On the Road with the Academy Singer-Songwriters

The Singer-Songwriter program hit the road in April on a first-of-its-kind performance and educational tour.  Students and faculty traveled in a tour bus just like rock-stars thanks to a donor in the industry.

"We wanted to teach students about the tried and true grassroots approach to building a fanbase and sharing vision and talent with other songwriting communities," says instructor Courtney Kaiser-Sandler, herself a veteran of the touring world, having performed with John Mellencamp and a founding member of the Kaiser Cartel.

The tour began in Chicago where students performed on local television station WGN and at Uncommon Ground on April 14, and sang the National Anthem before the Chicago Bulls took the court on April 15. From Chicago, they hit Minneapolis/St. Paul for a show at McNally Smith at the Sound Bite Cafe. The tour continued through Bloomington, Indiana with performances at Park Tudor School and Sabbatical, and onto Nashville, Tennessee with a performance at Rocketown. The tour concluded in Chicago with a performance at the Old Town School of Folk on April 19.

"Spending time with the students and seeing their faces light up with excitement through every experience and encounter with their audiences was pretty incredible," says Kaiser-Sandler.