Promising Students From DC’s Duke Ellington School of The Arts To Showcase Original Songs on Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

October 3, 2019

Culmination of First ASCAP Foundation Andrew A. Isen

Musical Theater Songwriting Workshop


NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2019: High school theater students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC will perform their original songs on The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Millennium Stage on October 11. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will be the culmination of a groundbreaking new ASCAP Foundation songwriting workshop for high school students.

The ASCAP Foundation Andrew A. Isen Musical Theater Songwriting Workshop provides a unique opportunity for high school theater students to learn the fundamentals and art and craft of musical theater songwriting. It is The ASCAP Foundation’s first high school musical theater songwriting program with a Broadway mentor.

In the five-day intensive workshop under the direction of ASCAP songwriter and Broadway performer Nick Blaemire, the students have created their own original songs collaborating with their classmates as co-writers. As part of this initiative, students were introduced to the basics of copyright and intellectual property and given the opportunity to copyright the new, original material they will be performing on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.

Blaemire wrote the music and lyrics to Glory Days which premiered in DC and has had over 40 productions all over the world, including on Broadway. His other credits include the original musical A Little More Alive, which has been optioned as a feature film (directed by Ross Katz). Blaemire’s writing projects also include the film adaptation of the popular YA novel This Song Will Save Your Life, for Rent producer Kevin McCollum; original musicals Soon and Fallout and a new project for Marvel/Disney. He has released two pop albums, The Hustle and the Ampersand EP, and as an actor was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his performance as Jonathan Larson in the Off-Broadway Revival of Tick, Tick...Boom!

Andrew A. Isen, who is funding this program, is an accomplished leader and business pioneer, and a long-time DC resident. In recent years, his philanthropic vision has been laser focused on supporting the next generation of talented musical theater performers and writers.

By giving high school theater students the opportunity to explore and develop their talents, Andrew Isen is providing up-and-coming artists with the support and inspiration they need to fulfill their dreams. Some wonderful material has come from this first group, and we at The ASCAP Foundation are very proud of this program and grateful to Andrew Isen,” commented The ASCAP Foundation Executive Director Colleen McDonough.

The show will be webcast live and archived for future viewing at

About The ASCAP Foundation

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.

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