For a teenager to say that music was way cooler before they were born is nothing new — just ask the kid wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt in any high school in America. But for a teen to say that and start belting Mel Torme, well, that’s something special. Lebanon, Ind., native Lucas DeBard is exactly that type of teenager.
On July 25 he became this year’s Songbook Youth Ambassador, the face of the Great American Songbook Foundation — singer Michael Feinstein’s organization devoted to keeping alive the canon of American standards made famous by folks like Torme, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and more. The July performance, held at Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts, was the finale of an annual competition that drew teenage contestants from all over the country.
Romance According to Lucas DeBard: A Tutorial
Q: How do you think romance has changed for teenagers? A: I don’t think the meaning of romance has changed, but the way that people communicate has changed. When American standards were written, people wrote letters. There was more face-to-face interaction. That’s what changed.
Q: There’s far less face-to-face because of cell phones? A: It certainly helps a relationship. My stepdad commutes to Georgia every week. My mom and stepdad use Face-Time, they email and text. That’s one thing that technology has done well for romance.
Q: Would you ever ask someone out over Facebook? A: There is absolutely zero chance that I would ask someone out over Facebook.
Q: I’d like to ask you your thoughts on Tinder. A: I find it kind of funny that you literally just look at pictures and say, “Eh, nah.” You scroll through this sea of pictures and hope someone flips back. I know people that have competitions to see who can get more swipes. That’s what its called, right? Swipes?
Q: What are some aspects of romance that have fallen out of favor that you’d like people to bring back? A: Our phones have become part of our bodies. No one goes anywhere without their phone. If I’m in a conversation or at dinner, I just shut it off. I want to look at it, but I cant. People become more distant even sitting at the same table if they’re on their phone.
Q: How important are a guy’s clothes when looking to meet that special girl or guy? A: I think that what you wear can reflect maturity. Honestly, if I could, I’d wear a jacket and a tie every day. If it’s a formal date, dress up. If you’re going to the park for a walk, wearing a suit might not work. Being overdressed can make you look weird.
Q: What’s the perfect date for you? A: The perfect date for me would be going to a nice concert at a place like the Palladium or Madame Walker. I mean, I am a Jacobs School of Music kid. Then we’d go to dinner afterwards, and get away from all the crowds.
Q: Homecooked dinner or fancy dinner out? A: If we’re saying that I could cook, then homecooked. But I’d have to do my research.
Q: And, because our readers will certainly want to know: Is there someone special in your life? A: There is not currently, no.