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Songbook Foundation names new staff member

The Great American Songbook Foundation’s new Manager of Programs and Communications arrives with substantial experience in musical theater, social media and nonprofit fundraising.

Carmel native Renée La Schiazza has worked most recently as marketing and development associate for Flat Rock Playhouse in Flat Rock, N.C. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both Arts Administration and Music Theatre from North Carolina’s Elon University.

She also has a history with the Songbook Foundation as a summer intern during her college days and as an alumna of the Foundation’s Songbook Academy® summer intensive, which brings the nation’s top high school vocalists to Carmel for a week of mentoring by performing arts and entertainment industry professionals. Her undergraduate thesis was an original musical revue titled A Century of the Songbook: “Who Could Ask for Anything More.”

In her new post, La Schiazza will be responsible for developing, managing and executing public programs, projects and events, as well as coordinating social media and development activities to support the Foundation’s initiatives. She will report to Foundation Executive Director Chris Lewis.

Key priorities in the new post will include managing the annual Songbook Academy and overseeing the Foundation’s Perfect Harmony program, which provides therapeutic music-based activities for people living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.

The Great American Songbook Foundation has built a national reputation in the decade since its founding. Its Songbook Archives and Library is second only to the Library of Congress as a repository of historic materials representing the Golden Age of Broadway, Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley songwriters.

In 2017, the Foundation was named a Cultural Affiliate of the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum®, joining just four other institutions worldwide. Earlier this year, the Foundation’s long-term plan to establish a Songbook Museum and Hall of Fame received a major boost when philanthropist Bren Simon, widow of real estate magnate Mel Simon, gifted her entire 107-acre Carmel estate to the nonprofit organization.

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