The 23rd American Traditions Competition (ATC) is just around the corner, and all the event details and logistics are falling smoothly into place. The judging panel has been established, contestants have officially been named, venues are chosen and tickets to the competition’s various performances and contests are now available.
The nonprofit ATC, established as a world-renowned arts institution based in Savannah, celebrates standard, classic American music. The vocal contest evolved from Savannah Onstage, which was established in 1992 and was the predecessor of the Savannah Music Festival. In 2016, it runs from Feb. 21-25 at various locations, including Skidaway Island and the Savannah Theatre.
An exciting addition to this year’s competition is the appointment of Celeste Headlee, Georgia Public Broadcasting celebrity and professional singer, as the emcee of the finals which will take place on the evening of Thursday Feb. 25 at The Historic Savannah Theatre on Bull Street. Headlee has worked in public radio since 1999, as a reporter, host and correspondent. She holds multiple degrees in music, still performs as a professional opera singer and appears on gospel artist Lea Gilmore’s CD, “Classically Blue.”
The competition gets under way at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, with the Judges and Winners concert at the Skidaway Island United Methodist Church. This initiative builds on the traditional Judges concert of previous years. Immediately following the concert, a new kickoff party will be held at The Landings Plantation Club on Skidaway Island. Guests will be able to meet the judges and contestants before enjoying dueling piano performances by ATC pianist, Annastasia Victory and her husband Michael O. Mitchell. Victory, returns to the ATC as a talented accompanist for a fifth year, is a Russian-born pianist, music director, composer, arranger, orchestrator, songwriter and singer .
To buy American Traditions Competition tickets or for more information on the events or the kickoff party, please visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com or call the Savannah Theatre Box Office at 912-233-7764