American Traditions Vocal Competition's Judges Concert to be Spectacular

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Join the American Traditions Vocal Competition as they kick-off their 2017 season with the ATC Judges Concert at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 at Skidaway Island UMC, 54 Diamond Causeway, Savannah, GA. For the first time audiences will enjoy performances by all three judges during a dazzling evening celebrating classic American music. The talented judges include Tony-nominated composer Andrew Lippa, Grammy award-winner Sylvia McNair, and returning judge Kurt Ollmann.

McNair’s three-decade career has spanned the musical realms of opera, oratorio, cabaret, and musical theater while taking her from the Metropolitan Opera to the Salzburg Festival, from the New York Philharmonic to the Rainbow Room, from the pages of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to the London Times and the cover of Cabaret Scenes. She has been a soloist multiple times with nearly every major opera company and symphony orchestra in the world. In 2000 McNair sang the Bach B-minor Mass with the Vienna Philharmonic for Pope John Paul II at The Vatican. She has earned the Ohio Governor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment, and the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award. McNair is honored to judge this year’s competition.

Lippa wrote the Tony-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical “The Addams Family” as well as the music and lyrics for numerous other productions including “The Social Network, A Few Good Men,” “Big Fish,” “The Farnsworth Invention,” and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning “The Wild Party.” Lippa has also won the Drama Desk Award for best musical in addition to the Outer Critics Circle Award for best Off-Broadway musical. The accomplished singer is proud to have been the music director for Kristin Chenoweth for many of her concerts since 1999 and has conducted the San Francisco, Chicago, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras, among others, for Chenoweth. His recordings include “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” which earned him a Grammy Award nomination among many others. Lippa, who serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild, is thrilled to participate as a judge for the 2017 ATC.

Ollmann, a baritone, has established a wide-ranging international career in recital, concert and opera. A distinguished orchestral soloist, he has sung across the world with the London Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre de Paris, Rome’s Accademia de Santa Cecilia, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and with the orchestras of Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco, among many others. Among Ollmann’s many recordings are Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette,” Gershwin’s “Oh, Kay!,” a Grammy award-winning version of Bernstein’s “Candide” as well as “On the Town,” and Ravel’s “L’Heure Espagnole.” Ollmann is excited to return to the competition this year.

“The ATC is fortunate to have judges of such a high caliber each year and this year all three judges will be participating in the Judges Concert which will be a real treat for everyone,” said ATC Board of Directors President Daniel Cohen. “This evening will start the 2017 competition season with a bang and set the tone for this exciting week.”

The legendary ATC was established as a world renowned 501(c)3 nonprofit arts institution to highlight classic American music while providing a forum for showcasing and supporting tomorrow’s vocal talents and superstars.

Tickets for this evening cost $25 each for the concert only or $50, to include a ‘meet the judges’ reception following the concert at the church. To learn more about the ATC, please visit To purchase tickets, please visit the ATC website or