A fantastic article in DO SAVANNAH newspaper!

I was asked to perform a small concert in Savannah, GA in late August 2014, and there was a fantastic article written in preparation for the "Soiree", facilitated by the magnanimous Linda Sickler at Do Savannah.  A big belated thank you for a beautiful article!

 

The full article can be found here.

 

"The 2015 American Traditions Competition won’t be until Feb. 23-27, but why wait?

ATC organizers are going to lauch the 2015 season Aug. 17 with a summer soiree at Savannah Coffee Roasters. This comes on the heels of the 2014 Savannah VOICE Festival, which comes to a close Aug. 16.

The ATC will celebrate its 22nd year with a performance by Mikki Sodergren, the reigning ATC champion. She will perform a range of opera and musical theater music, including “Batti, Batti o bel Masetto” from “Don Giovanni,” “A Wonderful Guy” from “South Pacific,” “I’ll be Here” from “Ordinary Days” and Johnny Mercer’s “Skylark.”

Admission to the soiree is free, but an invitation is required.

“We encourage people to contact us to request an invitation for what promises to be a very special event, which will give people the opportunity to meet Mikki and hear her exceptional voice once again,” says ATC president Susan Kleine.

“We are hoping to raise awareness of the fact that it is now time for singers to apply for our 2015 competition, which has a prize fund of $40,000,” says ATC artistic consultant Vale Rideout. “Mikki has set a very high standard. but we know that with all the talent out there, Savannah will once again be singing.”

Singers wishing to apply for the 2015 competition can do so at www.americantraditionscompetition.com.

Sodergren is now performing as a festival artist for the 2014 Savannah VOICE Festival. That included her role as Zerlina in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” plus participation in several concerts and events.

Savannah audiences already knew Sodergren from her award-winning performances at the 2013 and 2014 American Traditions Competition. In 2013, she came in second place overall, but in 2014, she virtually swept the competition by winning the Courtney Knight Gaines Gold Medal, the inaugural Ben Tucker Jazz Award and the Johnny Mercer Award.

“It was pretty incredible,” Sodergren says. “In 2013, the Courtney Knight Gaines Medal was second prize, and in 2014, it was first prize. I have a lot of affection for the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation.”

In April, Sodergren will make her debut with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. Originally from Minnesota, she is now a resident of New York City, and says she enjoys the food, culture and residents of Savannah.

“People here are so appreciative,” she says. “They’ve developed individual relationships with all of us and are considered friends and mentors. They are amazing people.”

Sodergren has always been a singer.

“My father started his career as a band teacher,” she says. “My mother was a piano teacher and church choir director. I’ve been singing forever.

“I think that talent is something you’re not aware of as a child. I was always interested in performing.

“At some point, I wanted to see how far I could start pushing myself,” Sodergren says. “I started competing when I was 14.”

At 14, Sodergren won the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, or NATS contest.

“It was the first time I’d ever won,” she says. “The following year, my hometown had a competition and I won that, as well.

“It was really a big thing for me. I was contracted to do a concert for the following year. That’s when I thought maybe I could do this for a career.”

In college, Sodergren played Ilse in “Spring Awakening,” her favorite role.

“It was the first time I felt at home during a musical performance,” Sodergren says. “It changed my perspective.”

Wanting to go someplace exotic, Sodergren studied in Israel for a time. After learning about VOICExperience, which produces the Savannah VOICE Festival, Sodergren attended classes and worked with Maria Zouves, director of both VOICExperience and the VOICE Festival with her husband, Sherrill Milnes.

“She helped me find a great singing sound for musical theater,” Sodergren says. “She’s a very smart musician and a great teacher.

“I have also had the opportunity to work with Sherrill, in addition to Maria. I consider them both very influential on my musical development.

“I would really love to get into more musical theater, regional theater and New York theater,” Sodergren says. “I had the great opportunity to play the role of Louisa in ‘Nine’ in Manhattan. What I would really love to do is sing with orchestras.”

Winning the ATC and its accompanying cash prize was a critical boost to Sodergren’s career.

“It’s a fantastic organization that helps launch singers’ careers,” she says. “With my money, I was able to find a team of people who really helped me bring my career to a higher level in New York. I was able to get an agent and become part of a very special musical environment.”

Zouves and Milnes have done more than teach singers and organize musical events, Sodergren says.

“I think the work that they are doing together in the community is incredible. They have really created a wonderful festival with a very nice range of music in different styles, languages and settings.”

Zouves and Milnes have done more than teach music and organize events like the festival, Sodergren says.

“I think the way they have immersed themselves into the community is fantastic, and it seems that the community agrees because we have really sensed an overwhelming level of support,” she says. “It’s really a great pleasure of mine to be involved in the music environment of Savannah in so many ways, because I feel like I am part of something really special here.”

Featured in "High Notes" in the Rochester Post Bulletin!

You can view the full article here.

 

Special thanks to Megan at the Rochester Post Bulletin!!

 

High notes

Red Wing native Mikki Sodergren is this year's winner of the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Ga., in February.

In what was almost a clean sweep, Mikki took home three prizes — the Courtney Knight Gaines Gold Medal, the Ben Tucker Award for best jazz performance (in honor of Ben Tucker, jazz bassist who was killed in Savannah this past year) and the Johnny Mercer Award for best performance of a Johnny Mercer song.

"I'm so grateful for these honors, and I'm completely humbled," Sodergren said.

She was silver medalist at last year's competition, a weeklong event that features three rounds spaced through the week, each consisting of a separate program of three songs representing different genres of American music.

"It's three rounds once you make it to the finals down in Georgia, and nine songs altogether of different sounds, from different times and different genre, but I had to have all of my songs picked back in September," Sodergren sad. "It's a bit of a challenge to plan that far in advance."

More than 150 people sent in sound clips to enter the contest, and 28 made it to the final three rounds. That's when Sodergren took home the honors.

Receiving the Ben Tucker Award was extra special to her.

"Last year, I was in this competition and got to see him perform when he played at the judges concert," she said, "and then a few months later, he was killed in that tragic golf cart incident, and his wife decided to give this award. It was extremely meaningful, and I'm happy I got to hear him perform live."

Sodergren, who grew up in Red Wing, left for Michigan during her sophomore year in high school to attend and graduate from a performing arts school. She received her bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and has been living in Manhattan for about a year. She sings genres from pop to jazz to theater to opera.

"I love them all," she said, "and I love learning them all, and I'm not ready to put all of my eggs in one basket, but right now, I'm focusing to study voice classically. "

Sodergren recently transitioned to soprano from mezzo soprano. She has another big competition in May, has just signed with a talent agent and will cover the role of Zerlina in a Georgia production on "Don Giovanni" in July.

You can find more information about her at www.mikkisodergren.com.

 

 

Featured in Red Wing Republican Eagle - Thanks, Stacy!

Read the full article here. All photo credits John Carrington Photography.

 

Thank you, Stacy!!

 

Red Wing native Mikki Sodergren recently was named the 2014 winner of the American Traditions Competition held in Savannah, Ga.

Former Winger wins major vocal awards

Posted on Mar 9, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

 

Opera, jazz, theater and pop vocalist Mikki Sodergren recently won the 2014 American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia.

 

Originally from Red Wing, the now Manhattan-based singer/actress took home three prizes — the Courtney Knight Gaines Gold Medal, the Ben Tucker Award for best jazz performance and the Johnny Mercer Award.

 

The competition, in its 21st year, features three rounds spaced throughout one week. Each round consists of separate programs with three songs representing different genres of American music.

 

Sodergren’s winning program included “Home” by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman from “Beauty and the Beast”; “I’m gonna sit right down (and write myself a letter)” by Fred Ahlert and Joe Young; and “Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.

 

“I am ecstatic about this competition and the opportunities afforded to me by it,” Sodergren said. “The judges were phenomenal and incredibly helpful, and all of the other contestants were stellar. I am very proud to be a representative for the American Traditions Competition and Savannah, Ga., by extension, in the coming year.”

Sodergren was the silver medalist in 2013. For more information on the competition, visit www.americantraditionscompetition.com or on Sodergren check out www.mikkisodergren.com.

Big, BIG News!!

Hey Everybody,

Things are moving fast all of the sudden, and I am so happy to tell you all I am now on the artist roster at Encompass Arts. It's a beautiful agency with a beautiful roster who works for singers and actors who "encompass" multiple genres :)  Thank you to all at Encompass, but especially Kathy and Anthony!!

 

Check out my artist profile here.

Featured in the the Savannah Now Newspaper

You can view the full article here. Thanks for the beautiful article on the competition, Savannah Now!

 

Article (by Savannah Morning News):

Manhattan-based soprano Mikki Sodergren took the 2014 American Tradition Competition by storm, winning the Courtney Knight Gaines Gold Medal, the Johnny Mercer Award for best performance of a Mercer song, and the first-ever Ben Tucker Award, given for the best jazz performance.

“We had quite the week,” says Vale Rideout, artistic consultant for the ATC. “The performances were some of the best ever.”

The second place Patricia and Hayward Gignilliat Silver Medal went to baritone Jorell Williams, who has been gaining international success on both opera and concert stages.

The third place Colonial Group Bronze Medal was given to soprano Maria Failla, who has toured Europe with “West Side Story.”

Fourth place went to Elizabeth Baldwin, a soprano who has performed at Lincoln Center and Tanglewood.

Fifth place went to Daniel Shirley, a tenor from Chicago who recently made his Carnegie Hall debut.

The Quarterfinal People’s Choice Award for a non-advancing contestant went to William Lewis, a baritone who was an ATC semifinalist in 2000 and an ATC accompanist/arranger in 2001-03.

The Semifinal People’s Choice Award for a non-advancing contestant was won by Nicole Greenidge, a soprano who performs with the Grammy-nominated vocal group Conspirare.

Sodergren, a native of Minnesota, sang jazz, opera, musical theater and pop music during the competition. She has been active in the VOICExperience program, performing several times in Savannah during the VOICE Festival and VOICExperience’s National Opera Week performances.

This was not Sodergren’s first time competing in the ATC. In 2013, she was awarded the silver medal.

In Manhattan, Sodergren is a member of a quartet called The Cherries on Top with 2013 ATC gold medal winner Kimberly Hawkey.

“It was a spectacular ending to a thrilling week in Savannah,” Sodergren says on her website. “I feel so grateful for these honors and I am completely humbled.”

2014 Gold Medalist!!!

Hey y'all, I had an amazing night on Friday, February 28th. It was a spectacular ending to a thrilling week in Savannah, GA. I am so thrilled to announce the outcome of the American Traditions Competition:  I am the 2014 Courtney Knight Gaines Gold Medal Winner, the first-ever recipient of the Ben Tucker award, given in his honor, and the Johnny Mercer Award, given by The Friends of Johnny Mercer. I want to thank all of the wonderful judges, the board, my über-talented collaborator, Assaf Gleizner, my Savannah fan club -y'all know who you are, my parents for escaping the cold in Minnesota to come see me and a special thank you to Danny Cohen for putting me up and taking care of me! I feel so grateful for these honors and I am completely humbled!

Congratulations to all of the other wonderful contestants, I don't know how the judges make a decision on anything!! Y'all were fabulous and I can't wait to see each other again soon!!!

Xoxox


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Source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Tr...

National Opera Week!!

I am currently in Savannah, GA -- one of my favorite cities in the US -- and am reveling in the afterglow of a wonderful evening. It was the night of the Savannah Voice Festival's Opera Gala, held at the Savannah Westin Harbor Grand Ballroom. There was great food, great friends and colleagues, great music and great speeches, as well as great salt (courtesy of The Salt Table, a wonderful local business and sponsor of the Savannah Voice Festival).

The festival was recently featured on the nightly news - you can view the link here.  The clip features information on our performances in Savannah this week! It has been great to be back in this BIG small town, and I will be sad to leave on Thursday morning. Our last events here are an outreach at the Savannah Country Day School, and a masterclass with the brilliant soprano, Diana Soviero tomorrow evening at Christ Church.


New Website

Hello!

 

Welcome to my new website. I've had a lot of fun creating this with Squarespace. I hope you enjoy the new website and take the time to enjoy all of the nooks and crannies that I've enjoyed designing.  

 

New audio files will be coming soon (I'm recording this weekend), and new photos from Pil Hwan Oh will be coming this weekend as well!

Now, off for an interview and an open call!