends Michael Feinstein’s ‘life-changing’ songbook academy


Rising PMHS sophomore Grace Kiamie attended Michael Feinstein’s Songbook Academy, a week-long intensive for high-school students interested in musical theater and singing, where she was mentored by cross-over singer Anthony Nunziata.

“The way I felt when I was accepted to Songbook was just unreal,” said Kiamie. “Everyone accepted is just beyond talented and to be singing among them is such an honor.”

Kiamie became interested in musical theatre when she saw her first musical, Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway.

“That performance was really the first moment where I realized I had ‘caught the bug’,” said Kiamie.

She has been performing in shows since the fourth grade, though Kiamie says that she has been performing for her whole life, whether she was performing for her parents or a full audience.

During the academy, Kiamie practiced solos with coaches and directors, participated in large and small group rehearsals, as well as dance workshops and masterclasses with professionals such as Michael Feinstein himself.

“We had very long days of singing all culminating with a showcase of all the finalists and then a big concert on the final day featuring the group numbers as well as performances by a few finalists, Feinstein, and a few jazz artists,” said Kiamie.

Kiamie described the academy as “life-changing” and learned many lessons from talented artists. One of the most essential lessons Kiamie learned at Songbook Academy was how to take in different types of advice and use it to improve.

“At Songbook, and in life really, you get a lot of different opinions on vocal technique, storytelling, acting and it can be very overwhelming at time, especially when the advice can be conflicting,” said Kiamie. “What I learned how to do was take all the things the mentors and coaches told me and sift through until I found advice that worked and felt good to me.”