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My View: An “International Musical Incident” at The Society For The Preservation Of The Great American Songbook Gala

My View: An “International Musical Incident” at The Society For The Preservation Of The Great American Songbook Gala

There were many highlights during The Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook Benefactors Gala 2022. One however was foremost for me.  In a time when the people that live on our planet can’t seem to agree on anything, being in a room where everyone was on the same page celebrating the importance and brilliance of American Popular Music and honoring some of it’s most talented artists was truly a joy. 

A special moment that occurred during the evening convinced me that the society’s founder Radio icon Dick Robinson, possesses the special ingredient that brings people together in perfect harmony.  After presenting the Society’s 2022 Legend Award to Bria Skonberg, the former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney sang a song from The Great American Songbook “When You’re Smiling” (ala Michael Buble’ who he helped discover).  It was truly a wonderful “International Musical Incident”

While Steve Tyrell who was the recipient of the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award was unable to attend he was saluted by word and song by #1 Billboard Jazz Vocalist Deborah Silver who recently performed at Legend Radio’s Benefit Concert for Ukraine. 

Steve Tyrell is a Grammy Award-Winning producer and vocalist.  The definition of renaissance man, he has achieved success as a singer, songwriter, producer, music supervisor, and radio host during his five decade career.

Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners include Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Dean Martin, Connie Francis, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Mike Renzi and Pat Boone.

Legend Award Winner Bria Skonberg is a Canadian trumpeter and vocalist who is considered one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.  She’s known for her inventive arrangements of contemporary classics and original compositions with genuine heart and dynamic flair.

Previous Legend Award winners include Ann Hampton Callaway, Jack Jones, Deana Martin, Steve Tyrell, Nicolas King, and Debbie Boone.

Young Artis Award Winner Annie Matot is a senior at The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach who has already earned wide acclaim for her refreshing jazz repertoire.  One of only 40 students nationwide accepted into the exclusive Songbook Academy’s Summer Intensive, she has already been invited to perform at the Kravis Center and with Michael Feinstein at Feinstein’s/54 Below in NYC.

Previous Young Artist Award sinners include Christina Zaide, Clanaven Baldonado, Kai Alivia Koren, Makayla Forgione, Chris Santiago, Aidan Taylor and The Fresh Four.

The Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the music, character, and history of the Great American Songbook.  “That this timeless and enduring music of our country, with its rich history, will continue to be accessible and enjoyed by the generations of both today and tomorrow”—according to the nonprofit organization’s vision.  For more information please visit: www.preserveourgas.org.

Bria Skonberg & Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

ANNIE MATOT,MISSY ROBINSON,BRIA SKONBERG

BRIA SKONBERG, ANNIE MATOT, DEBORAH SILVER

BRIA SKONBERG & FORMER CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER BRIAN MULRONEY

BRIA SKONBERG & BOB MERRILL, GALA CHAIRMAN

BOB MERRILL & ALEX DONNER

THE SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK GALA

HILLIE MAHONEY & CHUCK SCHUMACHER

ANDREA WYNN & STEVE WYNN

Lilly Merrill & Hillie Mahoney

ANNIE MATOT & ALEX DONNER

ROB RUSSELL

ANNIE MATOT, YOUNG ARTIST AWARD

BRIA SKONBERG, LEGEND AWARD

STEVE TYRELL, LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

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Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen Sorokoff@gmail.com

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